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Manage Email Newsletters with Gmail Aliases

How to Manage Email Newsletters with Gmail Aliases

Automatically archive, star, label or block newsletters with precision or across the board: find out below how to manage email newsletters with Gmail aliases.

First, Run—No, Sprint—to Learn Another Language

For in what seems study after study, physical exercise has been observed to directly and immediately improve language learning.

If you sprint to your teacher who immediately begins to shout new words at you while showing you pictures that go with the words, for example, you will learn the associations quite a bit faster.

Want more time for sprinting and learning? Have Gmail manage your email subscriptions the way you like. It will learn extremely fast and not forget. Ready? Set…

How to Manage Email Newsletters with Gmail Aliases (No Matter What Gmail’s Tabs Think)

To have Gmail handle your email newsletter subscriptions in a special manner using alias addresses:

  1. When you sign up for a newsletter, use a plus Gmail alias instead of your regular Gmail address.
    • Simple Example: In place of example@gmail.com, you could use example+nl@gmail.com or example+ladedu@gmail.com (when signing up for the La De Du newsletter).
    • Tips: Use a different +string for each newsletter. This will let you filter with precision.
    • For the most powerful setup, I suggest the following:
      • Add “+nl” for all newsletters.
      • Add a further “+” with the newsletter’s name for precision filtering.
      • For the La De Du newsletter, use example+nl+ladedu@gmail.com, for instance.
  2. In Gmail, click the Show search options triangle pointing downwards () at the end of the search field.
  3. Type the email address you used for the newsletter subscription under To while replacing the “+” sign with “\+”.
    • Examples: You want to filter all emails from the La De Du newsletter and signed up with “example+nl+ladedu@gmail.com”: type “example\+nl\+ladedu”. It is okay to use just the part in front of @gmail.com.
    • To filter all emails sent to a newsletter address, type “example\+nl”. This will include emails sent to example+nl+farnamstreet@gmail.com (for the stupendous Farnam Street) as well as those sent to example+nl+ladedu@gmail.com, for instance.
  4. Click Create filter with this search ».
  5. Pick the Gmail filter options to handle the newsletter emails sent to the address as desired:
    • You could make sure they are categorized as “Promotions”, for example: make sure Categorize as: is checked and select Promotions under Choose category….
    • You could have them marked as read automatically: make sure Mark as read is checked.
    • Possibly archive them automatically: make sure Skip the Inbox (Archive it) is checked; typically, check Mark as read as well.
    • Prevent a useful newsletter (or all newsletters) from being sent to the Spam label: make sure Never send it to Spam.
    • Conversely, block a newsletter with Delete it; also see below for blocking newsletters with Gmail aliases.
  6. Click Create filter.
    • Optionally, check Also apply filter to __ matching conversations to treat emails you have already received with the actions you picked for the filter.

You can combine Gmail filter actions for Gmail alias-detected newsletters as you see fit. Filters that

  • match a more precise phrase (e.g. “example\+nl\+ladedu@gmail.com”) will
    • affect only messages that were sent to the specific address; filters that
  • match more generally (“example\+nl”, for instance) will
    • affect all the newsletters—including the ones also targeted by other, more precise rules.

How to Easily Block a Newsletter That Won’t Stop Sending with Gmail

To have Gmail automatically delete messages that come from a newsletter that refuses to respond to your unsubscription request and leave you alone (possibly only because you need to send a particular email that you no longer can use, but that still forwards to your Gmail account):

  1. Click the Show search options triangle () at Gmail’s search field in a desktop browser.
  2. Type the Gmail alias you used for the specific newsletter you want to block under To: while replacing all instances of “+” with “\+”.
    • Example: Type “example\+nl\+stubborn@gmail.com” if you use the Gmail alias format outlined above to block the “Stubborn” newsletter.
    • Important: Make sure you do not use “example\+nl” alone or a Gmail alias you use for email newsletters in general, or all of them will end up in the Trash.
  3. Now click Create filter with this search ».
  4. Make sure Delete it is checked.
    • To delete all existing issues in your Gmail account as well, make sure Also apply filter to __ matching conversations is checked.
  5. Click Create filter.

(How to manage email newsletters with Gmail alias addresses tested in Gmail with a desktop browser; updated September 2017; )

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Heinz Tschabitscher

Has been writing about email, communication and technology in an engaging and informative manner since 1997. Find out more.