Our email inbox has become the central nervous system of our digital life – we connect with our finances, our health, our interests, and even our social networks through email. At Slimbox, we believe that you can't simply unsubscribe your way to a cleaner inbox – most of the overload in our inboxes is not from things that we don't want ever, it's from things that we don't want right now.

The primary purpose of Slimbox has always been to simply get email out of your way so you can focus on what is important. Slimbox solves 90% of the problems with email by moving non-urgent email out of your way and sending you a daily summary email.

Another reason we always avoided unsubscribing was that it was an inherently complex process, and Slimbox is meant to be dead simple. Our product is simple, our pricing is simple – even our privacy policy is simple. So if we were ever going to include unsubscribing, we would have to make it radically simple, and that's exactly what we did.

Unsubscribing is outdated

Unsubscribing has been our primary tool in the fight against unwanted email for over 15 years now. Way back in 2003, a law was passed called the CAN-SPAM Act that required email marketers to include a method to allow users to unsubscribe from emails.

15 years is an eternity in digital technology. For context, in 2003 the iPhone did not exist; Facebook did not exist. Even GPS (while commercially available) didn't make it into the hands of the general public until 2008.

The image below shows the most popular phone in 2003. I know what you're thinking, but the battery life could be measured in weeks, not hours...

Nokia 1100

This was also a real phone in 2003, though I'm certain it did not sell as well as the 1100 model...

Nokia 7600

The point is 2003 was ages ago. Why would we still think that unsubscribing would be the best way to get rid of unwanted emails? It barely worked in 2003 and it barely works now. When old things don't work, we leave them in the past and find better tools for the job (sorry Nokia). So now that you have a brief history of unsubscribe, let's make unsubscribing history.

Solving the user's real problem

Uber didn't look at all the problems with hailing a taxi and wonder, "how could we make it easier to use a taxi?" They looked at what the user wanted to do: easily get a ride from point A to point B. They solved that problem by focusing on the goal of the user, not by trying to evolve the only tool available. Uber didn't make a better taxi, they made a better way to get a ride when you needed one.

Most companies have looked at unsubscribing and have apparently thought that if we simply make unsubscribing easier, that will solve the problem. Gmail literally has a blog post from 2009 titled: "Unsubscribing made easy." Yet—over ten years later—very little about unsubscribing has been made easy.

Unsubscribing doesn't need to be improved; it needs to be replaced entirely by something simpler. Users simply want to be rid of dealing with certain emails – this is the actual job to be done. So rather than trying to improve a broken process, we created a better one.

Never deal with unsubscribing again.

Slimbox lets you instantly trash any email subscription. That's it. Done.

It's utterly mind-boggling how long the unsubscribe solution has failed users, and how simple the actual solution to their problem really is. Let's break it down:

How to unsubscribe (today):

  • Open email.
  • Find unsubscribe link (if there is one).
  • Click unsubscribe link (hope the link is safe).
  • Go to website (or 404 error page).
  • Re-enter your email.
  • Choose your preferences.
  • Click unsubscribe.
  • Get confirmation of 5-10 business days to take effect.
  • Get another email saying you've been unsubscribed...from these emails.
  • Continue to get email anyways.
  • Repeat (we only did one sender, and it maybe worked?!)

How to Instantly Trash with Slimbox:

  • Click the trash icon for as many senders as you wish.
  • Pour yourself a drink. Or do literally anything else with your time.

Advantages of Instantly Trash:

  • It's immediate and 100% effective.
  • It's comprehensive – even past emails from the sender are trashed.
  • It's secure – doesn't alert the sender that your email is real/valid.
  • It's polite – annoying newsletter from a friend? Just trash it.
  • It's liberating – donate to political campaigns without fear of the email deluge.

Conclusion

Slimbox aims to deliver simplicity to our users in everything we do. We hope you enjoy instantly trashing any email subscription. It only took 17 years to get here, but the future is looking good for email.