Morning all

This morning I felt the urge to talk a bit about email. I get so many people expressing their frustration about the amount of junk email they get, yet when I explore this further I often find that a significant volume of the unwanted emails are from shopping Web sites that the client admits to having used in the past.

Unwanted email is not the the same as spam, junk or unsolicited email. Very often, the unwanted emails come through because in our haste to order a new gadget or clothes, we fail to read all the small print on the checkout page. Virtually any retailer worth their salt will want to send you offers and reminders about their products and services once they have their details. But… can stop this!

First, when you are submitting your email address anywhere, read the rest of the page (and subsequent ones in any checkout or subscription process) to make sure you are not signing up for any unwanted emails. Read carefully, because some Web sites will want you to tick to unsubscribe and some will want you to untick. At this stage, let me point out that it is now ILLEGAL in the UK to send unsolicited email to any individual. So if you have your own business and Web site, it is incredibly important that you give your readers the option, not to opt out of emails but that they should explicitly opt in (not all sites do this, but I believe they should).

Furthermore, it’s not over once you’ve subscribed to a mailing list. Again, it is incumbent upon companies to offer an unsubscribe option. Some will have a simple Unsubscribe button at the bottom of the mail, some will have instructions that you need to reply with UNSUBSCRIBE as the title. Find the option to do this in every recurring email you get (that you don’t want) and take the necessary action!

Junk and spam is easily controlled with the right email service, but “unwanted” emails will never be seen by a computer as junk, because the characteristics the computer is looking for don’t exist in these emails. For every couple of newsletter emails you don’t want, there may be one you do, and to a computer these all look the same. In this instance, you need to take action and unsubscribe from the lists you probably mistakenly joined previously, and make note that you’ve done so. If you continue to receive emails from that company you should contact them and/or the Information Commissioners Office.

Really hope this helps!