How To Newsletters

Tina Roth Eisenberg the other day:

I get way too much email. Reading newsletters in my inbox has never been the right context for me to actually enjoy content I am subscribing to. Looks like I am not the only one who is struggling with a workflow that makes sense for consuming newsletters. (Dennis’ Crowley’s Tweet above) I am asking you, my readers, how do you make sure you actually get to the newsletters you subscribed to?

I don’t hate the idea of email newsletters, but actually reading them in your email inbox just ain’t the way for a lot of people, myself included. Many people’s email inbox is already a source of anxiety or at least gives off a feels-like-work vibe which is usually not what you want to bring to reading a newsletter you subscribe to for possibly non-work reasons.

My way, and a suggestion if I may be so bold, is to set up your own reading system. I see a couple of comments on her blog post suggesting Feedbin, and I also agree there. It’s good (📢). There are plenty of alternative feed readers, but I bring up Feedbin specifically here again because it has a specific feature of not just reading RSS feeds but email newsletters as well. Feedbin provides a unique email address for you, and if you use that to sign up for the email newsletter (only do that if the newsletter doesn’t have an RSS feed directly), the email will come into your Feedbin and you can read it there.

You don’t have to use itself as a reader, you can bounce around to different apps thanks to Feedbin’s good APIs and other apps integrations with it. I like how you can just look at the emails as-designed in Feedbin’s app though.

There is one additional trick though.

Rather than using the Feedbin email address directly (look under Settings > General > Sources for yours), use an intermediary email address. I set up a Gmail email just for this, and have it auto-forward to my Feedbin email. Then when I sign up for a newsletter, I use:

new-secret-email+specific-newsletter@gmail.comCode language: JavaScript (javascript)

The + sign in the email address is unique to each newsletter. That way, if the email address ever gets leaked/sold/etc and spam starts arriving at it (it’s happened to me), you can set up a rule at your email provider to auto-delete email that comes to that specific +scoped email. Otherwise, if your Feedbin email itself leaks, and you start getting spam at it, there is no way to filter on the Feedbin side and you’ll be stuck looking at spam until you rotate the Feedbin email, which means you’ve effectively unsubscribed from every email newsletter.



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4 responses to “How To Newsletters”

  1. Thoscellen says:

    freshRSS is my way to go. It’s a web client, FOSS, docker-friendly, and you can use a phone or desktop client on top of it to sync your readings (NetNewsWire on Mac, EasyRSS on Android, Fluent Reader on Mac & Linux & Windows and much more on their GitHub:–native-apps)

  2. Hope says:

    I don’t love Feedbin, because it limits the number of items in a feed. However if it didn’t do this, I’d be all for it. I had a Miniflux instance running on a service that was managing it for me. It got shut down last year, and unfortunately I’m still between readers. Switching back to The Old reader after years of not using it. I use to make a feed of the newsletters that don’t have feeds, a lot of them do these days, and put them in there.

  3. Björn says:

    There are quite a few good options to convert Newsletters to RSS-Feeds. I’ve been using for years now, works like a charm! seems to be a nice option, too, and can be self-hosted.

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