How many times have you subscribed to an e-newsletter or joined an e-mail discussion list only to discover it really isn't of interest to you? Then the challenge is getting taken off the list.
What's the solution? When you first subscribe, you're automatically sent an e-mail greeting that welcomes you to the list. Save it! You'll have the impulse to toss it right away, but it usually contains information on how to unsubscribe from the list.
If it's long gone and you're trying to escape, go to the Web site where you subscribed to the list and find the subscription information-chances are the unsubscribe information is there. Can't remember where or how you subscribed? Then try to identify the list "owner" or "moderator." This is the person who seems to be in charge of publishing to the list or managing the conversation.
If you're receiving an "announce-only" e-newsletter, you can often just hit "Reply" and e-mail back a missive with only the word "unsubscribe" in the subject to be unsubscribed because chances are, the e-mail will bounce to the owner.
That won't work if you're on a discussion list, however, because your e-mail will be sent to everyone on the list, so instead, compose a brief, polite request for information on how to unsubscribe. Some kind soul on the list, or even the owner, will most likely help take care of you.
Caveat: If you're receiving unsolicited e-mails or "spam." Don't respond to them. Many spam generators are automatic, and they're waiting for you to reply so they can verify your e-mail address and send you more.
Aliza Sherman is an entrepreneur and author of Cybergrrl: A Woman's Guide to the World Wide Web (Ballantine Books). She is currently working on her next book and new company.