Do you feel as though your email inbox is under siege with dozen or even hundreds of daily emails from mystery shopping companies? Ready to declare email bankruptcy and start over again with a new email address? Wait! You don’t have to take drastic measures. Here are a few tips you can use to get your mystery shopping email under control.
When you first started mystery shopping, you may have felt a little excited every time an email from a mystery shopping company showed up in your inbox. But after shopping for a while, and signing up with dozens of companies, the number of emails can be overwhelming. If you are a new shopper who is not yet at that point, this article is for you, too. Pay special attention to the section at the end about setting up email systems. These tips will keep you from becoming an email victim!
Let’s start with what you should NOT do: Do not click the spam button and report the emails as spam. They are not spam. You asked to receive them. The fact that you have now changed your mind does not make them spam. The problem with reporting them as spam is that it will cause Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to start classifying all of the emails from those mystery shopping providers as spam, and they may be blocked for shoppers who want to receive them.
There are a few different strategies you can use, depending on why the emails are a problem. Are you taking a short break from all mystery shopping and do not want to receive offers? Are there some companies that have shops that just are not interesting to you? Are you just trying to get your inbox under control and manage the flood of mystery shopping emails? Or are you totally over mystery shopping and do not want to hear from any company, ever?
Let’s take these situations one at a time, starting with wanting to cut the cord and stop doing any mystery shopping at all. The best way to do this is to go to each company where you are registered and deactivate your account. The way to do this will vary, depending on the company and the system they use. Usually, this will be an option on the shopper profile page where all of your personal information is stored, such as name, address, email address, etc. For example, many SASSIE companies will have a place for Account Status and a link you can click to change your status. When you click on that link you see a form like this:
Click on Deactivate and you will no longer receive emails. You will also not be able to apply for shops from the job board. Companies that use systems other than SASSIE will look different, but deactivation will usually be an option on your profile. If you change your mind and want to start mystery shopping again, most companies will allow you to reactivate yourself after a voluntary deactivation.
If you just want to reduce the number of emails you receive, but you still want to be able to apply for shops via a job board, most companies allow you to stop email notifications. In the above example, you would click on “Do Not Email Shop Offers.”
You may choose to completely deactivate all of your accounts, or you may just stop emails on all of your accounts. You could also decide to deactivate from a few companies that you have decided you no longer wish to work with and just stop emails from others.
If you have a log of all of the companies to which you have applied, you could go through the list and change your preferences for each company on the list. However, there are probably several companies you applied to that never send you shop notifications. It may be that they no longer have clients in your area or for some other reason you never hear from them. You may not want to mess with updating your profile to stop emails you never get anyway. So another way of approaching this is to deal with each company as they send you notifications. If you get notifications from five companies today, you log in to each of those five websites and update your profile. Do the same tomorrow and the next day, until you update all the companies that email you.
Another possibility may be setting up a system to better manage all of the emails you get. The best way is to have a separate email address you use only for mystery shopping. That way, when you want to take a break from mystery shopping (whether it is for a week or a lifetime) you can simply ignore emails to that address.
Of course, if you are already registered with lots of companies using the same email address you use for everything else, it is a bit more complicated. You can choose a new email address and update all of your profiles with the new address. (If you use the paid JobSlinger Plus app you can update all of your SASSIE profiles at once.) If you are MSPA certified, be sure to get a new certification code, as the code is tied to your email address.
Updating all of those profiles can be a hassle, so here is another idea. Most email programs (e.g., Outlook, Gmail, Thunderbird, etc.) have filters or other ways of classifying emails. The specifics will depend on what system you are using to read your emails. You can find the instructions for doing this in Outlook here, for Thunderbird here and for Gmail here. When you filter your emails this way, it is easy to go through all of the emails in the mystery shopping folder and quickly deal with them.
There is another tool you can use to unsubscribe from any kind of email list, not just mystery shopping. It is called Unroll.me. When you sign up, it filters all of your emails and presents a list of subscriptions to you. Click on the lists you want to leave and they handle the unsubscribe for you. The service is “free,” but of course nothing is really free. The price you pay is privacy. Read how they use information from your commercial emails here.
Do you have a favorite way of dealing with large volumes of email from mystery shopping companies or others? Share your strategies in the comments.