February 3, 2011

Out of Site, Out of Mind

Anybody who's anybody gets junk mail...either digital spam or the traditional coupon packages that come in the mail what seems like every day. So, why do all of these companies spend a lot of time and money to keep you inbox stuffed to the brim? Because they make tons of money! Your money! Here are some tips to keep you from falling into the junk mail trap.

There's a whole community on the web of folks that work very hard to keep an empty and clean e-mail inbox.  This makes it easier to respond to the important e-mails and delete the ones that do not matter.  Any e-mail service provider has tools for creating filters and tagging spam.  Learn them and use them, and apply the tricks to your mail at home!

Every time I purchase something from a website, that website decides that I want to be on their mailing list.  Some times I'm curious to see the e-mails, and sometimes I'm not.  If you don't want the e-mail, log into the website and find your subscription preferences and turn it off!  If you do want them, think about creating a Label or Folder called "shopping" or "annoying newsletters that I can't live with and can't live without" (I think most of us can agree that even if we kind of want to see what they're saying, these e-mails as frequent as they are, are annoying!).  Set-up a filter that sends all new mail from "@shoppingsite.com" straight to your new folder and SKIP YOUR INBOX.  This keeps you from whimsically clicking on every e-mail they send you and falling for all of the "FREE SHIPPING (on orders over $500)" e-mails that we all get every day. This is going to save you money and time!  If you really have to read those e-mails, they'll be right where you sent them. My experience tells me...out of sight, out of mind.

E-mail filters taught me how to finally tackle all of this junk mail I get in my home every day.  First I got a big folder and put all of the advertisements/junk/etc into when I got the mail.  I put it on the book shelf and pulled it out on Sunday when I had time and browsed the ads I got through the week.  When looking at everything in a controlled manner it's easier to say "I don't need that" and just throw everything away. Now, I've gotten in the habit of just sending everything to the crash.  Before doing this, ads sat on my kitchen table for days with pizza, fast food, and other corporate logos just getting ingrained into my brain until finally I'd crack and order a pizza or go buy a burger.  True story! If it sat on my table, I did what they wanted me to do...I pulled out my wallet.  Keep these ads hidden and be in control of what you want.

(photo credit: Charles Williams)

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