Unsubscribe from 1 (or more) Retail Email Lists to Save Money and Time

Welcome to the this week's Women's Money Week Action Step. Before you get started, we recommend that you read this post about getting started with Women's Money Week.

About This Week's Action

This week's action step is incredibly easy and has the potential to save you hundreds (maybe thousands) of dollars and many many hours of your time.  What is it? Unsubscribe from retail email lists.  Just choose at least 1 or more retail lists that you're on (like Amazon, Gilt, Target, Macy's, or Title Nine Sports) and unsubscribe from the list.

Why Take This Action

You're Removing a Trigger

How often do you get an email from Amazon that says "[Those shoes you were looking at] are 25-35% off?  Or from Target saying "Here are our weekly ads."  You get these emails ALL THE TIME. I know, because I used to get tons of them. But, these emails are triggers.

A trigger, as explained by BJ Fogg, is something that tells you to "to something now." What does a retail email tell you to do now? The email triggers you to go to the retailer's website (or occasionally store), browse around, and buy something then and there.  By unsubscribing from their email list, you'll be less likely to visit their site and less likely to buy something.

You Save Money

By unsubscribing from the email list you're less likely to buy something you don't need and in turn will save money.

You Save Time

Just as important as saving money is that by unsubscribing from an email list you're saving time.  Every time you get an email from a retailer you're spending seconds looking at the email and then ten (or more) minutes browsing the website. Unsubscribe from the email and you'll get this time back in your day.

How Long Does This Action Take?

To unsubscribe from 1 (or more) email list it will take you 5 minutes, tops.

How to Unsubscribe from a Retail Email List

1. Decide Which Retailer to Unsubscribe From

The only hard part of this action step? Determining which retailers to unsubscribe from. I don't think you should unsubscribe from all retailers (unless you really desperately need a financial-kick-in-the-butt due to major consumer debt, in which case, please do unsubscribe from all). Instead, be strategic.  Ask yourself:

  • Which stores do I actually need things from regularly? (Perhaps you're a runner and buy new running shoes every 6 months.)
  • Which stores have me on their list because I bought something from them once 2 years ago?
  • What stores tempt me the most to buy things I don't actually need?
  • What retail emails suck me in and end up wasting a lot of my time?
  • Which emails provide me valuable coupons that I can't get anywhere else? (Note that very few retailers actually provide custom coupons.  The majority of coupons/sales are not customer specific and can be found on sites like Retailmenot.com)
Based on these criteria determine at least one retail email list to subscribe yourself from.

2. Unsubscribe

To unsubscribe, just search through your email for the retailer's name.  Under the CANSPAM Act the retailer is required to tell you how to unsubscribe from their email list - usually in a link at the very bottom of the email.  Just click the link and follow that retailer's instructions to unsubscribe.

2b. Example: How to Unsubscribe from Amazon.com

One of the biggest time wasters in my email inbox used to be  emails from Amazon.  Whenever I would browse something - for instance, a digital camera - a few days later Amazon would email me, telling me that digital cameras 60% off. Of course, I would then visit Amazon and see which cameras were on sale, only to discover there was actually very little, if any, price difference from the days prior. The cameras weren't actually on sale from when I last visited, the emails only were giving me the usual percentage off retail price.

Thankfully, it's very easy to unsubscribe from these emails. Just log into your Amazon account, choose the "Your Account" drop down menu (the menu is also titled "Your Account"). Next choose  "Email preferences and notifications".

Finally, on the Email preferences pages, scroll down to the bottom and choose "Do not send me marketing emails."

 

Commit

You've made it this far!  Now that you know what this week's action is, why to take it, and how to take it, you should commit to taking action. To commit to taking this week’s action, you could simply just tell yourself you're going to follow the steps in the how section.

But what are the chances you are actually going to find the time to do this, when you have so many other things to do? Instead, you should commit and hold yourself accountable. To hold yourself accountable do 3 things:

  1. Leave a comment below detailing specifically what retailer email list you will unsubscribe from. Be specific and tell us when you will actually unsubscribe.
  2. Sign up for the week by registering here. When you "register" for this week's action on Eventbrite (totally free) it allows us to easily email you twice during the week to help hold you accountable.  (If you want to know why you should do this, read this post.)
  3. Set a reminder for yourself. Set a phone alarm or a calendar appointment for the time you have chosen to take that step.

 

This post was including in the Art of PF Blogging Carnival.