Grey Mail: The New Email Nuisance To Hit Your Inbox

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Grey Mail: The New Email Nuisance To Hit Your Inbox

Grey Mail: The New Email Nuisance To Hit Your Inbox

Spam has always been the misery of email, but I’d be lying if I claimed my inbox is full with it these days – it isn’t. Filters and global anti-spam networks significantly reduce it, and more smart customers are loath to give out their email address to just anybody. For years, I haven’t received a single spam mail in my inbox. Grey mail has become the new productivity killer, and it will only get worse.

Spam has always been the misery of email, but I’d be lying if I claimed my inbox is full with it these days – it isn’t. Filters and global anti-spam networks significantly reduce it, and more smart customers are loath to give out their email address to just anybody. For years, I haven’t received a single spam mail in my inbox.

Grey mail has become the new productivity killer, and it will only get worse. What exactly is grey mail, and how can Hotmail assist you in getting rid of it?

Some Statistics

According to a Hotmail-commissioned UK survey, Brits spend two weeks each year managing their email clutter, which is twice as much time as they spend socializing with family or friends. The most of this email handling happens around 6 p.m.!

It’s a sad reality that many individuals suffer anxiety when they have unread emails; roughly one-tenth report having difficulty sleeping if their inbox is disorganized. Although we each have a different approach to handling our inboxes – I, for example, handle mine as a to-do list, leaving only actionable items or emails demanding a response – others have taken digital hoarding to new heights, and assistance is required to clear the clutter.

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1 in 10 Brits never delete an email. Worst of all, 10% of men and 5% of women said they missed a first date because they deleted or didn’t read an important email. All that squandered affection!

Is this, however, really a problem? How much email do we receive? This year, the typical mailbox will get 14,600 emails. Approximately 80% of it will be so-called grey mail.

What Is Grey Mail?

Spam is simple to define: you don’t want it and you didn’t ask for it. Grey mail, on the other hand, is more difficult to get. You may not want it – at least not all of it – but you most likely asked for it. Typical examples of grey mail include:

  • Offers or newsletters from an online store that you frequent (or purchased something from, justonce).
  • “Daily offers” from Groupon or Living Social are often only applicable for the day they’re received, but they still accumulate in your inbox.
  • Mailing lists, such as Freecycle, create a massive amount of emails that are essentially meaningless.
  • As if we didn’t receive enough social media alerts from Facebook.

So, what are your options? Fortunately, Hotmail offers several solutions.

Sweep Up Your Inbox

Hotmail added a new Sweep button last year to assist you cope with inboxes filled with grey mail. During testing, I was able to reduce a 1,000-email inbox to 5 in less than 3 minutes. It might be just what you need to clear up your clutter. I know Gmail’s filters provide comparable functions, but I find the Hotmail sweep tool to be a lot more user intuitive, and it also works retrospectively rather than simply on new emails.

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You can basically do three things with your grey mail:

  • Delete and Block: This will delete any grey mail you no longer desire. Select Delete all from the sweep tool, and you may also block future communications. Nice.
  • Schedule Cleanup: This enables you to preserve just the most recent messages, which is excellent for those Daily Deals emails and the like that you still desire but no longer need.
  • Move All: You may wish to preserve the messages in certain circumstances. Perhaps you’re taking an online course and receiving daily emails? In such instance, just brush them out of the way and file them away. Select Move all from the sweep menu to have them moved to a new folder of your choice.

You may prioritize certain emails even further by adding a custom rule to flag them – this will move any communication from a specific sender to the top of your inbox. Unfortunately, the setup is a bit more difficult. Create a new rule by going to Options -> More Options -> Rules for sorting new messages. Enter the from address of your essential contact and mark them as flagged.

While I don’t have a huge issue with grey mail, I have relatives that do. If you have any, aim them in the direction of the sweep button and watch as they clear the debris.

Do you know of any more features like this, possibly in an offline mail client? I know Justin likes Unsubcribr for Gmail, which allows you to deal with those bothersome unsolicited mailings right at the source. Tell us in the comments!

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