You know you have way too many emails flooding your inbox. Don’t put up with it. Learn how to reduce your email to only the ones that matter.
While a ton of email is normal for most people, it doesn’t have to be that way for you. The majority of it is spam and while spam is something that’s not going away, it’s something you really don’t have to tolerate.
The main reason why most people have tons of worthless emails and put up with it is because they have never been taught the 5 email best practices. Here they are:
Replace your email address with a form
Remove your email address from your website and use a digital form instead. Most likely, spam bots are harvesting your email address and spamming you that way. Talk to your webmaster about replacing your email address with a form.
Obfuscate your email address
If you’d like to keep your email on your website, you can obfuscate it (make it unclear or unreadable to spam bots). Talk to your webmaster about this or install this plugin if you have a WordPress site.
Unsubscribe instead of delete
Unsubscribe from emails that are unimportant to you instead of instantly deleting them. Deletion only removes the problem temporarily, unsubscribe removes the problem permanently.
Mark spam as spam
If they keep emailing you after you’ve said, “no” (through unsubscribing), mark them as spam, and a good email program will put that sender in your spam folder; and you’ll never have to see emails from them again.
Use email software with strong spam protection
I’ve noticed that many website owners use the email software that either comes with their computer (Outlook) or whatever their hosting companies provides. Unbeknownst to many people, you can use any email software of your choosing.
Talk to your webmaster or contact your hosting provider on how to do this. I recommend Google’s Gmail, the best spam blocking email software I’ve known and use. I still get spam despite my efforts, but it all ends up in my spam folder—I never see it in my inbox—this is the power of Google’s Gmail.
Cleaning up your inbox
Now that you understand the 5 best practices, here’s how you’re going to reduce all that email down to what’s only necessary.
- Set aside some time to tackle this problem. It could take an hour or even a few days depending on how much email you have.
- Go through your inbox and mark what’s important and useful to you. If you have a starring feature in your email, use that to mark the important emails.
- Now, go through, and unsubscribe from all the emails that aren’t important. In these emails, find a link (usually at the bottom of the email message) that says “Unsubscribe.” If there’s no link, reply and ask to removed from the list. Unsubscribing should take no more than a minute for each email. After your unsubscribe is confirmed, you can delete that email.
- If they keep emailing you anyway, you can mark them as spam. Obvious emails for sexual enhancements and things you know you haven’t signed up for are clearly spam. There’s no need to unsubscribe from these, just mark them as spam.
Follow these steps and you’ll be off to a clutter free inbox. The key thing to remember is: unsubscribe instead of delete.
The power of Google’s Gmail
I mentioned Google not only because of it’s superior spam protection but because of it’s segmenting capabilities of the email you actually want. You can tell Google to put these kinds of emails in this tab, and those kinds of emails in that tab.
You also have folders and labels that will allow you to further automatically sort and organize your email. When email of one kind shows in one folder and one of another kind shows in another, it makes email management so much easier.
In the future, I’ll have to do a video course on Google’s Gmail—it’s so powerful.