Every morning I wake up and have 20 new emails. All of them are trying to sell me something and convince me to part ways with my hard earned money. How much money do you think this costs people per year?
Email is a great invention. While it does take away the joy of getting actual mail, it is the ultimate in convenience. But it can also be the ultimate in temptation too.
Most of us have at least one email account on our smartphones and if you’re like me, that email account is the one you use for everything. If I left it unchecked for a day, there’d probably be 25 or more emails. Some of them are even there when I wake up – I have an average of 4-6 emails just waiting for me every morning.
I wondered how many of those emails I actually needed and how many were just tempting me to spend money.
Here is what I found in my emails from just 1 week:
- 6 different clothing companies had sent me several emails each with either a gift voucher for my birthday or notice of a sale.
- Another clothing company noted that I’d started an order and hadn’t finished it (I changed my mind on yet another black dress) so they offered an extra 15% off to encourage me to buy it.
- A specialist stationery company sent me a gift voucher for my birthday in an amount that can literally buy nothing at that store.
- GroupOn and Living Social sent me emails EVERY DAY about stuff they had that they thought I would like.
- Ticketek told me about all the shows and sporting events that are on in my home town of Brisbane.
- Jetstar and Qantas both sent me love letters about sales and great deals on flights, oh and hotels and car hire and restaurants that correspond with those destinations.
- Several department stores and specialty stores thanked me for being a member and reminded me about their rewards programs.
- eBay kept telling me about the items I was watching and the special sales they had on.
- I got bombarded with “special deals” on cosmetics and handbags.
- The two stores I feel the weakest at – Howards Storage World and Officeworks – both reminded me how much they loved me.
Now, sure, these are just emails and I can delete them straight away if I want to, but every email is written by a communications or psychology expert to get my attention. They use the words and the colours and the effects that work to get our minds racing and our impulses active.
The worst ones are the ones that hook you in with a great deal that you just can’t believe is real, it turns out not to be real, but you’ve clicked on the link now and you are in their grasp. All of a sudden you’re browsing.
And this is just email!
Think about all the other times you see advertising during the day: it’s on your favourite websites, it’s on the radio, it’s on the TV, it’s at the cinema, it’s in the newspapers and the magazines, it’s on billboards and bus stops and even inside the buses and the taxis and on your shopping dockets. GAH! It is EVERYWHERE. It’s no wonder we feel the pressure to spend.
Anyway, back to email.
Here are some tips to improve your savings by reducing your emails:
- Unsubscribe from any emails you don’t need to see. It’s unlikely you will forget these stores exist and the loyalty programs will still work if you don’t get their emails. Bye clothing companies, it’s been swell.
- If you still want to receive notification of sales, alter the frequency of the emails you receive. You can usually do this through the unsubscribe function where you can choose what emails you will get and when.
- If the unsubscribe function requests a username and password and you just can’t remember it, email or call the customer service section of the company and request them to remove you manually. They usually action it fairly promptly.
- Set up a rule on your mailbox so that emails from certain stores that you want to keep receiving go into a folder you can access later.
- Be more aware of what you are signing up for online. Don’t just tick yes to everything – think about what you actually want to receive and how often you want to receive it.
There are programs you can sign up for that will put all your junk mail into a simply daily or weekly digest or that will unsubscribe you completely, but I haven’t tested these out so I can’t vouch for them.
I’d be interested to hear from anyone that has given these a go?