Show HN: I made a site that automatically unsubscribes you from unread emails

19 points by Swalden123 6 days ago

Hi Guys,

I'm Spencer and recently built AutoUnsubscribe to keep on top of my email subscriptions.

The basic idea is: Automatically unsubscribe from unwanted emails that you never open, so you can focus on the emails that matter, saving yourself time and effort.

I find overtime I accumulate hundreds of email subscriptions accidentally, especially when I ran an ecommerce business where our emails seemed to end up on all our suppliers, and their suppliers mailing lists. Some people stay on top of unsubscribing easily, however it's something I've always struggled with, especially having ADHD. I wanted a way to stop my inboxes getting out of control without me having to do anything so I built this app.

An added bonus is it helps you unsubscribe from subscriptions you were on the fence about unsubscribing too, as it points out you have not even opened them. It also warns you before unsubscribing and gives you a chance to whitelist a subscription, to make sure you keep the ones you care about.

I realised a lot of people would get the most value out of AutoUnsubscribe very quickly, so I wanted to provide an option for them, as opposed to just subscribing for a month and then cancelling. As a result the base pricing is $5 for seven days, which will let you basically clean out your inbox. I built out the app using Ruby on Rails, to avoid getting lost in the complexity of Javascript frameworks, as an individual developer/designer I think it was the right choice.

The app is privacy focused, I will never share or sell your data. It's also why it is a paid app. I know free unsubscribe apps in the past have monetized by selling user data.

You can see the site here:

varunsharma07 5 days ago

I believe Gmail already has this feature:

I have used the feature in Gmail, and do like it.

  • Swalden123 5 days ago

    It's quite different, it's simple suggesting unsubscribes. It won't let you unsubscribe without doing anything. It also won't let you remove a large amount of subscriptions quickly

    • varunsharma07 5 days ago

      Good point. As a user, I still want to click on a final unsubscribe button and not just unsubscribe automatically.

bradknowles 5 days ago

The vast majority of e-mail that I get which claims to have an unsubscribe process is actually spam. If you try to unsubscribe from it, all you've done is proven that your e-mail address is live and monitored, and so you now get your address resold to 100x more spammers.

So, I wouldn't recommend doing that sort of process unless you can be 100% certain that the message isn't actually spam, and you can properly unsubscribe from it.

  • EduardoBautista 5 days ago

    What service do you use for your email? I would amazed if these types of emails are getting past gmails spam filtering to the point it becomes the “vast majority” with an unsubscribe process.

    In my case, the vast majority does have a legitimate unsubscribe link.

    • bradknowles 5 days ago

      I have a gmail account, but I use it for almost nothing. I don't trust them as far as I can throw the company. All it takes is one tiny infraction of some rule you never knew about, and suddenly you lose your entire Gmail account, your youtube account, and everything else associated with gmail.

      My main account is on a personal vanity domain that I've owned since 1995, through the ISP that was my main BBS at the time, and they had just recently gotten on the Internet. I was also working at AOL as their Sr. Internet Mail Administrator, and I knew how hard it was to run a reasonably good mail system, and I didn't want to have to do all that work all over again on my personal vanity domain. The anti-spam system used by my ISP is decent, but not great. On top of that, I layer a Bayesian-based anti-spam program that ties into my mail client, for further filtering. Plus my client has anti-spam filtering of its own, and I have hundreds and hundreds of manual filtering rules that I've written over the decades.

      Even with all those filtering layers, I still get at least a dozen or more spam mail messages that get past all the defenses, and I have to manually delete them and run them through the retraining algorithms.

      And I still don't trust any "unsubscribe me" link that I see, unless I know for sure that I signed up for service with that company.

    • earthling8118 4 days ago

      I have a gmail that gets hundreds of spam messages daily. It filters out a lot but just as many get through. It is impossible to deal with them all so if I ever need a message I have to rely on it being recent enough

rcavezza 4 days ago

Looks cool! I remember when I started was a competitor and later also came around. Both eventually were acquired, I stopped running easyunsubscriber when I couldn't monetize. I think all of these companies had trouble monetizing and had different plans, but eventually weren't able to and got acquired and put into a larger toolset or shut down.

Let me know if you want to chat. rcavezza [at] gmail.

rcarr 5 days ago

I’ve started using Feedbin to subscribe to pretty much everything: RSS, Twitter, Mastodon, HN, YouTube, Reddit and, most relevantly in terms of this post, newsletters. It gives you a custom email address for sign up forms and then if you don’t want to receive the newsletter anymore you simply flick a toggle next to the newsletter or just remove it from your feed list, job done. Absolutely awesome. Using ReadKit as my reader across Mac, iPad and iOS. Getting way more quality content, wasting way less time surfing, no ads, no pop ups and no cookie notifications. Makes the internet an actual blissful experience rather than the hellscape it has now become. Highly recommend.

pancrufty 5 days ago

It’s a good idea but I feel you’d have to gather users and notoriety with a more trusting general population before asking HN to open up their inbox to a brand new service.

  • Swalden123 5 days ago

    You are most likely right, however I have to start somewhere.