Is that a birthday greeting or are you just trying to sell me something?

As a giant panda, Meng Meng does not need to worry about corporate emails on her birthday. | Photo by Chen Jimin/China News Service via Getty Images

Automated birthday emails are a constant of modern life, right up there with death, taxes, and computer updates with poor timing. Once a year, my inbox fills to the brim with reminders of just how many companies I’ve entrusted with my birthdate.

But not this year. No, this year was going to be different. This year I went on a relentless unsubscribing kick, just ruthlessly clicking the unsubscribe button whenever something from a corporate mailing list came into my inbox. But I knew that some things were definitely going to still sneak through.

See, companies can’t resist a birthday. It’s one of the easiest things they can do to get someone’s attention. “​​Birthday emails are one of the most effective emails you can send,” says a blog…

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