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Announcing FeedMail

I'm pleased to be sharing a project that I have been working on for a while and have been thinking about doing for even longer. FeedMail is a simple service that aims to get updates from your favourite websites to your email with no fuss and no nonsense.

If you are already sold and want to follow some feeds simply go to feedmail.org to get started.

How FeedMail Works

FeedMail works using a set of technologies informally called RSS. FeedMail actually supports a variety of feed formats including Atom, RSS2 and RSS1. These feeds are created by websites and updated whenever new content is posted. FeedMail subscribes to these feeds on your behalf and forwards new entries to the email address of your choice.

Many websites support these feeds. Just post the URL to an article or website that you want to subscribe to and FeedMail will show you the available feeds. For example the following websites support RSS:

RSS feeds allow you to follow content from all over the web without needing to check every site individually. RSS is the the opposite of "the algorithm" that some services use to pick your content. Instead you get to decide what you like and RSS lets you follow any content, no matter where it is on the web.

To make detection of websites even easier you can use a browser extension that lights up when a feed is available. We at FeedMail use Feed Preview in Firefox and have seen a lot of recommendations for RSS Subscription Extension (by Google) for Chrome. Find more info in our FAQ.

Why Email?

RSS is great, but why would someone want to subscribe via email? Don't we all get enough email already?

This is true, and there are a variety of readers for people who prefer to read their feeds in other ways. But email has a number of advantages which makes it our reader of choice.

We Already Have Email

The first reason is obvious, we all already have an email account. This makes it very easy to start following some feeds. No need to install a new app or change your daily routine to stay up to date, simply check your email as normal.

This is especially nice when you just follow a few feeds and don't want to have to remember to check a new app or site for updates.

Synced Across All of our Devices

Another great feature of email is that it is available wherever we are. We can read a couple of updates on our phone, then move to our laptop without missing any feeds or having to sort through feeds that you have already seen.

Configurable

While it is nice to quickly get started by sending feeds to your inbox it can quickly become overwhelming. Email and FeedMail provide us all of the tools we need to stay organized.

Folders or labels let us sort our feeds in a way that works for us. Personally I have a couple of emails registered in FeedMail that go to different folders. That way whenever I have some free time I can open whatever folder I want to read at the moment and my updates are waiting for me.

Most email providers or clients also support various ways to filter your email. This makes it easy to highlight or ignore emails as you see fit. For documentation on how FeedMail helps you stay organized see the filtering section of our FAQ.

Interoperable

Unlike social media platforms FeedMail doesn't aim to control all of your attention. Feeds that you subscribe to via FeedMail live happily alongside any other emails that you get, whether that be newsletters, mailing lists or whatever else you follow via email.

Using email means that you can get everything you follow in the same place, no matter where it comes from.

Why FeedMail?

FeedMail isn't the first RSS-to-Email service and it sure won't be the last. What makes FeedMail different from the other options?

Beautiful Emails

One of the main goals when launching FeedMail was to present the feeds as nicely as possible. Many feed readers strip out all of the style and formatting from the source and wrap it in their own bulky templates. FeedMail avoids this as much as possible. Our template is incredibly simple (just a header, footer and some basic style fixes) and we preserve most of the styles and formatting from the feed. For example text colours and image sizing will be maintained, ensuring that it looks like the author intended. 

Additionally FeedMail tries to get out of the way. We give each feed it's own email address and display the feed's title as the "From" address. The only mention of FeedMail you see is in the subtle footer which allows you to manage your subscription.

Multiple Addresses

To help keep you organized FeedMail allows you to add multiple email addresses and you can decide which feed goes to which address. This is an easy way to stay organized.

Simple Billing Model

FeedMail works on a simple credit system. When a feed updates a credit gets spent and you get an email. Additionally, to protect you from bursts each feed can consume at most one credit every day, additional updates are free.

Most other services bill based on the currently active subscriptions. We didn't want to use this model because it encourages unsubscribing from feeds that haven't posted in a while. We wanted to make sure the cost was aligned with the value that users are getting.

Start of the Journey

At this point FeedMail has the basics down. I've been using it for weeks and am very happy with the experience. I've been reading RSS via email for years and the experience on FeedMail is much better than what I had previously.

If you want to keep up to date with new features you can follow this blog (you can do so with FeedMail of course).

If you are ready to get started you can sign up now and get 400 free credits to start.

If you have other comments, suggestions or early feedback you can reach out to FeedMail support.

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