Setting up a new email address starts with a clean slate; unfortunately, once that address gets out on the web, the ensuing crush of unwanted emails can become overwhelming and overpowering almost exponentially. I recently revisited an old email address of mine only to discover a nonstop stream of unwanted spam, solicitations, invites, and product pitches. In fact, most email addys with any age on them at all may receive upwards of a hundred unwanted emails per day. Once the problem has started, stopping it is roughly tantamount to trying to get toothpaste back in the tube.
So how to get a handle on the email crush in your mailbox? Follow a few simple tips:
Don’t spend too much time with your incoming mail. Most people spend around 30% of their time reading and responding to email when in fact it isn’t really necessary. Instead of spending prolonged periods sifting through and sorting your emails, knock it down to about 15 minutes every two or three hours. This will allow you to keep your incoming mail properly managed and preventing unwanted buildup.
Keep responses brief. It takes time to respond to an email. Typically longer than it takes to initially write the original one. Be sure to respect your recipient’s time, and hopefully they will extend to you the same courtesy. Doing so prevents a downward spiral into time consuming e-mail exchanges and allows all parties to be more productive and manage their time more effectively.
Prioritize your responses. Not every email needs the same amount of attention, but most email programs do not discriminate, and as a result, we end up spending an inordinate amount of time on material that does not require such. Determine what e-mails are worth your time and raise the bar for what you will accept and spend time on accordingly.
Stay out of the junk pile. Too many of us sign up for email updates or other communication when securing a new web service. If you must receive an update, choose the least frequent option. If there are newsletters and promotions that you know you are never going to read, then refrain from signing up for them.
Beware of the “unsubscribe” buttons, as many times all they do is verify that a given address is an active one. Unsubscribing may actually result in higher instances of email spam. Verified email addresses may also be sold to email spammers. You also want to make sure that you don’t inadvertently report legitimate senders as spam, as this could damage the sender’s reputation with their internet service provider.
Only open a message once. When you open an e-mail message, you have five options…delete/archive, delegate, respond, defer, or do. Pick one and go with it. Doing so allows you to better manage your time by having to revisit old messages that should have been safely eliminated.
Basically, controlling email spam can be done through simply finding better time management procedures. Stay on top of the email you are receiving and prevent it from building up in the first place.