Take back control of your purchasing habits and unsubscribe


Ok, I’m guilty of a few online purchases over the years, but since finding minimalism as a way to define my displeasure with consumerism, I have been trying to cut back on my purchases. I have also tried going cold turkey, but that didn’t seem to stick. However, I’m not really surprised with all these marketing message coming at me from every direction, including those that I no longer notice because they are just there. My email inbox has been cluttered for a while now and thanks to the almost unlimited space provided by email service providers I had just been ignoring the marketing messages, until today.

Today I took my first step in trying to fight back against this bombardment of marketing temptations.

I started by unsubscribing to one junk email flyer.

Then a funny thing happened, I found another one and unsubscribed to it, then another and another. It was as easy as clicking the unsubscribe link lurking in small font near the bottom of the emails and in some cases that’s all I needed to do. Wow! If it’s that easy why hadn’t I done this before. I was on top of the world until I came to the Kogan.com unsubscribe link. This one wasn’t going to go quietly.

Kogan.com must a have a ton of unhappy subscribers because they certainly put a lot of effort into the customer retention at that last step in the customer cycle. You see when I clicked unsubscribe in the email which was also bundled up with an email preference management link, I was taken to a landing page that had so many options, I wasn’t even sure if I¬†was unsubscribing anymore. There were options to change the types of emails I was getting and even the frequency of these emails, but towards the bottom I found the gem, it was the “unsubscribe from all emails” button. Just one more step and I was free. I clicked it and Wham!! one last pop-up to contend with. This one informed me that unsubscribing was permanent and couldn’t be reversed.

OMG! are they kidding me, let me unsubscribe already.

Right up until the dying moments of being on their email list they continued their questionable marketing strategy on me. It didn’t work and now I’m a disgruntled customer, so was it really worth it?

Unsubscribing to email lists should be a single mouse click and that’s it, no questions to answer, no bully tactics and certainly don’t make me log back into your site to unsubscribe. I know those emails are being tracked and you know exactly who I am, so it should be a simple single click of your mouse button. Any website that asks anything more aren’t being honest with you and are desperate to keep you stringing along.

However, I do digress.

It you are trying to live a life with less, then removing the temptations is one way to approach your goals. I found myself checking for (real) emails and being distracted by these crazy offers, daily, weekly and monthly. The rub is, I very rarely tick the box indicating I’d like the junk emails in the first place. It just seems to happen. But I’m sure I’m not alone.

Passive consumption of advertising allows the marketer to control your life, from the types of food you eat and when you eat it, the drinks you consume, how you dress, the cleaning products you prefer and the car you desire. The same advertising companies will also dictate how you spend your free time and on what apps, by using the cool crowd influence to get you hooked. However, a good marketer doesn’t even need to start with a cool crowd if he can convince you that one already exists, which is easy if you aren’t paying attention. Sadly, if you don’t take back control of your life then someone else will be happy to direct you through it, but don’t be surprised if you near the end and ask yourself what did I achieve.

I’ve decided to take back control of my life and now need to get a ‘no-junk mail’ sticker for my mailbox to get rid of the physical junk mail. I’m much too busy trying to make a difference whilst I’m on this earth and don’t want to give my precious reading time to some random marketing messages. I’d much prefer to spend my reading time on something meaningful. TV, is almost out of my life too and those silly sitcoms I use to spend hours watching, just aren’t as funny any more.

By the way I unsubscribed from 30+ junk email lists today and it feels great. Why not join me and see if you can beat my number. Let me know in the comments below if you do.

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