Throttle

Stop giving out your email address

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Ethan Ellis — Web Designer
I use gmail and they allow you to add a + symbol followed by anything with your email address. For example if your email address is randomaddress@gmail.com you can use randomaddress+producthunt@gmail.com for example. In your inbox you can then filter your emails. This has worked for me when signing up to newsletters so all newsletters appear in a folder but never actually come into my main inbox. This also helps with signing up to random sites you can add +sitename@gmail.com. If you ever get a mail to that address which is not from the site you know they have sold your email address.

The only draw back is the setup time to create filter within gmail for things like newsletters. Also some sites don't validate the + symbol in an email field, this is not that common though.

How is better for someone like me who uses gmail and has for the most part setup their own filters?
Matija Marijan — Strategy & Innovation
@designerethan I use a similar system with gmail and "+" myself, but this just seems easier and more trouble-free, especially for websites which ask me for an email address, but I know I'll receive nothing but spam from them.
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Alexander Obenauer — CEO, Mindsense (Throttle & Mail Pilot)
@designerethan The "+" trick is a really useful method - I use it often. We had the same discussion after coming up with the idea for Throttle, asking if it was worth it. Ultimately, we decided yes. Here's why.

Throttle lays a handful of handy features on top (https://throttlehq.com/features), besides making the whole system easier to use. But primarily, I didn't love using the "+" trick because I was still giving out my email address - senders could just remove the "+...", and they have my real email address.

With Throttle, the system is airtight, since it doesn't expose your real address. Plus, it's a big boost to the workflow, since you can set up a digest (or a few digests on different categories) to arrive at a certain time, with thumbnail previews of the messages you received. No more constant interruptions, and you don't have to remember to check somewhere else for the messages.

Finally, never having to unsubscribe is awesome. The "Revoke Access" button doesn't just "block" that sender - it immediately shuts off access to your inbox from anyone that got your email address from that sender. So if you signed up at A.com, and their sister sites B.com & C.com have been sending you coupons every day since, revoking A.com's access shuts down B.com & C.com's access too. No need to go through all the unsubscribe forms.

This came in super handy for three different Throttle users during the beta:
- One when their email address was sold to thousands of spammers (resulted in over 6,000 emails - more info here: https://medium.com/@alexobenauer...)
- One when the sender had a data leak, and spammers stole the addresses (resulted in hundreds of emails)
- One when the sender had a software glitch that resulted in over 500 emails

None of the emails got anywhere near their inbox, which could have been a problem plaguing them for years, and turning all of them off - not just blocking one of the senders - was a click of a button.

Happy to answer any questions!
Chad Fullerton — Founder, FullertonMedia
@alexobenauer Very nice looking service. Similar to unroll.me (which I currently use) but I like the additional features you've built. Being able to provide 'random' anonymous emails when signing up to forms with your extension - and have them all go into one inbox - is the killer feature for sure. Customizable 'categories' to sort emails plus the ability to set different digests depending on the category is great.

My only question/concern with Throttle is that if I were to switch to Throttle now, how would I import my existing subscriptions into your service? Unroll.me makes it easy by scanning your inbox for subscriptions. But with Throttle, it appears the only way is to start using it moving forward from this point by signing up for everything again using your anonymous Throttle addresses. But that would take forever having to resignup to my subscriptions.

Will/does Throttle have an import/scan feature like unroll.me?
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Alexander Obenauer — CEO, Mindsense (Throttle & Mail Pilot)
@chad_fullerton Thank you for the kind words! I'm glad to hear it resonates well with you.

On old subscriptions: As you've seen, the "magic" to Throttle is that it ensures any new senders never had your email address in the first place - this is what makes Throttle uniquely airtight at detecting scams and giving you the control to revoke someone's permission to send you email. Because of this, there is no equally airtight way to automatically move old subscriptions over to Throttle.

However, it can be done, in just a few minutes, with my recommendation to our users: Go through your subscriptions that you receive in your inbox and update your subscription preferences with them to use a Throttle email address. For me, it took about 10 minutes the first day, and 1 or 2 minutes at the beginning of every other day that week. It is a little time investment up front, but the benefits are phenomenal.

You can also use a set of handy links we provided to quickly open common websites' notification preferences pages (if you're logged in: https://throttlehq.com/tips#upda...).

