Quick Tip: Unroll.me for Email Newsletter Management
This article was originally posted on 1/20/2014 and updated on 10/18/2017.
If your inbox is overrun with newsletters, Unroll.me can be a huge help.
This service had been around for quite a few years now. A few years ago, I used it for a while though it ultimately didn't fit my needs. Though it didn't work for me, I do still recommend it.
First, I'll tell you about the pros and cons I found while using it, then I'll share with you what I personally do. Play around with your options until you land on what works best for you.
What it does:
Unroll.me scans your inbox and notes what emails are newsletters. Then you see a list from which you decide what stays in your inbox, goes automatically to the trash, and what goes into the RollUp. The RollUp is a single email with all of your chosen newsletters in it. You schedule what time of day it arrives. Ultimately, you're getting all of your newsletter emails in one, at the time of day you want. Easy peasy.
When I first used it, the reduction of emails I was receiving was so drastic that it was confusing but also liberating as well.
- Super-simple and quick. Sign up and it begins automatically. A few quick clicks and you'll already see a reduction in emails to your inbox.
- The RollUp. Going from overflowing newsletter emails to only one is simplification at its finest and elegant as hell.
(Though minor as most of the pain in the ass factor on these is minimal. Also, since I haven't used the service in a few years so some of these things may have been cleared up since I stopped using it.)
- If you forward an email address such as att.net or yahoo.com to Outlook, it doesn't always catch all the emails before they're forwarded.
- For Yahoo users, there were problems with subscriptions being captured. Customer service from Unroll.Me was responsive, though the problems were on the Yahoo end. (Note: this was a problem I had when I used the service...It may not be an issue now.)
- If you get important emails and sales emails from the same company, you'll have to make a choice. You potentially don't see the important emails immediately or the sales emails still go to your inbox. (Example: When I used Unroll.me, I originally sent Vistaprint emails to the RollUp because they send sales emails almost daily. However, at that time Vistaprint hosted my website and any inquiries through my web form came to me from Vistaprint, so those got sent to the RollUp too!) A high-class problem to have, but something to consider nonetheless.
- Not all email subscriptions read as subscriptions to Unroll.me, so not everything can be filtered. Also, some regular emails read as subscriptions but simply clicking "keep in inbox" makes sure they stay where they're supposed to.
- When scrolling through the windowpanes of the Rollup, the email image doesn't always go to the right email header. Clicking out and back in fixes it. So yeah, another high-class problem, but that doesn't lessen the tediousness of use.
Though really they're all high-class problems...we are talking email overload here.
Why I don't use it:
As I mentioned, I haven't used Unroll.me in a few years for a variety of reasons - mainly a raging case of FOMO. While I loved not getting a ton of emails every day, I was also obsessed that I'd miss something so would check the "RollUp" folder that the service moved the marked emails to.
If I'm still checking all the time or afraid I'll miss something, what's the point?
Plus, I get a ton of spam and solicitors due to my various email addresses associated with my web domains. These all popped up as newsletters that needed to be marked. It was fine at first, but became problematic when I wanted to start getting a newsletter again. It was impossible to find the real addresses among the spam and solicitors. So if you get a ton of spam, Unroll.me will be great for a while, but can eventually become fairly inconvenient.
what I do instead:
After I deleted the service (which was as easy as the signing up), I set up two folders in my email files. One titled "To Read - Business" and the other "To Read - Personal." When I check email, I scan the newsletter and then either delete, file into a folder to read later, or leave in my inbox if it has info I want to read soon.
I like to clear out the two folders once a week, but if I don't get to it it's not that big of a deal as I know I'm not missing anything.
It's not the most elegant solution, but it works really well, gives me peace of mind, and has allowed me to reach the illusive "inbox zero" more than once.
No matter which way you choose, it's important to have a solution so that you feel like you run your inbox rather than your inbox running you.