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Eliminate Email Newsletters – Unsubscribe or RSS

email checkup unsubscribe

Photo by edwardleger

In yesterday’s post, we talked about deleting useless emails. Today’s continuation of the Email Checkup series focuses on email subscriptions. They plague your inbox. But should they?

Unsubscribe, really

It probably took you a long time to subscribe to dozens of email newsletters and alerting services. But it will be quick to unsubscribe. Just click the little link at the bottom of each email.

Unsubscribe from those emails and see what happens. Your inbox will be cleaner. Will you miss the emails? Only time can tell.

This is a standard way to deal with anything you think is really vital. Take it away for a while. If you really need those emails, you can easily get them back.

You might discover that you didn’t need those emails after all. Wouldn’t that be cool?

Don’t flag as spam

But do the newsletter publishers a favor. Don’t just flag their emails as spam.

Today’s email systems learn as users flag emails as spam. If enough users flag the newsletter as spam (instead of unsubscribing), other people might not receive the email they really want to get.


When you decide that some of those subscriptions are vital, what do you do? Use RSS.

Email is for two-way communication. If you really want information dumped on you, use an RSS reader, like Google Reader.

But what if your favorite newsletter or alerting system hasn’t stepped into the 90’s with RSS? You’ve got two options:

1. Ask for it. Smaller publishers will surely respond to a loyal reader request. And you’ll probably be surprised by the responsiveness of major publishers too.

2. Make it yourself. Many services let you quickly setup an email-to-RSS system. They’re free and don’t even require a login! Check out Mail2RSS, Mail Bucket, and Dodgit.

How else?

I’m sure you guys have interesting ways to manage the onslaught of wanted information. How do you handle newsletters, alerts, and other subscription-based emails?

Check back here on Friday for Part 3 in this Email Checkup series: clearing the inbox. To make sure you catch the entire series, you can subscribe via RSS.

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4 Responses to “Eliminate Email Newsletters – Unsubscribe or RSS”

  1. Jennifer
    December 27th, 2007

    I set up a filter in Gmail that automatically deletes them before they make it to the inbox.

  2. Andrew Flusche
    December 27th, 2007

    Jennifer – Wouldn’t it be cleaner to just unsubscribe from those unwanted emails? Then you don’t have to maintain the filter.

  3. Jennifer
    December 27th, 2007

    Probably, but they always seem to want some password I can’t remember, or make it so difficult I can’ t be bothered. 🙂

  4. Andrew Flusche
    December 27th, 2007

    I completely understand! Publishers definitely need to make it easier to unsubscribe.

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