Quick Gmail Hack for Giving Out Your Email Address

— 2 minute read

If you're ever signing up for contests, email newsletters and other things online where you have to give out your email address and you feel like it's probably yet another scam to just get your email address - here's a tip if you're using a Gmail based email account1 for your email address.

It's All in the Plus permalink

Just put a +nameofcontestorwebsite after your regular email name but before the "@" sign. So if your email address is promommyblogger@gmail.com, and the website you're signing up for my email list you'd use promommyblogger+chrisenns@gmail.com.

Any emails that get sent to promommyblogger+chrisenns@gmail.com will still come to your inbox just like emails sent to promommyblogger@gmail.com - but now you can filter or mark as spam automagically using Gmail filters.

Screenshots permalink

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Why? permalink

Using a filter for that specific address allows you to tell if I'm spamming you. And then you can have Gmail filter it automatically and delete it, mark it as important or do whatever you want with those messages.

Alternatively you could just consistently use a promommyblogger+contests@gmail.com address for all contests you enter and then just mark them as read, archive them into a folder and then go back every so often and look through those emails to see if you've won. That way all those emails will skip your inbox so you don't have to delete them and you can also go back easily enough to search for the winning message.

  1. This works for Google Apps based accounts. It may work for other email platforms as well. Your mileage may vary.