Friday, September 7, 2012

Sneaky Thief

"Sneaky Thief" got your attention, did it?

Well it should. But no, I'm not talking about some nefarious person on the Internet, but it might as well be, because it can steal business from you. More on that later.

The sneaky thief isn't a person, The sneaky thief is the distracting, time-sucking electronic quicksand spam emails you receive. All of it probably isn't even "spam" per se, but could be stuff that you signed up for!

I'm just as guilty as anyone reading this could possibly be. I just spent at least half an hour of valuable time to unsubscribe from different email newsletters. All kinds of stuff - health information from WebMD, recipes and special offers, really old business groups, and the like.

I think one of the problems we creative folks have is that we are just so gosh darn interested in EVERYTHING! But it becomes clutter.

I've had a problem lately of emails being "lost." I wondered if it was because I had my email account for so long, there was just so much junk in it that that could be bogging it down. So I took a closer look. There were a lot of email newsletters that I really don't read anymore. Either the information isn't something I'm into anymore, or I just don't have the time. But I realized I would just delete them out of habit. Deleting is fine, but the problem was that there would be a new email from the same newsletter the next week! So it was like shoveling snow while it's snowing. Running in mud, to use another nature analogy.

Well duh! Time to unsubscribe!

Most emails have an 'unsubscribe' link at the bottom (they're supposed to, but not all have that...sneaky jerks!) Safe Unsubscribe links are easy and convenient and follow the same format, which speeds up the process of unsubscribing from many mailings. Other sites have unsubscribe pages but some are made so you really have to do a lot of reading to make sure you actually tell it to do what you want. They do that so it will be harder for you to leave their list.
Now this unsubscribe process is ridiculously long when you have 100 to do. So here's my advice for what it's worth.

1) Before subscribing to anything, really think twice about how important it is to you. Do you really need it?

2) Review your junk emails on a monthly basis, so you can rid yourself of the time-sucking albatross more conveniently.

3) When you check your email, try not to quickly click 'Delete,' instead think about whether you really need that subscription or what-have-you any more. If you've received a newsletter from the same site or organization before and you've routinely deleted it, it's time for it to go.

I mentioned at the beginning of this post that those extraneous emails steal business from you. How so?
I have so many emails that I didn't see all of them. It has caused me to be late in returning correspondence. That's death for any business.

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