Disposable Email Use

A visitor's email address is a valuable piece of information to have -- something that most business owners understand and capitalize on. This could be why, regardless of where you go, these days someone is always looking to get it from you. From sales at your local big box retailer to browsing popular news outlets, it seems everyone wants your email address. So how can you get the deals you want and the information you need but keep from getting your email added to a marketing list? Read on...

Your Email Address is Valuable, but Personal

The list of things that request your personal information continues to grow, ranging from apps you download to company websites you visit, restaurants to retailers (online or in-store), discussion forums to news sites and more. Good business owners understand that in order to gather email addresses, something of value must be given in return. However, more often than not, this trade-off can come at costly price for the visitor: A never-ending influx of spam.

While many businesses have good intentions for the emails they send, there are plenty out there with their own best interests in mind. For example, websites with disingenuous privacy terms that allow them to legally distribute, or even sell, your personal information. This means spam from companies you've never contacted! Others depend upon you missing the "Sign me up for additional offers" checkbox that's always checked by default and discretely hidden from view…

When considering all the ways businesses can request, use and distribute your information, one thing is certain: Your email address is your own, and who you share it with is completely up to you. You can't be expected to blindly give away personal information knowing that it takes just one mistrusted interaction for your mailbox to be suddenly inundated with spam.

The Disposable Email Address to the Rescue

Herein lies the beauty of SmarterMail's disposable address -- the tool that provides users with the simplest way to prevent spam from overwhelming their inboxes, and their everyday lives.

Creating a disposable address in SmarterMail is quick and very easy. The first step is to click on the Email icon from the left navigation and then click on the Actions menu in the navigation pane. The Actions dropdown will appear.

Next, click on the Disposable Address menu item and a modal window opens up that contains the 2 settings necessary for creating your temporary account: Selecting the folder where messages for the address should be delivered and the number of hours (between 1 and 24) that the address should be valid.

Once these are set and you click Next, the disposable address will be created and displayed in the modal window. At any time, you can open the modal window from the Actions menu to extend the expiration timeframe for the address (by 4 hours at a time, max of 24 hours) or revoke it in its entirety.

You now have a "valid" email address that you can use wherever you like.

A Disposable Email Account vs Plus Addressing

Now, you may be thinking, "Doesn't Plus Addressing already do this?" Well, while Plus Addressing is similar, it's not quite the same. Plus Addressing is a feature of SmarterMail that allows you to automatically filter incoming email without creating content filtering rules first. You use a specially formatted email address, [Username]+[FolderName]@domain.com, to automatically route messages delivered to that address to the folder specified. For example, when signing up for a newsletter, you can use a plus address of MyUser+NewsletterFolder@domain.com to automatically send those newsletters to their own folder!

So while both disposable addresses and plus addressing will route messages to specific folders in your mailbox, they differ in terms of duration and applicable use. Plus addressing is intended for long-time use, while disposable addresses are used for one-time interactions over a short period of time.

The Many Uses for a Disposable Email Account

Consider these examples where the use of a disposable address can be beneficial:

  • Getting information from a car website, like TrueCar.com
  • Signing up for a trial of a product/service
  • Downloading a document or PDF
  • 'Window shopping' for items online
  • Obtaining in-game rewards in apps
  • Accessing article content on a news site
  • Getting an in-store receipt by email
  • Signing up for a webinar
  • Posting a message on a forum

The examples are almost limitless! Can you recall a time when a disposable address has, or would have, benefited you? If so, share your thoughts in the comments below!