Not all unwanted email is actually "SPAM". When you
enter many of the various sweepstakes on the Internet, you are
often giving away your email address and "opting-in"
to receive email from the sponsor. Usually, this means you will
end up with email that, although you may not want, you did agree
to receive it. While this may not be a problem for a person who
occasionally enters a sweepstakes, it can lead to a flood of emails
for the serious sweeper. Here are some tips to help minimize this
1) OPT-OUT. The majority of sweepstakes
sponsors will likely offer an "opt-out" or not require
you to "opt-in" in order to enter their sweepstakes.
Unless you are very interested in receiving email from that particular
sponsor, ALWAYS choose the "opt-out" option.
(Editor's Note: The Sweepstakes Wire actually does NOT offer this option as you are joining as a member; however, our newsletter has an opt-out option, so you have the option of opting out after receiving the first one. The Sweepstakes Wire takes care to only
send our monthly newsletters and occasional updates and offers
to our subscribers - you will never receive more than four emails
from us in any given month.)
2) If you do receive an email, follow
the unsubscribe directions, but ONLY if you are sure the email
is not real spam. If you reply to real spam, you have just
validated your email address and have made it even more valuable
for resale. Trust me, 99.9% of the time they would not have removed
you anyway! On the other hand, if you receive legitimate email
from a sponsor that you do not want, go ahead and follow their
instructions for removal. You may need to follow a link or reply
with the words "unsubscribe" in the subject line of
3) Enter fewer sweepstakes more often.
Instead of spreading your email address everyone and getting one
or two entries into many many sweepstakes, concentrate on the
ones you with prizes you really want to win and enter those the
maximum times allowed.
4) Use filters and "rules" to
keep your inbox clean. Depending on your email client,
you may be able to have your emails pre-screened for "junk"
email. You can also turn on rules to automatically delete emails
with certain subject lines like "free" and "offer".
One thing to be careful - don't delete your winning emails!
5) Use a separate email account(s) just
for sweeping. This will keep your work or personal email
separate and will allow you to quickly go through your inbox with
the delete key.
6) Choose your sweepstakes wisely!
You need to learn how to spot sweepstakes that are not quite on
the "up and up". Larger corporations are less likely
to take the risk that they might alienate you as a customer by
sending you tons of unwanted email than a smaller outfit may be.
You should also learn to spot "co-registrations", affiliate
sweepstakes and other sweepstakes designed to quickly amass a
large email database for re-sale.
This should help you determine what your email address is being
used for and whether or not it will be sold to a third party.
8) Enter more off-line sweepstakes.
These sweepstakes are still the preferred method of many sweepers
and usually do not require an email address. For a terrific list
of off-line sweepstakes, I personally recommend Susan
Donahue Erler's Award Winning "Winning Ways" sweepstakes
9) Do NOT post your email address on any
website. Apparently, this is the #1 way that email "harvesters"
gather email addresses. While this would be considered real spam,
it is included here as many sweepers belong to forums and sign
guestbooks where their email address is posted for the world to
see. Again, use a separate email for this purpose or use your
email in the format editor@NOSPAM.sweepstakes.bz and indicate
to the group that they should remove the "NOSPAM" prior
to sending you an email.
10) Only tell your friends if they want
to be told. Do not contribute to "sweepers spam"
by sending your family and friends tell-a-friend emails in order
to get more sweepstakes entries without asking their permission
Our sweepstakes tips and articles may be reproduced in a website,
e-zine, CD-ROM, book, magazine, etc. so long as these four conditions
are met: (1) Articles are reprinted in full with no editing. (2) Any bylines are left intact. (3) Our
copyright information is included at the end of the article as well as a link to read additional tips or articles, preserving
the "hot" hyperlink to www.sweepstakes.bz. (4) You email us at cdegraff@NOSPAM.websketching.com
(remove the "NOSPAM." before sending an email) letting
us know the URL on your site where the article appears, or the medium
used to distribute the article.