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Recently I have been inundated with tonnes of emails. These are promotional emails from valid companies that I have registered with before. I am always very careful in saying that I don't want ANY newsletter or email offers or any email whatsoever from the company.

Now I am receiving promotional emails everyday from several companies. I am always wary of clicking the unsubscribe button because it could tell spammers that this is a valid email address. After doing some DNS lookup on the email source, I reluctantly click the unsubscribe button and login and voila: I am faced with a terribly long list of different types of offers that I am interested in (even though I am not) and I have to go through the long process of deselecting all of them.

Sometimes they even take the trouble to have multiple sections of promotional email settings and I have to go through every section to deselect all the offer emails.

I am afraid that even after I deselect the email offer options, they would come up with new categories of offer emails and sometime later I would have to login to deselect the list of promotional emails.

What is the best course of action to take?

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You need to train your email(account, program,... ) to do this for you on daily basis, when you receive new spam emails. You can find many tutorials on how to fight spam, lots of literature, but you need to realize that it is not one set up and it will work perfectly. You need to find the way that works best for you and apply it again and again. Even after perfect setup, you still may receive lots of emails you dont like.

  1. You need to know what kind of email client you are using. This tool will filter lots of spam you receive daily, but there will be some emails that will make it to you.
  2. Do some research on how to set up your tool correctly.
  3. Apply it on daily basis, when new unwanted emails come, and make sure you wont receive them again in future.
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The primary reason for companies getting you to register is to sell to you. They may offer free content -- at least they should if they want you to stick around -- but they want you to buy what they're selling, or buy something that triggers an affiliate commission.

If they collect your contact information and then never talk to you again, that's just dumb on their part. Shame on them. Expect to be sold to when you sign up.

If you know that you registered willingly, and now their e-mails are unwelcome, then unsubscribe. You don't say what country you're from, but providing an unsubscribe option is part of the CAN-SPAM act in the US.

If you registered legitimately, they'll usually remind you in the e-mail where you registered, and maybe even when. This is to stem off SPAM complaints.

If you don't know whether you registered or not, then just filter the messages somehow.

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Your mail client should have the functionality to mark emails as spam, or you can add a sender to your email block list.

Don't respond to the emails- you are correct in thinking this helps spammers confirm addresses.

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I disagree. "These are promotional emails from valid companies that I have registered with before" - legitimate companies already know your address is valid and aren't likely to send you more email if you try to unsubscribe. Whereas if Viagra is being sold, you absolutely shouldn't click on anything. – Jeanne Boyarsky Aug 25 '13 at 12:41
The problem is that even the ones you think are reputable farm their mass spamming out to marketing folks. Responding lets them know the email exists. – Rory Alsop Aug 25 '13 at 14:08
I've marked a lot of things in my email as spam. Which was about 90%. Now it regards a lot of valid emails as spam as well. – Muz Aug 27 '13 at 7:19
@Rory : I learned something new. Yes, the unsubscribe link is always to some obscure domain name, not the actual website I registered with. So I should login direct to the actual website and unsubscribe myself. – tech Aug 28 '13 at 2:41

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