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(also grey mail)

Graymail definition

Graymail, also known as grey mail, refers to emails that fall into the gray area between legitimate email and spam. They are typically promotional or subscription-based emails that a user has opted into at some point but may no longer find relevant or useful. Unlike spam, graymail is not malicious or illegal but can clutter an inbox and make it harder to manage.

See also: email spoofing, angler phishing, spamming

Graymail examples

  • Newsletters: If you’ve signed up for a newsletter but no longer read it, it’s considered graymail.
  • Promotional emails: Retailers often send promotional emails to customers who have made a purchase or signed up for a mailing list.
  • Updates from social media platforms: Notifications about new followers, likes, or comments can also be considered graymail.

Pros and cons of graymail


  • Personalized content: Graymail often includes content tailored to the user’s interests or past behavior.
  • Opt-in: Users have control over graymail because they have chosen to receive these emails.


  • Inbox clutter: Graymail can make it difficult to find important emails among the less relevant ones.
  • Time-consuming: Managing graymail can take time, especially if you receive a lot of it.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security