I help a number of people when problems come up with their home computers. One common issue is dealing with marketing emails. When buying anything online, one normally must provide an email address. Often this leads to a steady stream of marketing emails from the vendor. My clients deal with this in a number of ways. They mark them as spam, or create a second email account that they use for signing up when buying things online. I have suggested unsubscribing in the past, but a number of people tell me they don’t mind receiving the occasional email from the vendor. However, they would like it to go somewhere other than their inbox.
Now, Gmail offers a service that uses an algorithm to isolate marketing emails to an area called “Promotions.” This is a great idea on their part, although it doesn’t catch everything, and can occasionally relegate actual important emails to the “Promotions” section. I want to suggest that you can use iCloud to create a more reliable method of isolating marketing emails. This method utilizes two iCloud features: Rules and email aliases.
The first step: log into iCloud via a web browser, and follow the instructions here to create an email alias. Once this email alias is created, you now have a secondary email address , but you don’t have to remember another password or create an account with another email service. It also allows you to choose a color that emails coming to that alias will be tagged with.
The next step is to create a rule. You can do this from Mail on the Mac or from iCloud.com – I will focus on the iCloud.com method since it will get all email regardless of whether you check it on your Mac or just on an iOS device. Click on the gear icon in the bottom left of the iCloud.com Mail window. Choose the “Rules” tab from the top of the settings window, then click “Add a rule…” to create one. You will see “If a message…” and you should select “is addressed to” and then enter the email alias you created. Then make sure “Move to Folder” is selected and then select a folder from the drop-down list and or create a new folder. Now every incoming message to that email alias will go straight into that folder.
If you followed those steps, you will have created a secondary email address that you can use to buy stuff online, sign up for online forums, or anything else that might generate marketing emails. Then they’ll all go into a mailbox of your choosing to be ignored or glanced at when you feel like it. And all without having to create a second email account, which saves you from having yet another password to remember, and giving your personal information to another company.