Independent Thinking Blog

The Disney Rule

In case you missed it, I’m not a big “rules” girl.

You need to have rules, but whether (and how) you enforce them really depends on what’s needed.

[bctt tweet=”I believe in rules — but in a spirit of the law kind of way.”]

I’m certainly not a “follow the rules” girl when it comes to running my business. I declined to use a suite number when others were trying to mask their home offices and make their teams of one look bigger. I don’t have a written business plan. I tend to rely on scope of work and not formal, written contracts. I don’t have a Facebook page.

Han Solo -- Solo Rules

That said, I once wrote an ode to writing rules.

Gmail filters most email into folders for me so I no longer have to set up a lot of email rules. All my subscriptions automatically go into the Promotions folder, for example, so I can keep my Primary Inbox for the stuff I need to read first. But there’s one thing Gmail hasn’t fully solved. Spam.

The Disney rule tackles spam.

Disney has spammed me. A lot.

After a trip to Disney World, Disney decided to add me to every single email list the company could invent. Disney travel, Disney shows, Disney movies, Disney channel, Disney music, Disney hotels, Disney properties, Disney cruises… For a while I dutifully unsubscribed from all the lists I never subscribed to in the first place. Then after deleting at least two dozen emails, I came up with a new strategy: direct to spam.

I wrote a new rule.

New Rules (just) For Us

The rule says: Anything coming from Disney goes directly to my spam folder.

I’ve been thinking about the Disney rule lately because Good Housekeeping doesn’t seem to respect the unsubscribe button. I’m pretty sure I (sort of) opted in to several brands’ emails, including Good Housekeeping, when I clicked on a TheSkimm promotion. But opting in doesn’t mean opting in forever — except, apparently, when it does. I’ve unsubscribed three times from Good Housekeeping. I won’t do it a fourth. (Direct to spam, I love you.)

Disneyland bills itself as “the happiest place on earth,” so going there shouldn’t put you in spam hell afterward. And really, what brand that isn’t Spam wants to be known for its spam?

Spam by Christian Barmala (Flickr);  Solo Rules by Luis Angel (Flickr); New Rules by Entressen Kirjasto (Flickr).

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