In 2018, I set myself a challenge to unsubscribe from every email I didn’t open immediately. Within about a minute I had of course changed that to unsubscribe REGULARLY from every email I didn’t open immediately.

And so it began – that first month I went through and diligently unsubscribed to a bunch of shop emails that I’d inevitably ended up subscribed to so that I could get 10% off my first purchase and with whom I had never shopped again. Then I unsubscribed from emails related to jobs or clients that were long gone. Then the emails associated with charities or causes that didn’t understand that asking me everyday was annoying. Then I unsubscribed from all my social media notifications and then…

well you get the picture.  By the end of the year I was pretty much only receiving emails from actual people bar a couple of favourite shops, blogs and news sites. My inboxes were an oasis of moderation and bliss.

I become evangelical about the power of unsubscribe. I was prepared to talk about it to anyone that wanted to know what I was achieving in life. What was I doing that nobody else was doing? WELL THANKS FOR ASKING….

Almost 18 months on, my inbox is back to bursting. And I primarily blame corona. Companies that hadn’t contacted me since the noughties got in touch to tell me how they were dealing with the pandemic, how they were taking care of their customers, and how I could trust them.

After the first dozen I deleted with frenzied glee anything that whiffed of a corona update. Okay I get it, you’re washing your hands. You’re asking your employees to wash their hands. You’re going to throw my food at me should I order it (UNLIKELY RESTAURANT FROM ENGLAND AS I HAVE NOT LIVED THERE FOR 13 YEARS).

But then…. all these companies that haven’t contacted me remembered that they have an email database and in the time of corona they can’t actually see me so they might as well start sending me emails again. And email marketing doesn’t work like that – you can’t just ignore somebody for months or years and then start asking them to trust you or buy from you again because a pandemic has wiped out your business. I’m not that easy thank you very much – I want to be courted like I count. As a marketer I was mumbling profanities at companies with the kind of cheery abandon I normally save for Australian politics. And then I thought to myself….


I do not mind telling you that I have rediscovered the power of unsubscribe with all the fervour of a born again Christian. Like Trump with his Twitter account I am UNLEASHING. Well okay, I’m hitting ‘unsubscribe’ and then ignoring them when they ask me why I’m going… I’m BUSY unsubscribing – no time for your feelings.  At my current unsubscribe rate I’m fairly confident that I’m going to be back in that small oasis of under control inboxes before the end of the financial year.

Current status: SMUG AF