Why You Should Unsubscribe from eMail Lists

unsubscribeOver the years I’ve signed up to dozens of different email lists.  Many of them are great and provide a steady stream of exceptional information.  Others, however, aren’t quite up to that standard.  Some just constantly send out marketing messages, others are emails about topics that I’m no longer interested in, and some just aren’t really worth the time to read.  Well, through January and February this year I’ve taken the time to closely look at every email I get from these types of lists, and then unsubscribed from those I no longer find beneficial.

I was surprised at just how many I was getting.  In the past I would always just read the ones I knew I was interested in, and delete many of the others without even opening them.  I’ve removed myself from at least 25 lists, likely more, and I’ve got to say, I’m VERY happy with the decision.  My phone (where I get most of my email) isn’t lighting up nearly as often, which is nice, and I’ve actually found that I’m able to benefit more from the few lists that I remained on!

Some things I’ve noticed

Here are some of the things I’ve noticed while unsubscribing, and in the time since I’ve really started actively removing myself from these lists.

  • Fewer Distractions – If you’re like me, you can’t help but look over at your phone when it lights up with a new email.  Even if I don’t immediately read the message, it is still a distraction from my actual writing.  Since I’m getting far fewer emails per day, that means far fewer distractions, so I can be more productive!
  • Unsubscribing is Easy – When I started unsubscribing from lists at the beginning of the year, I was worried that it would be quite time consuming.  The fact is, however, that in the vast majority of cases all I had to do was click the unsubscribe link, and then a confirm button.  It takes only a minute for each one, which is far less time than I was spending deleting these messages as they arrive.
  • I’m Reading More Emails – This one really surprised me.  Since I’m not longer getting dozens of messages that I don’t care about, I am actually taking the time to read the ones I do care about.  I’ve learned a lot and saw some very interesting posts because I now know that virtually every email that ends up in my inbox is something I actually care about.
  • Cleaner Inbox – I’ve been TERRIABLE at keeping my email inbox clean.  In fact, about two weeks ago now I made a commitment to myself that at the end of each day my total number of messages would be lower than it was when I woke up.  I started out with a little over 3500 emails, and now I’ve gotten it down to about 1800.  Still a long way to go, but since I’m not getting tons of new ones, it is actually giving me a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ feeling.  I’m hoping within the next month or so I’ll be able to have an empty inbox at the end of the day!  This is indirectly because of me unsubscribing to so many email lists.

You’re Doing the Email List Owners a Favor

One other thing to keep in mind if you’re thinking about removing yourself from unwanted email lists is that you’re actually doing the email list owner a favor.  Running an email list costs money, and the amount it costs is typically based on how many subscribers the list owner has.  If you’re not reading the messages anyway, you will be saving the list owner from having to pay for that subscriber spot.

Why You Should Stay on My List

Well, perhaps you shouldn’t…I don’t know.  I always try to send out only valuable information and only send it out a couple times per week at the most, but I understand that the information I send isn’t always what you’re looking for.  Next time I send something out; take a moment to really evaluate whether what I’m sending is of value to you.  If not, I would hope that you would email me, or make comments on the site, and let me know how I can improve.  If my messages still aren’t what you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to unsubscribe.  I want you to be successful, and if don’t feel my email list is helping you with that, I wish you the best of luck with all your business efforts.

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  1. says

    This is something I really should take the time to do myself. I always feel disloyal if I unsubscribe, but you do make a good point about not taking up a slot on the email list if I’m just deleting the emails anyway. I’m going to take this advice,but your list will NOT be one that I unsubscribe from!
    Jen recently posted…Colorful and Eclectic Home TourMy Profile

    • says

      Yeah, I struggled with feeling disloyal at first too. I can always resubscribe later to those who I want to down the road. Plus, if the email list owner is really there to help you, they will want what is in your best interests. sometimes that is being on their list, and sometimes it isn’t. If, for example, someone is getting distracted by my email and that is keeping them from taking action on their projects, I hope they would unsubscribe!


  2. says

    Hi Michael,

    I think we are going through an epidemic of useless emails. As more and more people get our email addresses on their mailing lists, it is only going to grow. This is why so many of us are becoming indifferent to what we are getting, and in some cases annoyed and upset, since some of the subjects are totally unacceptable. The only thing that stops me from unsubscribing is not wanting to spend time on it. I know that in many cases my email address has been shared, and unsubscribing from some is not going to help to reduce the volume anyway. But maybe I should just do it.

    Best wishes,

    Galina St George recently posted…7 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Set Up A BlogMy Profile

  3. says

    Hi Michael,

    You bring up some interesting points. I myself, have been inundated with so many e-mail offers the past few years. It was only until recently, I decided to clean up my email by unsubscribing to lists that I felt no value. At the end of the day, I feel that most marketers teach the same thing, but it boils down to who you resonate with the most to stay on their list. Thanks for the great post!
    Nate recently posted…What Entrepreneurs And Monopoly Have In CommonMy Profile

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