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Unsubscribe Me!

The key to reducing the number of unwanted emails is to “unsubscribe” from them. Unfortunately, this is not always an option.

Reputable companies or individuals who send email ads, newsletters, blogs, and other information to multiple recipients use software programs that include an option to unsubscribe from the mailing list. You can usually find the word “unsubscribe” at the bottom of their emails. Once you click on it, you will get confirmation that you are unsubscribed. It can take a few days to be removed though; you might still get a few more emails from them.

Seems easy. It is. And it works.

Unfortunately, not all bulk email senders are that considerate. They might not be using a software program that has an “unsubscribe” feature, or they might be sending bulk emails via a personal email program. If you did not ask to be part of a mailing list (or you did but have since changed your mind), and there is no way to unsubscribe, you are stuck receiving them.

There are four ways I can think to deal with this annoyance:

1) Mark the unwanted email as spam/junk and let all future emails from that address go directly to your spam/junk folder. You will still have to empty these folders periodically. (And, sorry, this will not work if the sender is someone you know and you still wish to receive “good” emails from them. The spam/junk folder will capture all the emails from that address!)

2) Delete the emails without opening them. Depending on how often you receive unwanted emails, this option will be more or less time consuming and annoying. If their mere presence in your inbox causes you angst, this is not the option for you.

3) Reply to the email to request that you be removed from the mailing list. This may or may not work; it depends on how accommodating the person or company is at the other end.

4) And — I’ve seen this done — change your email address. This is perhaps an extreme reaction to unwanted junk mail but if you were otherwie thinking of changing your email address, avoiding unwanted emails is an added bonus. But understand that this fix is only temporary; junk mail — from the same or other addresses — will eventually find you.

Note: If you (or your company, organization, special interest group) are the sender of email ads, newsletters, blogs, or other information, please be considerate. Rather than send email from a personal email program, use one of the email marketing companies (Constant Contact or iContact for example) that include an “unsubscribe” option. If you must send bulk email from a personal email program, state clearly a simple protocol for unsubscribing and your willingness to comply. If you don’t, you are sending one of those emails that you yourself don’t appreciate getting.

Please note that this email does have an “unsubscribe” button at the bottom. Please use it if you wish, although I hope you wont.

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