Many times when signing up for coupons and free offers on the Internet, we end up with an abundance of unwanted emails junking up our in-box.
This is almost unavoidable since most special offers require that we supply an email address in order to receive the deal and future special offers we are interested in.
There are a few things we can do to off-set the influx of unsolicited emails, or at least keep them out of our primary email account.
To keep your primary account free of junk spam-type email you can create alias email accounts for free. I use six accounts, none of which are my primary account, to keep online offers and coupons in order.
- Restaurant clubs and coupons
- Grocery and drug store coupons
- National mall stores and department stores
- Web-only companies
- Online forums, magazines, newsletters and game centers
By keeping the six accounts I can log on and find what I want by category, quickly. As time goes on, if one becomes too filled with spam, I delete it and create a new one and change my email address at the companies I am interested in keeping.
- Provide Limited Information
When signing up for coupons, discount clubs, freebies or anything else on the Internet only provide the information necessary to complete the request. Usually the forms you complete will have an asterisk (*) by the information which must be completed in order to get the offer. If that information seems excessive, stop and weigh out how much you really want or need the special offer.
By submitting your real information you can expect and increase in:
- Home Address - junk mail in your mailbox.
- Phone Number - phone solicitors calling.
- Fax Number - unwanted faxes coming through at all hours.
- Email Address - spam.
It is important to be super selective before giving out too much personal information online.
Most registration forms offer you the option of receiving future emails. If you fail to check the "No" box, you are opening yourself up to receiving junk email. There are times when you do want to receive additional special offers, such as with monthly coupons for a restaurant you go to regularly. This is where it becomes important to weigh out how much you want the coupon compared to how much you want to risk getting junk mail.
Some of the best deals, especially freebies, seem to land on websites designed with one main page filled with large letters (fonts) promoting one product, usually with an offer that seems too good to be true. An example of the advertising tactic would be - "You are the winner of a free IBM laptop" - and all you have to do is register with your name, address and email in order to receive this wonderful free gift. This is where the old saying, "If it's too good to be true, it probably isn't." comes into play.
Common sense tells us there is no reason why a company selected us out of the blue for such a grand free gift and our common sense is generally correct. The companies making such claims are generally in the business of collecting email and home address information in order to build lists which they sell to advertising companies. Avoid this type of solicitation and if you feel yourself getting tempted to "just try it" be prepared to receive spam and annoying pop-up emails which seem to capture control of your web browser.
To help offset becoming a victim of annoying solicitation:
- Deal with legitimate national companies.
- Use secondary free email account information when joining clubs or requesting coupons and free products.
- Submit as little personal information as possible.
- Avoid "too good to be true" offers.
By just following a few steps of caution everyone can enjoy the wonderful avenue of coupons, special offers and free deals the Internet has to offer.