I’ve wanted to do a post explaining junk email and how to unsubscribe from it as a kind of tutorial for the parental (read: older) demographic. I especially wanted to do this tutorial when I had my “Watching Pop Culture With My Parents” blog. Now that I’ve officially stopped actively posting on that blog (and turned my parental pop culture posts into a feature on this blog), I’m going to post that tutorial here! And please know just because I’m calling this a “tutorial” doesn’t mean I’m all knowing! 😳 If you know of any tips, advice or anything I’m missing, please let me know (put a comment in the comments or come find me on Twitter @wordsbylaura).
Since COVID-19, I have noticed an uptick in marketing emails. Retailers are using email marketing as an easy and socially distanced way to contact their customers that they aren’t getting a chance to see in person due to COVID-19. Now is a good time to unsubscribe from any marketing emails that you no longer want to receive.
I know junk email is annoying. And until I realized my parents just deleted their annoying email (therefore not getting rid of the problem) and didn’t know they should unsubscribe to truly get rid of the reoccurring issue, did I realize there was a real need for a teaching opportunity. Well that’s what I’m here for folks and that’s why I have this segment on my blog: to teach! (I realize that sounds patronizing and I truly don’t mean to be.) So let’s take a minute to learn what junk email is and learn how to stop it by Unsubscribing and not just deleting!
The difference between junk & spam
This post I found explains the difference between junk email and spam. Spam is unsolicited whereas junk email is solicited. In this case solicited is a loose term because you didn’t necessarily give your address directly to the offending party but you gave it to someone who sold it to a list (therefore causing you to get email you don’t want).
Tip: Read the fine print before you give out your email address to find out if where you’re giving it to sells your address to spammers. If they don’t mention that your email address won’t be shared with anyone that’s a good indicator that it might be and therefore you don’t want to give your address.
Whereas spam mail is just sent to you even though you didn’t remotely request it (seriously, I start to question all my life choices when I get bombarded with “Senior Singles” even though I know it’s just spam and I have another 25 years before I’m a senior).
Tips to Rid Email of Junk Mail
Now that we know the difference between junk and spam mail there are different ways to handle the junk mail.
My number one tip is to open the offending junk mail and click UNSUBSCRIBE. Make sure to enter your email address into any boxes that pop up on the website that opens once you click Unsubscribe. Click the corresponding button on the website to complete your unsubscribe successfully. Also make sure you don’t accidentally re-subscribe by clicking something on the site. I have seen a few websites try this. Just be careful when you click. It can take around 10 days for these sites to successfully remove you from their lists (so don’t be too shocked if you receive another junk message from them within 10 days.)
I have compiled a collection of screenshots of junk messages I have received and included them below so you get an idea of what they look like and where the unsubscribe link lives on most (the bottom).
How to Reduce Spam
I found an article from PC World.com that gives great tips on how to reduce the amount of spam you receive in your email. Based on that article, I created a graphic that lists the 5 tips the article recommends for reducing spam.
I won’t repeat what the article said, but basically, the gist is to let technology work for you. You can do this by using your spam filter (on your email client: Yahoo, Gmail, etc.) and making sure it’s working correctly and not filtering out none-spam. Also use regular old common sense and be very careful when giving out your email address. This helps limit the overall marketing emails you get but it also helps prevent your email address from getting sold to anyone else. A 3rd party anti-spam filter: MailWasher (Free).
Since Spam and junk mail are really just an extension of other annoying and sketchy marketing practices, check out this website about how to reduce snail junk mail and phone telemarketing (created by the Federal Trade Commission).
#CreativityForDays Weekly Project
I have been creating homemade birthday cards for friends and family. I really enjoy it. However, I won’t share pictures of the cards here because the birthday girls haven’t opened their cards yet.
A Selby Sweetie Conclusion
She got a haircut. Another one. Her fur grows SO FAST! And haircuts make her tired (she really is an anxious pup, poor thing). This picture is a result of her tiredness post haircut. And she is wearing a cute bandanna that they put on her after her cut. To see more Selby pictures visit the Instagram account I have for her: @selbysweetie