Saturday, June 22, 2024

How To Unsubscribe From Email Lists

I often see examples of people attempting to unsubscribe from the lists they are on that are doomed to failure. This seems most prevalent on the lists hosted by the major list hosts.

Quite often the request is sent straight to the list itself. If I have time I usually send a quick note to the person concerned, informing them of the unsubscribe address: I know it can be most frustrating continuing to receive mail you don’t want.

But don’t think for a minute that I’ve nothing better to do than look for unsubscribe addresses for people – far from it! I don’t need to check…

I already know!

It doesn’t matter what the list is – if it’s on a major host – I know how to unsubscribe.

How do I know?

Because there is a simple formula common to almost all that anyone can learn and remember.

For any of the major host’s (Topica, OneList, eGroups, Listbot, etc.) all you need to do to unsubscribe is send a BLANK email to the unsubscribe address.

This address is the same as the list address with “-unsubscribe” placed between the list name and the “@” symbol like this:

becomes to unsubscribe from the list.

That’s ALL there is to it!

(Incidentally, adding “-subscribe” i.e. will add you to this list).

Lists hosted on Majordomo servers don’t follow this system but instead use commands like “REMOVE”. In my experience these commands are always placed in the BODY of the mail, not the subject line. To be sure you can try putting it in both.

Unfortunately, though the command “REMOVE” placed in the message body is the most common method used by Majordomo servers, it’s not universal and other commands like “UNSUBSCRIBE” or “unsubscribe listname” are also employed.

If you’re unsure try “REMOVE” first. The Server will always reply to your mail, either telling you that you’ve successfully unsubscribed or that it doesn’t know what you’re talking about! In the latter case, the reply will usually include both subscribe and unsubscribe instructions for you to follow.

Putting he word “REMOVE” in the subject line is most commonly used in connection with auto responders, or by those managing their own lists, either manually, or semi-automatically through the use of mail filters.

There are of course numerous other unique systems out there, each with their own set of rules to follow. Hopefully though, you’ll now find unsubscribing from the majority of lists a little bit easier.

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