We have a few suggestions for how to decrease the amount of spam you have to deal with each day.
- One common suggestion is to avoid putting your email address on your website. I don't personally recommend that, because as a consumer, I like to have that information available. Of course, you might be able to work around this to some degree by using a contact form instead of a link with your email address. You may still find that you get some spam from the contact form, but it will probably be less.
- Keep one junk email address that you use when signing up for anything online. Most of these offers are going to collect your email address in order to send you more important announcements down the road. Because these aren't the most scrupulous people, they're probably going to give or sell that information to their partners too. If you have one Yahoo or Hotmail account that you use when signing up for things where you really don't need follow up, then you can just go in a couple of times a year to empty the inbox.
- You can also reduce the amount of spam you receive by looking to see if a form you've filled out has a checkbox allowing them to send you more information or even to share your email address with their partners. (Yes, I know I keep putting that word in quotes.) Many times this box will already be checked for you, and you will need to un-check it to avoid getting extra junk mail. Keep in mind that when they ask you which newsletter you'd like to sign up for, you are usually able not to choose any.
- Use spam filters. Many email providers will automatically filter your mail for you. Gmail, for example, boasts about a 95% rate for catching spam. If your nonprofit uses Outlook, you may have to go in and turn the spam filters on. One enterprising guy I heard of would forward mail from his company email address to a Gmail account, and then it would be forwarded from there to Outlook. By the time it had traveled this circuit, it would load quickly and had about 99% of the spam filtered out.