Unsubscribe Does Work

I’ve been conducting an experiment on my email recently. The experiment was to determine if unsubscribing from mail I don’t want worked or didn’t work. It worked! I’m now getting a lot less mail that I’m not interested in.

Why unsubscribe?

The Can Spam Act paved a two-way street for spam. On one side of the street it makes advertisers provide an easy unsubscribe option and expects them to prove that you opted into their mailing list. On the other side is prevents anti-spam services from blocking mailing lists that you signed up for.

Now we all know that in practice we are getting newsletters and mail that we didn’t explicitly sign up for. I get a lot of mail where I can see that my address has been passed along by magazines, newsletters, website registrations, credit card companies, conferences I attended, etc. There are a myriad of ways for my name to end up on someone’s approved list that technically meets the requirements of the Can Spam Act but that doesn’t mean I want their mail. Since the spam filter can’t block this “legitimate” mail I need to unsubscribe.

In days past it was known that unsubscribing from mail just put you on more lists of email addresses that actually exist. Spammers sold these “verified” mailing lists at a premium. But the good news is that the Can Spam Act has done some good. I just went through a period of a couple of weeks where I went through and unsubscribed from everything I didn’t want as mail from that source arrived. My unwanted mail is now down to a tolerable minimum.

If you want to unsubscribe from an email, scroll all the way to the bottom and look for the unsubscribe link.


This will carry me through until the next conference I attend so this is a war that is never won, but the battle can be and the result is a much cleaner mailbox.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *