The Dropbox Mailbox App set me on my path to the nirvana of inbox zero.
Along the way I was reminded why I hate spam, and why I do my best to avoid being seen as a spammer by any of my awesome subscribers.
The deletion/archive process before using Dropbox Mailbox App
I had two Gmail accounts that I wanted to connect to Mailbox.
When I first configured it on my iPhone, the app asked if I would like to archive all of my messages at once.
There were over 10,000 emails that went all the way back to 2006 or so. I knew this needed a cleanup process – there was no way I wanted to archive all of the spam that I had accumulated over the years.
A friend of mine suggested the following process:
- Log into Gmail from a desktop web browser. (I had been using Mail.app on my macbook air and other apps on my devices, so this was something I rarely ever did.)
- Go to settings and turn on all tabs. (Social, Promotions, etc.)
- Gmail does not give you a way to sort by sender. So I ended up doing a lot of “from: ” searches to clear massive quantities out at once.
- My first stop was the Social tab. There was no need to keep ALL of the Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and other social network notifications I had been sent since the beginning of time. Besides, if I wanted any of those notifications, I could go look them up on each site.
- After that I looked for other culprits in the other tabs. Paypal, Amazon, eBay and many others got deleted en masse. Again, if I was in need of those notifications, I could go log into those sites.
- Then I began the unsubscribe process to all of the emails in the Promotions Tab. That took forever, but it was worth it. The search term “from: ” was super helpful here.
- Before long I was down to just my inbox, and mostly emails from people’s names I recognized. I did go through many of them by searching for someone’s name as the sender, selecting all, and then archiving if I felt they would be needed later.
The process was a bit nerve-wracking. I kept thinking “what if I need something later?”
But then I decided that, like a lot of people, I’m just a damned electronic pack rat.
It was a really freeing experience.
Using Dropbox Mailbox App on iOS
The service does not yet have a desktop application in production, but you can sign up to be alerted when they do release it.
However, this app works like a charm in iOS. I won’t bore you with too many details, but it’s pretty intuitive, and really encourages you to keep your mailbox clean.
Affirmation: I still hate spam!
Going through this process, I found that at least 40% of the messages I had accumulated were what I’d consider spam (unwanted, or junk email.)
Here’s an example screenshot of the SAME email that had been sent to me over 100 times from different senders:
Each email had the same opening line of “I wasn’t sure of the exact services your firm offers, but I’m assuming it’s more than just SEO?”
I did a little googling and found that these same templated emails go out for various industries, with the word “SEO” replaced by whatever term the recipient offers on their site. Each email promises very cheap leads for their business.
It is a well written email, actually, but a still a sleazy tactic.
Walking a fine line with my subscribers
I maintain an email list and really go out of my way to not have my subscribers think of me as a spammer.
There are a lot of internet marketers that refer to their email lists as “gold mines.”
While that may work for a lot of them, I tread very lightly with the people who have chosen to join my mailing lists.
When they sign up, I believe it is because they perceive value in the content I will be sending them.
If that content ceases to be valuable, they will likely unsubscribe – and that’s totally okay.
I’d never want them to think of my content as spam, however, which is why I put a lot of thought into what I send out to my lists.
Else my emails might get caught up in someone’s great purge on their path to inbox zero.
So have you tried Mailbox app yet?
Let me know what you think below.