What’s your email address worth?

Email is a fact of life for most of us.  It’s a critical communication tool in many businesses and can be the key to keeping the business moving. You can’t use social media and other membership sites on the internet without an email address.

When using social media you may be asked to find friends or acquaintances via your address book.  You give access to your address book and the social media site will look for friends whose email address matches those in your address book and may also send a request to join to the friends’ email address for which it didn’t find a match.

People often complain that they can’t find me on social media using my email address…with good reason.  I don’t use my normal email address to sign up with social media sites.

Everyone wants your email address.  Your email address has both perceived and actual value.  When you visit a website, the site owner wants your email address to provide you with information and to make future sales.  They want you to return to their site and will send you emails so you will return.  They use email addresses to provide specials and coupons.

Most websites which collect your email address will respect you in the morning.  They won’t sell your email address or share it with others.  The number of emails you receive will vary but hopefully they will tell you what you can expect.  Some will send emails almost daily which can be annoying if it’s not something of interest.  These sites want to provide good information or services and only desire to build a good reputation.  The emails you receive from the reputable website will have a valid “unsubscribe” option to remove your email from their list.  Read any opt-out or unsubscribe messages because there may be other valid uses where your email address may continue to be used.  Of course there is always the less than honorable email with an unsubscribe link which is only looking to have your email address confirmed.  It’s a roll of the dice but they’re probably going to keep sending to you anyway unless the email is rejected as undeliverable.

Some sites will collect your email address and share, share, share.  Your email address will be shared so many times you’ll feel like you’re standing in a downpour.  Email addresses are valuable to legitimate online businesses and marketers but to spammers and other less than honorable marketers your email is as good as gold.

You must be careful and it’s very important to have current anti-virus software installed on your computer.  AVG has a free version and we are resellers for AVG if you’re interested in a paid option.

Most ISPs (internet service providers) allow multiple email addresses per account.  The free email providers like Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and AOL do as well.  Most of the new smart phones can handle multiple email accounts and you’ll probably get an email account with the phone.

I use different email addresses for different purposes, one email address for important stuff, one for social media and another to subscribe to email lists, etc. This way I can check the important email on a regular basis and view the other emails when I have more time to relax and concentrate on the messages.

Don’t misunderstand…I get lots of junk mail.  I spend most mornings deleting all of the junk email I received overnight.  I do however check lots of email addresses everyday because I manage several websites so I am not the average user.  I just believe that using multiple email addresses will make your life easier if you’re comfortable using more than one.  One email address which I’ve had since 1996 is almost entirely junk email.  I may get 5 out of every 100 which isn’t deleted without being opened.

Targeted marketing is helping companies personalize their emails and this is a good thing.  Email is like life, there is no free lunch.  When you give your email for something FREE, the price will be a full email box.  It’s true you don’t know what your getting until you get it but if it’s good, you’ll probably appreciate getting emails from that website.  There’s always something to learn and if you give us your email address, we don’t sell or share it with anyone!