The Inbox & I
July 19, 2012
(This post is sponsored by Hipiti.com.)
I get a lot of email. Like, more than that. A lot a lot a lot.
This is by no means a humblebrag about how ever so popular I am, or anything. I probably get a very small handful of ACTUAL emails from ACTUAL people who count. Opening the laptop in the morning usually reveals a crop like this:
ONE email from a friend, or maybe my mom or sister.
ONE email from a nice friendly blog reader.
SEVENTEEN DOZEN assorted newsletters I did not sign up for, you rat bastards.
SEVENTY-FIVE HUNDRED spammy PR pitches of the Wil Wheaton collating variety (i.e. Hello Blogger Mommy, I have been reading your blog AMALACH for several months now and love it! Your recent post about your dog/baby/houseplant really hit home and is what prompted me to write and offer you the chance to interview Dr. Martin Van Hornsplotch on the role that non-organic orange juice may have played in the TomKat divorce.).
FIVE blog-related businessy emails that are relevant and need to be responded to, provided I am lucky enough to dredge them out of the endless waves of FIVE SUMMER COCKTAIL RECIPES INSPIRED BY A Z-LISTER WEARING NAIL POLISH garbage.
Last December, I finally decided to take charge of my inbox and figure out how to delete all unread messages en masse. I herded them up (then of course frantically read a few that looked suspiciously personal after all, only to once again fall victim to crafty yet useless PR pitches) and the results were kind of shocking:
37,481 EMAILS ARE YOU KIDDING ME WHAT THE SPUTTERING RAGE OF WASTE
I vowed to never let things get that out of hand again. I created filters. I unsubscribed. I marked as spam. I requested to be removed from mailing lists. I refused to give my email address at cash registers, even though that borders on a terrifying level of rudeness for me, because it's not the cashier's fault, but holy lands, please just let me buy some socks for my kids without dooming myself to seven emails a week about KICKY FUN SOCK STYLES FOR SUMMER (AS SEEN ON KINGSTON ROSSDALE).
I set up Priority Inbox and diligently deleted line after line of junk in the "Everything Else" section every day. Until...you know...I got kind of lazy again.
So seven months later, here we are:
(And yes, the timestamps go on like that all day. I'm basically getting another completely useless email every two or three minutes. MADNESS.)
It has been suggested to me — pointedly I might add, by friends and family members who have found their emails getting lost in the Great Unread Sea — that it's time for me to create a second email address. To abandon my beloved, first-wave-of-Gmail-invites-back-in-the-day amalah@ handle and come up with a "secret" address that I only give out to a small select group of people. To basically hand this account over to the retail wolves and the PR people and shipping confirmation emails.
(And that one person who appears to live in the L.A. area and keeps giving my address at stores and specialty boutiques, either because they can't spell, don't realize the "fake" email they're giving out is someone's "real" account, or because they hate me and hate my blog and MWA HA HA I WILL SHOW HER. I WILL SHOW HER WITH NEWSLETTERS.)
You know what? NO. No I will not. This is my email address and I like it and I am keeping it. I will fight you for it. With...more filters and more unsubscribes and the Delete Key of Doom.
(AAAAND here's where the sponsored stuff starts. It's super-helpful though, I promise.)
I am also now using Hipiti to eliminate the retail overload problem. Because yes, there ARE stores that I shop at that I want to get offers from. I want to know when there's a flash sale or a big coupon code. I also very much want to be able to FIND that information, preferably before I'm staring at an online checkout screen wondering if I missed a promo code. Hipiti solves this problem pretty handily: Sign up, select the stores you shop at, and Hipiti monitors them for you. You can view all current offers online in a dashboard mode or get ONE email from Hipiti in place of dozens. (The email settings are fully customizable too, so you can request that you only get emailed specific kinds of offers — I want the good stuff like coupon codes, free shipping, or flash sales; I have no patience for "trend alerts" or "new arrivals.")
And then you unsubcribe from allllll those individual mailing lists and breathe a sigh of relief.
Hipiti is still in private beta, but you are cordially invited to come try it out with the promo code AMALAH. (In honor of my poor, besieged email address! Alas and alack.)
The very cool ladies who created it — Rama and Kristen — are also sponsoring a giveaway here: leave a comment and they'll send one winner a $50 gift card to whatever store you want.(EDITED TO CLARIFY: Uh, duh, one winner! I'll select randomly...so sorry for the confusion!)
(Just...uh...be sure to leave your email address. HA. HA HAHAHAHAHA.)