If your email is anything like mine, it’s absolutely loaded with messages encouraging you to buy stuff. It tells you about new stuff that you just might like, things that vendors are positive you need, and the latest sales from your favorite stores.
Honestly, your email can be a thousand times worse than the most persuasively displayed shopping mall when it comes to getting you to want to spend money because often, you don’t even need to leave your home to get the goods.
My email was ripe for a good decluttering.
On Saturday, I was scrolling through my messages, searching between all the advertisements for the personal messages from friends and family. I got sidetracked several times when I saw things that I wanted or that seemed like a great deal…and then I slammed on the mental brakes.
What on earth was I doing, inviting all this temptation into my inbox?
There were messages from…
- The grocery store with daily sales
- Kohls with their delightful fall clothing specials
- Wayfair, who is convinced I need a dining table after I made the mistake of clicking on one on Pinterest the other day
- The salon where I got my hair done once, offering me a coupon to come back and see them again
- Amazon, with about a half a dozen tempting offers for books from my favorite authors
- Dominos Pizza, who doesn’t want me to have to cook tonight
- Fly Lady, who sincerely believes her cleaning products will make my life easier
- Martha Stewart, whose organizational tools could probably change my life
And that was enough to make me say, “I gotta go scorched earth on this email!
It was hard, though. I have gotten a lot of great coupons from a lot of my favorite stores via email. I have been notified of awesome grocery stock up sales via email.
I learn when books by my favorite authors come out…you guessed it…via email.
But the questions I had to ask myself were these:
- Am I saving more than I’m spending with all of these emails?
- Am I yearning for things I don’t actually need with all these emails?
- Am I less satisfied with the things I have because of all these emails? And the answer to all three questions was yes. *sad face*
How to get rid of unwanted emails.
The time had come. I had to go scorched earth for the sake of my budget and my happiness.
There are a few ways to clean out your inbox.
There are tools like Unroll.me and Mailstrom that make it super easy to get rid of the unwanted clutter in your email. Do be aware that there are some privacy concerns with this, so if you use your email for anything sensitive you should do it manually instead. As well, remember the adage that if a service is free, YOU are the product. When these services snoop through your email, your data will be scraped and sold to the highest bidder.
Some folks don’t mind this, other folks do. It’s totally up to you.
The other thing you can do is do it manually. This is what I did. When I sat down to watch some Netflix with the fam, I opened up my inbox (22,000+ messages, holy cow!) and I began unsubscribing from everyone who was trying to sell me stuff. It took me about an hour to get through it all, but it was time that I would have spent doing nothing productive, so I didn’t mind.
A quick note: You can always find a link to unsubscribe near the bottom of your email. As someone who sends out emails on a regular basis for business purposes, I strongly urge you to do this instead of marking them as spam.
Spam is for things you never signed up for or things you unsubscribed from but they refuse to get a hint. It really hurts businesses who send email to be marked as spam because it means that sometimes other folks who actually want the email must go digging through their spam folders to find it, and too many complaints can cause the service to refuse to work with you anymore. I know, this is personal, but I hope you’ll consider what I’m saying here.
Who gets to stay in your inbox?
There are a couple of places that send me truly good deals for things I need, so those folks got to stay.
There were some places that sent extremely informative emails that linked me to interesting blog posts. Sure, they sell a few things here and there but the value I got from their emails was worth it.
When it comes time to do some shopping for some reason (maybe at Christmas and Black Friday and when my daughter goes job-hunting and needs clothing) there are a few places I will re-subscribe to in order to get coupons. But as soon as my shopping is done, they’re history yet again!
So…set aside some time and get to unsubscribing!