After many years of sending out an email newsletter every Monday morning, one thing that I have learned is that each one needs to contain something of value. I really work toward that goal with each email and blog post I create.
Part of this comes from learning from the mistakes of others. There is a company that I buy computer components from pretty regularly, and I recommend them to my clients as well. Years ago, I decided to subscribe to their email. Unfortunately, this company does not understand how email marketing works. Their newsletter was nothing but a sales pitch for their products. What’s on sale this week, why you need to buy this item, that kind of thing. After reading that first email from them, I unsubscribed.
It’s really easy to subscribe to email newsletters on impulse. You see a website that offers some great recipes, or a daily financial advice message, or anything else that you’re interested in. You think, “Wow, that would be great to have this information at my fingertips regularly.”
Then… before you know it… you are overwhelmed with emails in your inbox. In fact, there are so many, you really can’t keep up with reading all of them. If you have emails in your inbox that are more than a few days old, and you haven’t read them yet, face it – you aren’t going to read them. They are just going to accumulate.
You can delete them, but that only fixes the symptom – it doesn’t solve the problem. You need to unsubscribe from them. Probably, most of them.
And that’s the problem –
unsubscribing is not always a simple procedure.
Some of them require you to click on a link to unsubscribe. Others might need you to reply to the email itself. Another one could require you to log in to the site and request to unsubscribe right from your account (as if you are going to remember that login info!). Some want to ask you for a reason why you are leaving them. It’s way too confusing!
Until now. Now it’s easy – IF you use Gmail, AOL, Yahoo, or Mac.com/Me.com (iCloud) for your email.
There is a free service called the Swizzle Sweeper. It’s at http://theswizzle.com.
Swizzle knows how to unsubscribe from all those various junk email senders, and they will help you do it.
The process is simple. First, click on Sign Up in the top right corner and create your free account. Part of that process is to select at least one category of items you are interested in, and one brand name you would like to follow. Then, on the left side of the screen you will see this:
Click that button, and it takes you to this screen:
On the next screen, you will see that Swizzle is requesting to access your email account (in my case, my Gmail account). Before doing that, be sure you are signed out of that email account. Then click “Let’s go!”. You will then be taken back to your email login screen, where you will log in and grant access to Swizzle.
Next step is for Swizzle to scan your inbox. Click on “Start Scan”:
It might take a few minutes for the scan to complete, depending on how much email you have:
This scan might take a while. I had quite a bit of email in my account, and it took about 10 minutes for Swizzle to analyze everything. I was surprised to see what they found – a list of over 100 different companies. Every one of them was one that I had communicated with in the past, and given them permission to email me. For some, I get their emails regularly and read each one. Others might only send something once a week or once a month.
It is convenient to see them all there in one list. Makes it very easy to decide to unsubscribe. Actually you will have an option for each one – you can just unsubscribe from all future emails, or you can unsubscribe and delete all of the emails they already sent you. I ended up unsubscribing from about 40 email senders!
When you have finished with the list, just click “Done”. You will then have the option to request that they email you in 3 months to do the cleanup process again.
If you are wondering if this is safe (to give them the ability to unsubscribe you from emails), read the security explanation here.