We've contemplated doing an import / scan, but it hadn't become a priority based on user feedback yet. Hopefully we'll get to in the future. For retroactive stuff, there are tools out there that already do a fantastic job. For an airtight future where email users have control over their own inboxes, there's Throttle.
Chad Fullerton — Founder, FullertonMedia
Thanks for the reply @alexobenauer! That's a good solution for the emails I receive frequently and would like a digest of. For the most part, the emails that I would want in Throttle in the first place (to be able to roll up into a daily digest / unsubscribe from) are those infrequent, randomly sent spammy type promo emails which happen not on a regular basis. Someone like me who has subscribed to thousands of subscriptions, trying to go back and find those to get them all together would take a lot longer than 10 minutes ;)

Feature suggestions:

1) A 'quick update' page on throttlehq.com to let users login via gmail api to scan for subscriptions and for each one it finds (with the usual 'unsubscribe' footers) then scrape the 'update preferences' or 'unsubscribe' links and display them on a throttlehq page to let users quickly and easily click to start updating their subscriptions with throttlehq anonymous emails quicker and easier.

2) A solution for using throttle for 'offline' sign up forms. Eg: at stores, tradeshows or events when they ask you for your email, it would be nice to be able to have a specific throttlehq email that we can give them instead of our real one, which will put them into our throttle account. Eg: ABCstore wants my email at the point of purchase, and I give them "chadaccount.abcstore@throttlehq.com" and it knows to turn that email into an alias for my account?

Thanks! Looking forward to following Throttle :)
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Alexander Obenauer — CEO, Mindsense (Throttle & Mail Pilot)
@chad_fullerton Love the suggestions, I'd love to do both. We've discussed each quite a bit over the last few months, so I hope you can expect to see them start to materialize this year!

And on having thousands of subscriptions - I have the problem, too. But what's really cool now is I can see, in Throttle, all of the things I'm subscribed to, like an RSS reader. Wasn't possible before, so it surprised me at how much I enjoyed just that one benefit.

Thanks for the feedback and for your support! Here's to less email in 2016.
Liora — Product Manager in Silicon Beach
@designerethan The "+" trick actually works with any kind of email! What's gmail specific is the ability to put a "." anywhere in your username. Also a fun trick to get yourself additional unique emails.
Melissa Monte — Director of Media & Startup Growth
@designerethan I use the gmail trick as well. Recently though, I've been using mlist (which I've found through product hunt) for newsletters.
don — Creative Director, ERA404
@designerethan @gmail I've found that some sites won't let you use the + when you're subscribing to things. In those cases, something like Throttle or Bulc Club (https://www.producthunt.com/tech...) would be better.
Rae Hamilton — Digital Art Director, Rhythm
This is a really great concept, I love the idea of the daily digest. What I don't like is signing up, going through the tutorial, adding the Chrome extension, and only THEN realizing it's $4/mo. I don't have a problem with paying for a good service, but I don't like investing my time into a product and only then realizing I'm signing up for a paid service. It should be stated up front.
Marcella Chamorro — Maker, currently podcasting
@designsellout Totally agree, this happened to me, too.
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Alexander Obenauer — CEO, Mindsense (Throttle & Mail Pilot)
@marcinator @designsellout Sorry about that to both of you - we definitely didn't intend to make it that way. You'd prefer the pricing page's info to be on the home page?
Rae Hamilton — Digital Art Director, Rhythm
@alexobenauer @designsellout I would prefer that. At least then I know what I'm signing up for. Thanks for hearing me out!
@designsellout totally agree with your comment, awesome product but $4/mo ? nope
Cyril Pavillard — Skeptic geek with free heels
@designsellout well, agree too. Actually I found it before it happened as right after installing the extension to test their autofill button, I ran through a UI conflict with the Dashlane extension ;) came here to figure out if there was some comment about that and well, given those 2 caveats, decided to drop and go back to my gmail+ management kind, free and with their rather efficient anti-spam, always worked great. But I like the clever idea and the execution seemed smart until... :/
planetMitch — @planet5D & @smartBusinessPlanet
@designsellout totally concur. Not to mention, other services I've tested (like sanebox which totally rocks) give you a 14 day free trial before you commit. I was expecting that here as well). I was pretty hot and bothered to test this but I'm not sure I'm giving you $ up front.
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Alexander Obenauer — CEO, Mindsense (Throttle & Mail Pilot)
@designsellout Absolutely! We're launching the new design to solve that problem this weekend at the latest. I'd love to hear your thoughts once it goes live.
Marcella Chamorro — Maker, currently podcasting
@alexobenauer @designsellout I appreciate the pricing page being linked on the homepage. Thanks for that.
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Alexander Obenauer — CEO, Mindsense (Throttle & Mail Pilot)
@marcinator @designsellout You bet! Thanks for pointing it out. Glad the new design feels better.
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Alexander Obenauer — CEO, Mindsense (Throttle & Mail Pilot)
@marcinator @designsellout @c66 @planetmitch Just wanted to let you know... today, we made Throttle free! Enjoy :)
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