Spam control experiment

Controlling Spam MailTired of spam email? Try this simple technique to reduce your spam.

My INBOX receives over 400 emails a day. Many of these emails are from websites I have either ordered something from,  downloaded something or are just junk mail. The number of emails almost doubles during the weekend and at nite. Now, its not difficult to DELETE these unwanted emails. But it does take some time to do so and I sometimes delete by mistake a good email that I need (Murphy’s law at work!). To be honest I actually find something interesting in those “junk” emails every now and than.

The technique:

About 3 weeks ago, I decided to try an experiment to reduce the spam emails I receive and save me some valuable time. What I came up with is so simple that I was skeptical if it would actually work. What did I do? I scrolled down on every “spam” email and hit the UNSUBSCRIBE button.

How to UnSubscribe:

Not every email has an “unsubscribe” and those are truly spam and need to be deleted. What i found over the last 3 week was interesting. First, not every web site handles the unsubscribe the same way. Most bring you to a web site where you have to OPT OUT of the list you are subscribed. These require you to be careful and read the screen and make sure you select UNSUBSCRIBE ME FROM ALL and not just the boxes with a check in it. Experimenting, I began first de-selecting all boxes and unsubscribing THAN reloading the page (clicking on the link again from the email) and hitting UNSUBSCRIBE FROM ALL – basically doing it twice. After 3 weeks, the double method seemed to work best in removing you from the list. Other sites have you type in your email (yes I thought this is how they confirm you are real, but this was an experiment remember) and again hit unsubscribe. Still other’s required you to CHECK OFF not UNCHECK the lists you no longer want. The best ones send you to a web page that states “you are unsubscribed”.

Finding the Un-subscribe button:

No one wants you off their list as you are a potential customer. So they don’t make it easy. The BETTER more reputable sites have a clear button to click. The less reputable sites don’t have a button but text you read and click. This text does not always show a link with your mouse so you have to click around – sneaky. This text may state “to remove yourself…”, “if you no longer wish to..” or my favorite “you requested these emails if you no longer want them” yes that’s right nothing else after that – even sneakier.

Finally some emails require you to reply with UNSUBSCRIBE in the email – again experimenting, i put unsubscribe in the subject and the body. What i found was that doing both, placing the unsubscribe in the subject and body of the email works best.

What happened after 3 weeks of doing this?

You may think this was a lengthy process and too time consuming – but fear not! It takes less than 8 seconds per email – yes I timed it! So for 3 weeks I diligently removed myself from every email I did not want.

First, some sites state you will be removed in 10 days (sears, homedepot etc..) and some said it will take a few days to process your request –  so be patient hence why I gave this 3 weeks. Some emails continued to come in despite my efforts to unsubscribe. I followed my process may times on each email. Interestingly, some continued to send emails but WITHOUT the UNSUNSCRIBE button – even sneakier – bastards! So i began making the unsubscribe links my favorites and continued to remove myself from the emails. Others immediately send me 2-3 emails right after unsubscribing without the button – like parting shots in a war. But I remained vigilant and continued to remove myself from the lists.

The results were quite astonishing

3 weeks later, my inbox receives less than 200 emails  a day with most if not all being good emails – a 70% reduction! Now at nite, I find myself looking at my phone only to find NO emails for me to delete! Saturday what was over 200 spam emails is now less than 20.

so this process works, costs nothing but some time and has greatly reduced junk mail. As a side benefit, since a lot of junk mail has been eliminated, the incidences of viruses also has gone down.

So if you want less spam and some virus protection, follow these steps – it worked for me!

Anthony Pennacchio
President