So what is plus addressing?
Known officially as subaddressing, plus addressing delivers mail in a particular way so that you can better organize incoming mail. Additionally, plus addressing is used as a method to spot if a company is selling your email address without your permission. The format for plus addressing is email@example.com. For example, if my email address is John@example.com
, a plus addressing version of the address may be Johnfirstname.lastname@example.org
Notice the “+” symbol and the word “list” that follows “John”: the email software recognizes this format and delivers emails addressed to Johnemail@example.com
to the “list” folder.
When would I use Plus Addressing?
For example, if I were to sign up for cPanel’s Events Mailing List
, I could create an email address formatted like Johnfirstname.lastname@example.org
. When I receive an email from that company, my server will place that message in the mailbox folder called “list” automatically. Any emails that I get from that company addressed to Johnemail@example.com
will go straight into that folder, instead of cluttering up my inbox. Yay—organization!
So how would I spot if a company was selling my email address without my permission?
So if you’ve signed up for a mailing list for a company using a plus addressing email address, mail from that company should be delivered to the appended +folder location. If for any reason you see unsolicited emails to your plus addressing email address, then you know that email has been resold. Adding a +folder appending to your email account allows you to easily spot unsolicited mass email and unsubscribe (or report) those bad actors.