FeedMail FAQ

Using FeedMail

FeedMail subscribe URLs look like https://feedmail.org/subscriptions/new?url={feed url}. Just be sure that the {feed url} parameter is properly URL-escaped. The easiest way to generate this link with proper escaping is to go to the new subscription page, enter the feed or website URL, then click "Subscribe". You can then copy the filled-in URL from your browser's address bar or just share the page.

This is an easy way to add email-subscriptions to your blog, just link to FeedMail and each of your users will get 400 free notifications.

Do you have an extension or bookmarklet?

You can drag Subscribe with FeedMail to your bookmark bar to easily subscribe to feeds. Just click the bookmarklet to see available feeds and subscribe.


What is RSS?

RSS is the colloquial name for a set of protocols that make it easy to stay up-to-date with content on the web. A website that supports RSS will publish a list new content on their site. FeedMail will monitor that list and send you email when new content is added.

How do I find out what websites have RSS feeds?

Many websites have RSS feeds. The easiest way to find RSS feeds is to paste the URL into the FeedMail New Subscription page. FeedMail will auto-detect all the available feeds.

There are also browser extensions that can make it easy to find feeds. At FeedMail we have been using Feed Preview in Firefox and we have heard recommendations for RSS Subscription Extension (by Google) for Chrome. Both of these extensions support a one-click subscribe feature, you can enter https://feedmail.org/subscriptions/new?url=%s into the URL field to subscribe with FeedMail.

You can also keep an eye out for the RSS logo rss logo which some sites use to reference their RSS feed. The logo is often stylized in different colours or black and white. Also look for the terms "Subscribe" or "Follow" which may refer to an RSS feed.

We also have guides for subscribing to popular websites.

How can I discovery new feeds?

In general you can just discover new sites like you normally would, via link aggregators, social media and friends. When you find a site you like just check to see if they have a feed. However if you want to focus on sites that have feeds available we can recommend the following tools.

What protocols does FeedMail support?

FeedMail supports all of the common feed protocols on the web. To be precise FeedMail currently supports Atom, RSS2 as well as best-effort support for earlier non-standardized versions of RSS.

How soon will I get updates?

The delay between updates being posted and mail arriving in your inbox depends on the feed. The poll rate is automatically picked to get you updates as quickly as the feed allows.

The exact rules and heuristics used will change over time to get you updates faster without hurting the websites you are following. The current rules are summarized below.


Does subscribing to a feed share my email?

When you subscribe to a feed your email is not shared with anyone. FeedMail fetches the feed on your behalf so the feed owner learns nothing about you (other than the fact that someone is using FeedMail to subscribe to their feed).

While you are subscribed the feed owner can "contact" you by posting new entries but once you unsubscribe they will have no way to reach you anymore.

FeedMail never shares you email with anyone.

How can I filter my email?

FeedMail gives you numerous options to filter your email. The easiest option is adding multiple email addresses to your account. You can use completely different addresses or many email providers provide ways to have multiple mailboxes from the same address (for example GMail allows you@gmail.com to receive mail sent to you+myfeeds@gmail.com). You can then filter based on the address that recieved the message.

Another easy way to filter is the From address. Important account information will come from FeedMail <accounts@feedmail.org>, these are important service alerts such as password resets and credit level warnings. These messages will always be sent to your Primary email. Feed updates will come from a unique per-subscription email address.

FeedMail also sets a handful of email headers on notifications which can be used for advanced filtering by some mail clients. The following headers are currently provided.

FeedMail-Categories: Rust, "Programming Languages"
The categories of the post encoded as a comma-separated list of word tokens. The order of categories is undefined.
FeedMail-Entry-Id: https://example/post/8
The Entry ID of the post in the feed. If an ID is not available FeedMail will generate a likely-unique ID.
From: "FeedMail Blog" <feed-610@feedmail.org>
The name used is the name of the feed (including any overrides). The address is unique per-subscription.
List-Id: "FeedMail Blog" <feed-610.feedmail.org>
The name used is the name of the feed (including any overrides). The identifier is unique per-subscription.
Subject: Updates to HTML Processing
The title of the post.
User-Agent: feedmail.org/1
Always starts with feedmail.org/.

I'm Not Receiving Notifications.

The most common cause for missed notifications is over-eager spam filters. Check your spam folder and be sure to mark any notifications you find as "Not Spam" to teach your email provider that you want to see these emails in the future. FeedMail will never spam you and we DKIM sign all of our mail so it is safe to set up a filter that marks all mail from feedmail.org as ham.

If you don't see the notifications in your spam folder also check that the feed has new items. This can be done by inspecting the feed URL displayed on the subscription page. Ensure that a new item has been added to the feed since you subscribed. (Note that the date of the item in the feed is not necessarily sufficient to identify that an item is new, the date may have been updated on an existing entry.)

If you have done the above troubleshooting steps and still aren't receiving notifications please contact FeedMail Support and we will help you get to the bottom of it.

Missing Backdated Entries

FeedMail ignores all entries that have a publication date of over one year ago. This is almost always a bug in the feed that would result in re-notifications for old entries.

Feed Owners

If you are a feed owner please see our Feed Owner FAQ.

Updates and Announcements

How can I get notified of new features?

Check out the features category of our blog for information about new and updated features. You can of course subscribe to our blog with FeedMail.

How can I get other service announcements?

Critical announcements will be sent to the primary email address of affected accounts. Non-critical announcements will posted to the announcements category of our blog. Click here to subscribe to our blog with FeedMail.

Where is your Privacy Policy?

Our privacy policy is available here.

Contact Us

Can I request a feature?

Sure thing! Feature requests and feedback can be sent to FeedMail Support.

Where do I report a security vulnerability?

You can send security reports to security@feedmail.org. For more information see our security.txt.

I have a question that isn't listed here!

We are happy to help you out. Just send an email to FeedMail Support.