My Inbox Is Being Flooded By Retailers, Now What?


NEW YORK (MainStreet) —  Cyber Monday will certainly net you some great deals, but it can also land you on the email distribution list of every retailer you were kind enough to patronize.

This means people like me, who chose to do all of their holiday shopping online, are waking up to a barrage of newsletters, advertisements and purported deals in their inbox. How can you keep your inbox from overflowing? Here are a few ways you can get yourself off a distribution list.

Check the Body of the Email

Unfortunately, “getting off of these lists is a little more challenging than people may think,” says Eduard Goodman, chief privacy officer of Identity Theft 911. The only surefire way to eliminate all of the unwanted emails is to manually unsubscribe from each list one by one. Goodman explains that most mainstream retailers will include a link in the body of each email they send that will let consumers opt out of getting future messages.

“These are usually written in very small print at the bottom of the email,” he says. Look for this link the next time you get an email and click to remove yourself from the listing.

Find the Privacy Policy on the Company’s Web Site

Smaller companies may make it a bit harder to unsubscribe, so consumers who seriously wish to unclutter their inboxes may need to visit the retailer’s Web site and search out its privacy policy. You’ll typically find a link to this at the bottom of a company’s homepage.

“It will give you the information on how to unsubscribe,” Goodman says.

Seek Out Additional Services That Will Help You Unsubscribe

Consumers hoping to cut some corners may want to visit the Direct Marketing Association’s Web site, which hosts an email preference service that allows consumers to remove their names for national distribution lists and reduce the number of unsolicited junk email they get. The service won’t necessarily stop all the emails, though, Goodman says.

There are other services that will help you eliminate email subscriptions, such as about, but, similarly, they may not stop all emails from winding up in your inbox. You many yet need to remove a few manually after applying the service.

—Jeanine Skowronski is staff reporter for MainStreet. You can reach her by email at, or follow her on Twitter at @JeanineSko.

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