How to Unsubscribe, even when you can’t.

You’ve got mail!

Like most of us, I receive a lot of emails every day. They fall into three categories:

  • email addressed to me personally.
  • emails from blasts that I am expecting to receive (for instance when I subscribed to a newsletter or a software).
  • emails from blasts that I never asked for.

The last category is of course the most problematic one.

I am using Gmail so a lot of emails go to the spam folder automatically (I am not using the three tabs proposed by Gmail that I find confusing, only one inbox).

But even in my inbox I receive some unwanted emails I can’t unsubscribe from. I think that this is due to the fact that some spammers use mail merge tools for Gmail: they can send a lot of email directly from Gmail and don’t have to add an “unsubscribe” link. There are more and more of these mail merge tools.

But I have a solution for “unsubscribing” without them even knowing it. Let me tell you the tedious way and then the easy way.

The tedious way

The good news with the tedious way is that it’s totally free. The bad news is that it is, well, a bit tedious. I use a feature of Gmail called Filters.

When you are in an email, just click on the arrow on the right and you will have a dropdown menu with the option to “Filter messages like this”.

This filtering feature is pretty advanced (you can direct to different folder, filter by keywords and so on) but it also has drawbacks:

  • a bit confusing: you have to use it often to remember how it works and not filter emails the wrong way.
  • a bit tedious: it takes several steps to create your filter. It’s ok if you want to send some specific notifications to a specific folder for instance but not great if you want to create a new filter for every spammer. That’s why I looked for another way.

Now, the easy way

The good news is that it’s easy, the bad news is that you have to pay a (small) one time fee.

My easy way is to use a Chrome extension called Spameo by Toolny.

It’s much easier to use than Filters: with just one click you can block an email or full domain name. It sends the email to the Trash, where they are deleted after 30 days.

It’s actually quite useful to also unsubscribe from lists for which you might be scared to click on their unsubscribe button, in case it leads to a website with viruses.

I also use it for my spam folder in fact. Let me explain. I check my spam folder regularly as Gmail is not perfect and sometimes some interesting emails end up there. I know… The spam folder is often filled by the same senders and I get rid of those using spameo, especially if they use the same domain name all the time. But that’s just me ;-)