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Unroll.me Review – Does it Work?

Posted by Jamie on November 21, 2018

I get hundreds of emails per week. I estimate only 30% of them are worth reading while the others are spam, marketing or unsolicited messages of one kind or another. I used to manually unsubscribe from each mail that had the option but that quickly became a losing battle. Then I discovered Unroll.me.

Unroll.me is a free web service that does all the hard work for me. I run it once a week or once a month, it scans my Inbox for the emails it can work with and brings up a list of those emails it thinks are marketing. I then see a page with the option to ‘Keep in my Inbox, Unsubscribe or Add to Rollup. I make the appropriate choice and Unroll.me does the rest.

Add to Rollup is a middle ground where you can add emails you might want to see but don’t have time to read all the way through. It’s like a summary where all emails added to the rollup appear at the end of each day, week or month. You can then read or do with them what you want.

How to use Unroll.me

Using Unroll.me is about as simple as it gets. You visit the website, sign up, add an email address to clean up and let the app get on with it.

  1. Navigate to Unroll.me.
  2. Select Get started now and sign in with the email account you want cleaned up.
  3. Agree to allow Unroll.me access to emails and your data.
  4. Allow the program to run in your Inbox.
  5. Select Keep in Inbox, Unsubscribe or Add to Rollup from the results page.
  6. Select Finish once done.

You will see a neat results page at the end showing you how many emails the app tidied up for you. Once complete, you can set up a reminder from within Unroll.me to remind you to run this service on a schedule. I didn’t use this as I use Outlook Calendar for all my scheduling but it’s a free feature that seems to work okay.

How does Unroll.me perform?

Depending on the state of your Inbox, Unroll.me can take less than a minute to clean up or longer. The process seems to include very few false positives and the ability to leave those emails you do want alone or add them to the Rollup is useful.

It’s a shame you can only perform these steps on a single email address at a time but there is nothing stopping you signing up for each of those emails you use regularly. Other than that, this is a very useful service that can breathe new life into email.

I am not one of those people who has to keep the counts at 0 so Unroll.me works for me. I also get hundreds of spam and marketing mails per week and I don’t have the will or the time to manually unsubscribe anymore. Unroll.me does it all for me.

Is Unroll.me safe?

Regular TechJunkie readers will know that privacy and security is my thing. I work hard to educate users across the world on ways to retain privacy and security when online. So why would I advocate allowing a third party service to access my emails?

The short answer is because it makes life so much easier for inboxes that are inundated with junk. The longer answer is exactly that.

Unroll.me got some bad press because they harvest marketing data from your Inbox. One example cited in the New York Times said Unroll.me sells your data to help pay for its services. It does and it has never pretended otherwise. However, that data is anonymized and is covered in depth in the terms and conditions.

This is also not a new practice. If you use a free email account like Hotmail or Gmail, you will already be having your email data harvested and used for marketing. The difference is that Unroll.me has been open and up front about it. All the data is anonymized. All your personal information and any identifiable data is removed. The rest is collated along with millions of other users’ data and sold to companies that like to know what’s going on. I see no more risk here than if using Gmail.

Is Unroll.me worth using?

If you’re like me who gets tons of marketing emails and don’t want to go through them all then Unroll.me is definitely worth using. It will not stop you receiving spam or marketing mails but it does make handling them all much simpler. It is also more effective than just assigning them all to spam. Sure, some providers completely ignore unsubscribe requests but those that don’t will eventually leave you alone. For that feature Unroll.me is worth using.

Do you use Unroll.me? Do you like it? Hate it? Tell us about your experience!

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