Hundreds of thousands of spam and junk e-mails are sent daily. E-commerce, blogs and online communities rely on mailing lists to market themselves. Third-party companies purchase users’ e-mail addresses to advertise their products and to ultimately increase their sales. There are several ways we can become entwined with a nuisance mailing list.
Often, initially-optimistic intentions of becoming involved in an online community result in a swarm of junk e-mails to your inbox. With coupons, holiday specials and raving reviews being streamlined directly into your inbox daily, it can quickly become cluttered.
Fortunately, there are a few different ways to handle a cluttered inbox. Most e-mail hosts provide a few safeguards to scale back on the amount of spam you receive in your inbox. Tweaking other e-mail settings can contribute to skimming down your inbox.
1. Setup priority mailbox and organize folders. With many email hosts, folders are already created and ready for use. Many email providers will have a “Main”, “Favorite” or “Priority” folder that catches most of your e-mails. Some e-mail providers even have folders setup to catch suspected spam or junk mail. If you do come across a spam e-mail, mark it as “Spam” and your e-mail host will route future e-mails from that address to the spam folder. This will save you many unwarranted headaches.
2. Setup filters to control the influx of emails. When you create folders, specific emails will automatically be sent to these designated folders. This minimizes the amount of notifications you receive and significantly reduces the amount of clutter in your inbox. Gmail makes setting up filters particularly easy. For example, you can create a folder that streamlines your paperless billing. This will make it easier to keep track of your bills and online payments.
3. Setup spam blockers. Most email service providers include a spam-blocking plug-in.
4. Manage your mailing lists. Unsubscribe from unnecessary mailing lists. Nearly 50% of all marketing is done though email. The mailing lists you subscribe to will control the number of emails you receive from that company. You can also manage the mailing preferences for the mailing lists you choose to stay on.
5. Utilize your calendar, not your inbox. Many people hold onto e-mails for reminders. If you’re holding onto an appointment confirmation, just add it to your calendar.
6. Delete! Delete the old, the outdated, the unnecessary emails that you may have been holding onto. If there’s e-mails you absolutely cannot part with, setup a folder to store these archived items.
7. Third-party management tools: if you just can’t get a grip on your inbox or its too overwhelming to manage yourself, consider subscribing to a third-party company that will handle your inbox for you. This option may be appropriate for small business owners. There are free services, such as Mailstrom, Mozilla ThunderBird or MailBird Lite, that will manage your inbox. There are also upgraded [and pricier] options, such as Boomerang or Sanebox, that will help you tame the beast that is your inbox.