Many people do not realize that most email clients have the ability to create an almost unlimited number of email addresses. This can have many uses. In this article, I will show you a few methods about how to turn your main email address into many. I will also give some uses for these email addresses.
Email Modification Methods
We all have one email address. Email addresses have three sections: the username section, the at “@” sign, and the domain section (i.e. email@example.com). For example, my test email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
However, I can modify this email address and turn it into a virtually unlimited number of email addresses. Email providers take these modified addresses and deliver them to your primary email address. Here are four methods on how to modify your email addresses. These methods can be used in combination. However, it is important to note that not every email provider has all of these capabilities, therefore, you will need to test your email provider.
Case Addressing Method
One method of modifying your email address is to use cases. Most email providers will treat email addresses as case-insensitive. Therefore, any changes in the case will be delivered to the same email inbox. For example, all of the following addresses will be delivered to my email inbox:
Period Addressing Method
Another method of modifying your email address is to use periods. Most email providers ignore periods in email addresses that come before the at “@” sign. Note, most providers will reject consecutive periods. The following addresses will all be delivered to my email inbox:
Note, this does not work with all email providers. Hotmail.com, Outlook.com, and GMX.com are a few providers where this method will not work.
Plus Addressing Method
Another method of modifying your email address is to append a plus “+” followed by some text. The placement must be AFTER your username and BEFORE the “@”. For example, all of the following addresses will be delivered to my email inbox:
Some email providers have multiple domains. Email with the same username of the email address but a different domain will get delivered to the same email inbox. One example is Google Mail. Google Mail has two domains: gmail.com and googlemail.com. Mail sent to the following addresses will get sent to the same mailbox:
Email Modification Uses
Because the modified email retains the original address, they have many uses. Here are just a few.
- Tracing Spam – Modified email addresses can be used to trace where SPAM originated from. If I signed up for a service with a specific address (testytestersondct+ServiceA@gmail.com) and I receive a SPAM to that address, I would know that ServiceA was the original source of that SPAM and that they were giving my address to third-parties who were sending me SPAM.
- Free Trials – If I want to sign up for a free trial of a service, I could create a modified email address for that service.
- SPAM signups – If I have to enter an email address and I know that I will get SPAM from that address, I could enter testytestersondct+SPAM@gmail.com and create a filter to send that email directly to the SPAM folder.
- VIP Emails – There may be individuals whose emails I always want to read first. I could give them the testytestersondct+VIP@gmail.com address and set a filter to label or star those emails.
- Newsletter Signups – I can create an email address for newsletters and then send all those emails to an email folder for later reading.
- Ads – I could give all retail establishments a modified ads email and create a rule to send all those emails to an ads folder.
One email address can be transformed into an almost unlimited number of email addresses by using various modification methods. These modified email addresses are all delivered to the same email inbox. Since the modified email addresses retain their original modifications, we have knowledge of where the email originated. In addition, we can use filters to organize them. A future post will cover how to create email filters.
Let us know in the comments if you have any questions. Also, let us know if you are aware of any other modification methods.