The Purposeful Email Account

As a consumer, it is a good idea to have three different email accounts setup.

Personal/Business Email Account – The first purposeful email address should be used exclusively for friends, family or business. These trusted individuals, in your contact list, should be made aware of the purpose of this email account:

Make it clear, that you do not want your trusted people to share this address with anyone else, including mass emailing jokes and chain emails, any “Send to a friend” or “Invite a friend” services from a third party vendor, or the entering of your email address on ballots and surveys (both online and paper-based). Generally this is a paid (ex: cable/dsl) or business account.

The Commerce and Transactional Email Account – The second purposeful email address should be used for dealing with trusted businesses, such as utility providers and banks, distributors, etc. The purpose of this email allows you to separate personal emails, from advertising or transactional emails:

If you want to receive emails for your daily business transaction, you can have a folder and rule setup for your Accounts Payable and Receivable. If you want a folder to receive advertising on the latest products and services, which you sell and receive, you can have a folder for the different distributors.

The Group Board Email Account – A recommended third purposeful email address should be used for group emails, such as public newsgroups, message boards, and other online services that require an email address for subscription purposes. These type email of email accounts are more likely to expose your email address to spam do to the public nature of there use.

The reason for creating the purposeful email accounts comes down to one simple point. There is too much real spam congesting the internet already. If you only have one account, then it is more often inadvertently exposed to the public internet. The more this happens, the more your single email account can be vulnerable to spam attacks by external parties, whether this is intended or not.

Author: Matt V - @emailkarma

Matthew Vernhout is a digital messaging industry veteran and Certified International Privacy Professional (Canada) (CIPP/C) with nearly two decades of experience in email marketing. Matthew is 250ok’s Director of Privacy, and he is currently the Vice Chair of the eec, after serving for several years as the Chair of their Advocacy Subcommittee. Matthew was recognized as the 2019 eec thought-leader of the year.

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  1. That’s a pain in the neck.

    As a Gmail subscriber, you can accomplish all this and more with a single email address.

    For instance, if your address is
    you could have


    And then you can write a base filter to shuffle subscriber+bills off to a subfolder (label + skip the inbox) or do even more specific things with specific recipients.

    I use this to actually set up a different and unique email address at every place that requires my email address, letting me know if anyone is selling my address (and allowing me to then filter that address directly into my junk folder).

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