Get Me Off This Mailing List! The Insider’s Guide To Removing Yourself From Mailing Lists and eMail Lists.

Electric Marketing mailing lists are targeted, compiled mailing lists of 60,000 corporate influencers and budget holders. If you’re included in our mailing lists and you don’t want to be, we’ll remove you within hours. We won’t be pleased about it. We’ve selected you as a business person with senior responsibilities that other companies want to reach. And we only allow verified companies offering products and services pertinent to your role to access our data. But we will swiftly remove you from the mailing list.

We often get messages requesting removal from people who are not on our mailing lists and messages from corporate managers who do not believe that we have removed them from our mailing lists because they still receive business marketing emails. Here is our guide to the mailing list business and how, if you really don’t want to receive information that is pertinent to your job and industry, you can get yourself taken off mailing lists for good.

  1. Remove your email address from the internet. First type your email address into a search engine. You may find that your email address has been scraped from the web and added to a mailing list. Your email address may be on your company’s website as a senior manager or perhaps your email has been added to the end of a corporate press release or enquiry form; either way your email address is sitting on the web, ready to be picked up by web spiders or web crawlers. These are programs which trawl the internet, ‘scraping’ email addresses from web pages and adding them to mailing lists which are then sold at bargain basement prices. If you’ve ever received an offer of a mailing list of a million contacts for $99, this is the source of that data. No human has been involved in the compiling of that data, just the guy who wrote the sales pitch. It leads to a lot of untargeted emails coming from outside the UK and no amount of Data Protection Regulations can protect you from these data pirates.
  2. Go back to your favourite search engine and put in your name and company name “jane+doe”  “electric+marketing”. Are you listed in an online email directory such as RocketReach or Contactout.com?
  3. Are you receiving somebody else’s emails?  Maybe you are still receiving all the emails forwarded from your predecessor’s inbox?  These emails will look as if they are addressed to you (but may begin with Hi Neville). Ask your IT department to set up an automated reply for that email address that says something like “Neville left Electric Marketing in 2015. Please contact the office on 020 7419 7999 and we’ll be pleased to help you with your enquiry”. Or you can go back to step one and start removing Neville’s email from the Internet which is the time-consuming smart thing to do if Neville still receives emails from clients and sales prospects.
  4. Do not tick the opt in boxes when you buy online. Do not add yourself to any more mailing lists. GDPR makes consumer mailing lists opt-in and forbids the box that adds you to the mailing lists of a company’s “selected partners” if you fail to tick it. But this not does apply to business-to-business marketing. There is still the box that opts you in to a business mailing list if you fail to tick it and opt yourself out.
  5. Stop accepting free stuff. When you sign up to receive a free industry magazine or email, part of the deal is often that you accept “marketing messages”. Selling email lists and advertisements on newsy industry updates pays for the writers and compilers of your free business information.
  6. When an unwanted email comes in, click through to the unsubscribe page and read the name of the list you are on. Sometimes it will give the name of the company which supplied the data. Search online for that data company and contact them directly so that they cannot pass your email address to any new email marketing customers. They are obliged by law to remove you within 28 days of your notifying them that you do not wish to be on their emailing list.
  7. Take yourself off LinkedIn.  LinkedIn charges for its InMail service and when you sign up you agree to receive those InMail messages. But if you have put your name, job title, company name and location on LinkedIn, it is easy for other business people to find your phone number and to call your company or send you an email. GDPR allows companies to email people at other companies providing the email is about a business matter.
  8. Or remain on LinkedIn but disguise yourself. Some people are describing their role and company in their LinkedIn headline eg Heading Up Marketing at Major High-Street Bank or eCommerce Specialist at Top Five UK Supermarket. Alternatively, use a different version of your name, Rob or Robert, Amanda or Mandy whichever your do not use in your email address.

If you are doing an important job in a significant UK company, other business people want to contact you. You may not want to hear from them, what they have to say may not interest you, but if you are in a senior role with budgetary responsibilities, accept that other business people will get in touch. And their right to contact you once by email is enshrined in the UK’s Privacy & Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulation 2003. The law is different in Ireland and most of the rest of Europe.

The UK is a marketing friendly business space.

Serious business people keep their minds open to new ideas, refresh their supplier base and take on new business practices. Pushing forward with new ideas, updating company business processes and being an early adopter of new technology are hallmarks of successful corporates and their senior teams. How can you find out about the latest trends and new technology if you don’t read pitches from potential suppliers?

Obviously some companies abuse this right, take hold of your email address and send you stuff three times a week.

Hit the unsubscribe button.

Show no mercy.

I’ve written about over-frequent emailers here.

Posted 10 August 2015
Updated 1 November 2018