Many of us subscribe to e-mail newsletters and many of us have multiple e-mail addresses. As someone who runs three e-mail newsletter lists, I think it's time for a lesson in unsubscribing from e-mail newsletters. Clearly, some people don't understand the process because every once in a while, I get angry e-mails from some crank who thinks I'm maliciously continuing to send newsletters after he has unsubscribed. The problem that is the crank tried to unsubscribe using the wrong e-mail address.
To understand how e-mail newsletters work, it helps to understand a few basic concepts:
1. E-mail newsletters are generally managed using software. The subscribe and unsubscribe commands are automatic. No human is involved.
2. Software does what you tell it to do. It cannot determine what e-mail address you used to subscribe. If you don't know, the software has no psychic powers to tell you.
3. If the software cannot find the e-mail address you are unsubscribing with, the unsubscribe command won't work and you will not be unsubscribed. You will continue to get the e-mail newsletter.
Solving this problem is quite easy. When you get the e-mail newsletter, pay attention what e-mail account it is being sent to. For example, I have seven e-mail accounts and subscribe to a number of newsletters. Even though all the e-mail for all these e-mail accounts ends up in one in box, it's quite easy to see which e-mail account received which e-mails.
Every legitimate e-mail newsletter should include unsubscribe instructions. In our newsletters, the unsubscribe instructions appear in THREE places, at the top, in the middle, and at the end. If people don't want to receive the newsletter, we don't want to send it to them.
For most newsletters, including ours, the easiest way to unsubscribe is to go to the site where you subscribed. Click the Subscribe/Unsubscribe link and use the form. Again be sure to unsubscribe using the e-mail address you subscribed with. And please, don't send incendiary mail to the newsletter author. Life is short and people sending out free newsletters really don't appreciate being flamed.