By Tyler Jefford

On January 11th, 2023

Privacy , Productivity , Technology

A journey of taking control of all the emails, notifications and personal data leakage that has happened over the year, I have been trying to unsubscribe from all the emails I get in my inbox. Couple weeks back, I wrote about a bad experience while trying to disable promotional notifications from Amazon on my phone which lead to me deleting the app on my phone.

I’ve had a bad habit of giving out my real email address to any company that was asking. Every order I made on a shop, forgetting to click the opt-in for email newsletters. But its not just me - companies have been really aggressive lately in their email campaigns, emailing several times a day and dozens of times per week. The checkout forms that don’t tell you you’re subscribing to their email newsletter.

So in November I set off to unsubscribe to EVERY email I got in my inbox for the month. Started off simple, couple old newsletters I liked once, but never opened anymore. Apple Mail has an unsubscribe feature built into the mail client that surfaces the often times hard to find link in the email footer.

Next came the pre-shopping holiday sales emails. And it was great to unsubscribe from these before the onslaught of emails daily. My daily email count went from around 40 to 20. Progress! There were two companies that were nearly impossible to get rid of from my inbox. Ticketmaster, I am convinced add you to so many slightly different lists that when you unsubscribe from one, it doesn’t give you an option to unsubscribe from all. This took time, but I think I am fully unsubscribed from that hell company’s emails.

Duluth was particularly challenging, after going through the complicated form about 25 times, I still kept receiving emails from this company. I am happy to say, since Thanksgiving weekend, I haven’t received any emails from them, but it was getting to a point where I was about to look up email rules and violations. My best guess is they added me to a bunch of campaigns at the beginning of the month and the primary email list wasn’t consulted before the campaigns are sent out. Really annoying, Duluth.

My conclusion here is that waking up to only 2-4 transactional emails feels like what email is suppose to be. I say it a lot, but for us in tech, we need to be better about how we use the technologies deployed. I’m more than happy to see a reboot on email and newsletters. Oh, and while we’re at it, lets stop putting newsletter sign up form pop ups on every damn website, especially in e-commerce. It’s especially painful on mobile.

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