Email has become a major communication method in the last twenty years. Email is used for personal communication, at work, and in schools. While convenient, useful, and easily accessible, email also has its issues. Email users are regularly exposed to viruses and inundated with junk email. Email users find themselves needing to implement strategies to keep their inboxes streamlined and operational.
What are Unsolicited Emails?
Unsolicited emails are simply email communications that the recipient did not ask to receive. More specifically, they are emails that are being sent without granted verifiable permission from the recipient for the message to be sent. This does not mean that all spam/junk emails are unsolicited. In most cases, people grant permission to parties to send emails without even realizing it. Some of the ways they do this include:
- Registering for an in-person or online event and not unchecking a box that states that it is ok to send promotional offers to the registrant
- Signing into an online retail site using your Facebook profile and ignoring the fine print that states that your profile information will be provided to the site for promotional purposes
- Being asked for your email when checking out at a retail brick and mortar store as if it is part of the transaction
- Accepting a reward from a website, usually in the form of a promotional discount, in exchange for your email
Email senders have made it harder and harder for recipients to refuse promotional emails. Their sneaky tactics result in many junk emails that are a nuisance but solicited in one way or another. True unsolicited emails are emails you receive that you truly did not authorize. They can be personal, such as a group email to a group of community members, or promotional, both in a business and personal setting.
Statistics About Unsolicited Emails
To better understand how common unsolicited emails are, here are a few interesting statistics:
- It is estimated that 45% of all emails received are spam.
- There are around 14.5 billion messages per day worldwide.
- Up to 73% of all emails are promotions for products and services, which are unwanted.
- 36% of all spam is attributed to advertising emails.
- Nearly 32% of all spam are emails containing adult content.
- 26% of unsolicited emails are regarding financial matters.
How to Prevent, Reduce and Manage Unsolicited Emails
It may feel at times like receiving unsolicited emails is inevitable, and their sheer volume is often overwhelming to even the savviest of email users. It’s important to realize that there are strategies that can help reduce unsolicited emails and that new tools for managing spam are emerging on a regular basis. Below are some actions to consider if you want to reduce the number of unsolicited emails you receive.
- Unsubscribe in bulk through your email service – email services give users options to unsubscribe in bulk. Explore what your particular email service offers. This option usually allows users to unsubscribe without contacting the sender directly and for the unsubscribe request to cover a certain email type.
- Use inbox filtering – email companies offer filtering, and it is getting smarter and more advanced. If you use filtering sessions, you will still receive spam emails, but they will be filtered into the spam folder not to clog your inbox.
- Have a dedicated account for promo emails – if you have a separate account that you use for online shopping, registering for events, entering contests, and other such activities, it can keep your work or personal email boxes less cluttered.
- Treat your email address like it’s sensitive personal information – keep your email address private whenever possible, both online and in-person.
- Use disposable email services – explore services that offer you a temporary email address that stops working after a certain amount of time, usually under 30 minutes. You can use it in situations where an email address is required, and you will not need to receive related spam emails for months on end.
- Unsubscribe from unwanted emails – this may be an obvious strategy, and it is also a time consuming one if you do this through the sender, as a response to an email. Still, if you do this regularly and make sure to unsubscribe from all unwanted emails, it can whittle down your spam considerably. If you need to reduce spam dramatically after ignoring it for a while, you may consider using a paid service that cleans your inbox and automatically unsubscribes you from future emails. These services are not expensive, but it is important to revoke their access to your inbox after the work is done to protect your privacy.
Unsolicited emails are annoying, and they shift your focus away from important email communications. If you spend a little time managing spam emails, you can see and feel a real difference in your inbox.