Why Unroll.me Is Good for Publishers

You have 6,952 unread emails.

Does this look familiar? I’ve never been one to manage the whole inbox zero game. Every day more and more newsletters, announcements, and spam disguised as business show up. I don’t have time to deal with it, and I suspect you don’t either.

If we have a cup of coffee and I give you my business card, this does not mean you have permission to sign me up for every newsletter you have ever dreamt of creating.

Buying your widget does not mean I want to hear about anything from your company ever again, sometimes I buy things because I have to and that is the end of the relationship. You are allowed to send me a transactional email after a purchase, thanking me for said purchase and giving me the option to subscribe. If you’re polite AND compelling, I just may be interested.

When I do subscribe to a newsletter, I should get a confirmation email that says, something along the lines of, “You’ve been subscribed to Newsletter X, click here to confirm.” At that point I should be taken to a thank you for subscribing page with maybe a little bonus for taking that step. (The bonus can be anything from a best of to a coupon, I may not ever use it, but it’s a nice touch). This is called confirmed dual opt-in.

Here at FeedBlitz we firmly believe in – and enforce – best practices for email marketing. Unfortunately not every publisher out there sticks to those practices and this is why spam – unsolicited commercial email – is an issue.

We get that publishers want to grow their lists, in fact we encourage publishers to do so, but we want publishers to have relevant lists of engaged subscribers.

Publishers who create relevant lists have:

  • Better open rates – is your list’s open rate at least 20%? (It should be)
  • Higher click through rates
  • Less churn
  • Fewer complaints – yes, complaints matter

Which is why I love unroll.me, a service that promises to clean up your email inbox I discovered recently while lurking on Facebook.

Intrigued, I logged into the service and provided my email address and let Unroll.me find all of the newsletters I am currently receiving. They found 309 subscriptions. I guarantee you I have not signed up for 309 newsletters and that is why my inbox is out of control.

In less than five minutes, I quickly removed myself from over 220 email lists. As an email consumer, I am over the moon, but I should note that services like Unroll.me are also excellent for publishers.


It quickly allows subscribers to get rid of the garbage lists created by unsavory publishers. These email lists bury wanted content in an overwhelming mass of irrelevancy.

It’s okay to lose subscribers who aren’t interested.

If you aren’t going to make the sale or keep their attention – or whatever your goal is – then it’s better to let them go and worry more about attracting the right people.

It saves publishers money.

FeedBlitz’s pricing model is tiered and based on the number of unique subscribers. Why pay for people who don’t care and aren’t opening your newsletters? Please, let them go and move on, focus on delivering better content to those people who are interested.

Not all subscribers are savvy tech users, some subscribers don’t realize that hitting “Spam” instead of “Unsubscribe” has consequences. Unroll.me allows subscribers who want to quickly get rid of bunch of newsletters to do so without punishing the publishers.

With all of the benefits I have described, I should mention a few reservations I had about unroll.me:

  1. To unsubscribe from more than five lists, a user must promote Unroll.me either via email (hi, does that sound spammy to you?) or a social network. I chose to use Twitter and edited the tweet. I’m promoting their service here, now – but on my terms, not theirs.
  2. I don’t see a revenue model, will this service be around down the road?
  3. Unroll.me is only currently available for a few popular email services.

Quality counts.

Clean lists have happy subscribers and happy subscribers create better open rates and fewer complaints; publishers should not be afraid of tools like Unroll.me.