Unroll.me Helps You Manage Unwanted Emails

4 years ago

The theme I keep seeing pop up in new websites is "reduce."  Or maybe "remove" is more accurate.  More and more sites are coming out with the sole purpose to help you manage your inbox or online accounts.

I get A LOT of emails each day.  Some of that is because people have added me to their mailing list without my permission.  Once upon a time, I used to follow all the links to unsubscribe.  But a few days later, I would be re-added and after this occurring a few times, I gave up trying to get myself removed from mailing lists.  A chunk of my work time is spent sorting through them and hitting delete.

Image: Ian Lamont via Flickr

Enter unroll.me, an email service that rolls up all of your subscription service emails (Facebook notifications, Twitter follower notices, mailing lists, PR pitches) into one email sent once per day.  As unroll.me writes in their about page:

Imagine a world where you get deals when you want them and read newsletters when you feel like it.  Envision the absence of social notifications, service updates and free vacation offers.

That both sounds quite nice and potentially more annoying to my ears at the same time.  Some of those things I actually want to see in real time (and they you can by managing your subscription with unroll.me), and some of those things I never want to see at all.  If things I delete anyway could get rolled up into one email that is sent straight to the trash, it could save me a lot of time.  But it sounds like it has the potential to roll in things I don't necessarily see as problematic at the same time.  And now, instead of simply hitting delete on unwanted emails, I have a single email that I need to open and comb through to make sure that it isn't sucking in the things I do want to see. 

Denise has been using it for six months and admits:

It does a great job of keeping the clutter out of my Gmail box but it has a tendency to add things to unroll.me that I didn’t tell it to add – and since all of these emails are rolled into one, it’s even easier for me to just skip it all, so I miss things that I want to see (or might want to see had I actually seen them).

Plus, in order to actually fulfill its service, unroll.me needs to scan all my incoming emails.  It removes another layer of privacy that I'm clinging to tooth and nail.

Techcrunch admits that unroll.me went through a recent redesign to help battle the tendency to roll in more subscriptions than desired.

After mucking around with the new service for about a day, it seems like a definite improvement over the Unroll.me of a few months ago. It’s still not quite perfect — support for more email providers would definitely help — but considering the number of times the team has redesigned everything, I suspect they’ll just keep iterating until they finally hit that sweet spot.

Lifehacker is much more effusive about the service.

There's also a new archive feature that lets you go back over previous days' rollups, and you can get a preview of tomorrow's rollup before it even lands. If you have a stubborn newsletter that won't let you unsubscribe, you can even forward it to Unroll.me and they'll unsubscribe for you.

Have you tried unroll.me?  What do you think of the service?  And do you also have a problem with too many unwanted email subscriptions?

Melissa writes Stirrup Queens and Lost and Found. Her novel about blogging is Life from Scratch.

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