sly : marketing

How I Successfully Filter Email

I receive a lot of email, hundreds of emails, every single day. Some of the email I receive are personal, but a lot of the email I receive are from various lists, from people sending me all sorts of marketing advice and offers, and of course, spam. Actually, I think that probably 30 – 40% of all the email I receive are spam.

I’m using six email accounts, and I’m filtering my email, but it’s been really hard to stop all the spam.

A few years ago, I decided to sign up for Spam Arrest. Since then, I have had complete control of spam, and I haven’t seen a spam message for a very long time. Spam Arrest is awesome, it works when it comes to not receiving spam. The only problem with it is that it’s too difficult to send me an email.

The problem …

If you haven’t sent me an email earlier, and I’m using Spam Arrest, you need to verify your email address (verify that you are a real person and that you own the email address that you’re sending from). Once you’ve sent me an email, a few minutes later you’ll receive an automated email message from Spam Arrest, and you’ll need to click on the link inside the email, and finally you’ll need to enter a captcha code (letters and numbers) on a web page in order to verify your email address.

Even though you should only verify your email address the first time you send me a message, I understand that this is too much work for a lot of people. I believe that I’ve lost a lot of email by using Spam Arrest. I haven’t lost important e-mail, but I’ve lost e-mail that I would have enjoyed reading.

The solution …

A few days ago I decided to cancel my membership at Spam Arrest. I discovered a new and interesting way to deal with my email, and it’s completely free.

Now, I’m using Gmail, the awesome email system from Google.

What I’m doing is this. I’m forwarding all my email, from all my email accounts to Gmail, and I’m forwarding all the email from Gmail to one account. This is the account I’m checking on my MacBook, using Mail on OSX (this works on any email client).

There are three reasons why I’m doing this.

#1 Gmail has an incredibly effective spam filter. It detects close to 100% of the spam I’m receiving. Hence, when I forward all my email to Gmail, all my email will go through the spam filter.

#2 Gmail has more than 7 GB of storage. When all my email arrive at Gmail they’ll automatically be stored in the archive. I won’t delete a single email, and I don’t have to.

#3 Gmail has probably the best search available. It’s very easy to find old email.

This is the set up …

Once you’ve logged in to your Gmail account, click on settings, then, click on “Accounts and import”.

Now, you’ll need to “Add POP3 email accounts”, this way all your email can be forwarded to Gmail.


Click “Forwarding and POP/IMAP”.

1. Forward all the email inside Gmail to one of your email accounts.

2. When messages are accessed with POP, Gmail should archive them.

3. Enable IMAP.

4. You’ll see all your accounts in the left sidebar, and you can access them through Gmail or via the email client on your computer.

That’s it. Easy and free, yet very powerful.

If you’re still having questions about this, please leave a comment.

12 responses to “How I Successfully Filter Email”

  1. Witto says:

    How to deal with these email issues is certainly a problem. Gmail sounds like it works well for spam and thank you for the explanation.

    However, should we be concerned about putting most of our information under the control of one organization?

  2. Gilbert Van Norman says:

    I first got introduced to gmail back when I learned I could make money online with paid surveys. Of course this proved not to make as much as I would like, but it was a great stepping stone to bigger things

    Now I love gmail because its easier to use and now they have a text message verification system. Where they send you a text to your cell phone to make sure that your a human. I like that.

  3. Gilbert Van Norman says:

    Google does control everything. So, people are going to have to start putting all their eggs into one basket.

    I use Adsense, Analytics, Groups, Gmail, and Google Checkout, and Google is my main search engine.

  4. You're right, it's an interesting question, but I'm not concerned.

    If Google goes bad, we'll have a huge problem, a lot bigger than my email 🙂

  5. Karen Giardunio says:

    This is an excellent post! I am very impressed. As someone who has always favored Gmail – I didn't even realize that I had this option right within my reach! I have to thank you for explaining all this in a format which explains quite simply how to accomplish this task. I think a 7 year old could do it- precise, clear and so easy- it takes virtually no time at all! I will be coming back here to learn more! Keep up the good work and I look forward your future posts.

  6. Brice says:

    Gmail is awesome, I've only been using it for a little while, but I haven't recieved even one spam email since.

    When I have to enter an email address for anything online that I think will lead to spam, I simply enter in an email address that I have but don't use. That address now has 1000's of spam emails in it, but I don't get on it, and the email I actually use has nothing. This method has worked well for me for about 2 years now, and I have never missed any important emails using this tactic.

  7. I've thought about this.

    It's almost like a sci-fi movie, where one company controls all the information in the world… and, hmm, what happens next 🙂

  8. Interesting. I didn't know about this feature.

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. When you do this, don't you check that email at all? I am a member of many lists, but once in a while I get some interesting tips.. I would probably do the same as you if I was certain that it would receive spam.

  10. Hi Karen,

    Thanks a lot for your kind words 🙂

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