My method so far has been to unsubscribe to anything that only asks for money, rarely gives an action item to follow through, or anything that’s selling me something I don’t want. I think the only “goods” newsletter I kept was Uncommon Goods, and could you blame me for that? I have found that many newsletters and political lists are the ones getting chopped the most, since A. I can look up most of this news on my own, and B. the political lists give you 5% news and take-action opportunities and 95% donation requests.
You see, I am a big Internet activist, so I belong to several hundred lists. Yesterday I unsubscribed to over 120 lists; I lost count after a while. My email is already looking so much cleaner and bearable this morning; when I normally have a few hundred waiting for me, today I only had 60. By this time tomorrow, I may have even fewer! I know many other people in the same boat, and let me tell you, this feels really, really good.
Most of these newsletters are courteous enough to provide an opt-out option—albeit in fine print you need a magnifying glass in order to see, oftentimes. Some, however, don’t, and I have simply marked them as spam. I also sent them e-mails with the subject “Unsubscribe” in case that helps. Some, however, are very obnoxious.
So far, the worst has been Unilever. I don’t even know how I ended up subscribing to anything from them, but when I tried to unsubscribe, I had to fill out this stupid form indicating which newsletters I wanted and which I didn’t—all individually. Otherwise, the most annoying thing is the two or three steps—particularly the confirmation step some sites require. Most of the sites I have unsubscribed from only took seconds, though.
Go ahead and try it. Just leave five newsletters that you are sick of getting and see how much it lightens your load. You might be surprised!