My personal experience with email over the last few years? I’m ashamed to say it’s been a history of walking out on inboxes when I don’t love them any more. Fickle, unfaithful, and unwilling to commit. That’s me.
I’m not sure when it all started, but I know there’s a series of Hotmail or Outlook accounts littering my past like abandoned dwellings (to say nothing of GoDaddy). Yet it always starts so well. Signing up with a new identity and password, finding everything neat and tidy (i.e. empty), then communicating the latest address to a few selected friends. I’m not sure where it all starts to go wrong. You give the email address to a business, you sign up for a newsletter you’re never going to read, the spam starts to arrive.
It’s a gradual process, but eventually there’s so much clutter that I started missing the messages I actually need to see. And that’s when I think about hitting the road again.
Now sure, there are ways to alleviate the situation. I’ll admit that moving to Gmail made a big difference to spam. With my spam filter set high, I get almost no unwanted spam in my inbox any more; although, yes, some emails I want to receive do get marked as junk.
But then there’s the self-inflicted spam, by which I mean promotional (or even just informational) content I said I’d like to receive—or from which I’ve failed to unsubscribe. Tasting Table and Snooth, Hatched and Good Passports, Juice Update and Edible—okay, my interests are obvious. They tell me about events and offers every day. Or they would if I opened their emails.
I know: I should be more careful about what I solicit. Or maybe I should be organizing this inflowing stream of mildly interesting intel into folders. I should use labels, or categories, or whatever the latest organizational tool is.
But you know what? It’s easier just to move on and start afresh. Yes, I’m an email marketer’s nightmare. Fortunately for the industry, I’m fairly atypical. But as long as email accounts are free, you will know me by the trail of abandoned inboxes.