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FeedMail vs First-Party Newsletters

Some website both have a feed and offer email subscriptions themselves. This allows you to choose between the first-party newsletter and FeedMail. There are pros and cons to both options so we have assembled a list to help you make your decision.

FeedMail Advantages

Keep Your Email Private

When you subscribe via FeedMail the website doesn't learn anything about you. This provides good privacy protection and you can rely on the FeedMail features you trust.

  • No unsolicited communication. Their only way to reach you is via the feed that you subscribed to.
  • Easy unsubscribe. Don't worry about confusing dark-patterns and dozens of "categories" that need to be unsubscribed from individually. There is also no concern that they quietly add you back to their lists in the future.
  • No data selling. FeedMail's privacy policy disallows using your data for anything but running and improving FeedMail. This means that your data stays private.

No Tracking

While feeds can contain tracking links and pixels it is incredibly rare. On the other hand it is rare to come across a newsletter without heavy tracking. This tracking is harmful to your privacy, and often even security due to insecure tracking links.

In addition to the privacy concerns newsletters with tracking are often less functional.

  • Newsletters often silently remove users who block tracking. The owners are worried that unread messages landing in the spam folder will hurt their deliverability. One of the benefits of being a paid service is that FeedMail knows that you are interested—so you can stay subscribed as long as you want, with no tracking.
  • Tracking links often expire. This means that after a couple of months all of these updates are full of broken links.

Category Filters

You often want to subscribe to just a subset of topics on the website. Many blogs have categories in their feed but no filtering options for their newsletter. FeedMail allows you to filter by category to get just what is important to you.

First-Party Newsletter Advantages

No Cost

First-party newsletters are usually paid for by the website. While FeedMail is low cost, free is always nice.

Flexible Formatting

While nothing prevents beautiful formatting in RSS Feeds it is more common to see very basic styling to avoid confusing basic Feed Readers. First-party newsletters often provide richer formatting which may provide a better reading experience.


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Up to this point FeedMail has only supported real-time notifications. Meaning that every feed update immediately produces a single email. However this is about to change! When we asked for feedback on the features you would like to see in FeedMail we had a number of users reach out saying that they wanted a way to batch notifications together. We saw two main reasons for this: To reduce noise in their inbox. For some high-volume feeds users wanted to be able to quickly skim, then delete the entire batch in one go. While deleting one-by-one offers more flexibility, the bulk option is easier for high-volume feeds. To reduce costs. While we believe that our prices are incredibly reasonable, they can add up if you are getting lots of updates. For example if you follow a feed that updates every 15min that will be about $35 a year (or half price if you buy your credits in bulk). Not super expensive but maybe more than you want to spend for a single feed! Digests provide and option for cost

Digests Leave Beta

Thanks everyone who has helped evaluate digests over the past weeks. All of the blocking issues are now resolved and we will be releasing them soon. Once digests are officially released there will be links to them from the FeedMail site and pricing information added to our homepage. Price Increase Part of the purpose of the beta was to evaluate the cost of providing digests and see how they would be used. We have decided upon final pricing which we hope will be sustainable for years to come. Digests issues will cost 1 credit per 5 feeds. Note that this is feeds included in an issue , not total feeds that target a particular digest. It also does not matter how many new items a feed has. So if you have a digest with 200 feeds configured but this morning's issue only has new items from 2 of them it will cost 1 credit. If 14 feeds update the next day that issue will cost 3 credits. If the day after has no updates it will cost nothing. This new pricing takes effect no earlier than 202

Update to Date-based Entry Ignoring

TL;DR FeedMail will now ignore new items 7 days older than a previously seen item. This is expected to affect almost no "true" new posts. In theory checking to find new entries for a feed is a simple process. Download the feed. Check the ID of each entry to see if you have seen it before. However the real world is much messier. It is recommended for feed IDs to be URLs (to ensure global uniqueness) however this results in many feeds just using the URL that the article is available at. However these URLs sometimes change, and poorly designed feed generators update the ID of existing entries to the new URL. From a protocol point of view these are completely new entries, however to a user these are duplicates. In order to reduce the effect of this common issue on our our users FeedMail has some simple mitigations for posts that have recorded published dates. If the entry is older than a year always ignore it. If the entry is older than the 10th newest post in the feed ignore it.