While recent technology innovations have been, for the most part, a positive thing for society, the fact that it’s now so easy to “connect” to each other also means it’s easy for marketers to “connect” to us as well. Most often, these marketers are trying to reach you directly, via your email inbox or your home mailbox. If you’re like me, the majority of the mail in each of these respective boxes is made up of spammy offers, annoying notifications, or catalogs that you never signed up to receive. If you’re lucky, you might find one or two letters or emails from someone you actually care about.
Granted, to unsubscribe from an email list or to set up an email spam filter is not too tedious, but with so many websites trying to reach you, it can become a time suck that you just don’t have time for. Frankly, I don’t even try to unsubscribe from the spam I get in my real mail. To do so is 20x more time complicated than unsubscribing from an email. I recently tried to unsubscribe from Victoria’s Secret catalogs that were coming every week (yes, every week!). The process was insane. I had to visit VictoriasSecret.com, find the Accounts page, figure out where to request to opt-out from catalogs, submit a long form about why I was opting out, and then copy the account number printed on the catalog into a box. It was ridiculous and took me nearly 10 minutes to complete! I wasn’t about to invest the time to do that for every other piece of spam mail I got in my mailbox that day. I surrendered to the marketers.
PaperKarma is a new mobile app made for iPhone, Android and the Windows Phone that automatically unsubscribes you from junk mail that shows up in your home mailbox. All you have to do is snap a photo of the mail and then the team at PaperKarma will contact the Mailer to remove you from their distribution list. It takes five seconds max. I tried it recently and successfully opted out from over 20 different lists. My mailbox is blissful once again. Plus, I feel like a good human being for helping the environment :)
Unroll.me, on the other hand, is best suited for tackling the crazy amount of unwanted subscriptions in your email inbox. The service lets you easily unsubscribe from mail you don’t want to receive, and goes one step further by letting you bundle together all of the subscriptions you do want to receive in a single daily email. For instance, if you really like getting the Brit + Co. newsletter (who doesn’t!?), like checking out headlines from the New York Times, and you also really like getting alerts when someone writes on your Facebook wall (err… posts on your “timeline”), then you can bundle those feeds together into a single email and read them all at once. Trust me, as someone that has recently used the service, it makes getting to Inbox 0 much more feasible.
If you’re tired of your own spam-tastic mail, give PaperKarma or Unroll.me a try, and make your saturated mailboxes a little more bearable. How else do you deal with spam? Leave a note in the comments below or find us on Twitter.