Kill the newsletter!

Convert newsletters into RSS feeds.

Introduction

I love newsletters, but I hate receiving e-mails. Call me an oldie, but I still use RSS feeds to read my news and e-mails for communication. And I prefer to keep those two separate.

Unfortunately, as newsletters have become popular, there are some great readings that are not available through RSS anymore. Kill the newsletter! exists to fill this gap.

This service converts newsletters into RSS feeds.

How it works

  1. Fill the form on the top of this page with a title which identifies the newsletter you want to transform into an RSS feed.
  2. You'll be given an e-mail address and a link to a RSS feed.
  3. Sign up for the newsletter with the e-mail address.
  4. Add the RSS feed to your client.
  5. From now on, every e-mail sent to that address becomes a new item on the RSS feed.

Caveats

Subscription confirmation

Every newsletter sender worth its salt works hard to avoid becoming a source of spam. One of the first measures of protection is sending a subscription confirmation e-mail as the reader signs up. It contains a link that needs to be clicked to complete the registration.

This service works just fine with confirmation e-mails. They show up as one entry on the feed, along with every other e-mail that arrives on the inbox given to you when you create the feed on the form above.

In fact, it is one indirect benefit this service provides to you. You get to read the newsletters you like without having to disclose your e-mail address. Besides keeping your private information for yourself, it may help you keep under the radar of spammers.

Link to post

RSS entries usually link to the original article on the author's website. Unfortunately, there's no such equivalent on an e-mail, so the RSS entries for feeds generated using this service won't link to anything.

That turns out to be less of a problem than it may seem. Usually newsletter authors try to mitigate issues in rendering on different e-mail clients by providing a link to a webpage with the same contents on top of every entry.

If you don't want to read directly on your RSS client, you can follow such links.

Sharing RSS feeds

You may like this service and may want to share the RSS feed you created with other people. Or you may even be a newsletter author considering using this service to avoid the hassle of maintaining a RSS feed but still provide yet another way for your readers to access the content.

Don't do it! Anyone with access to the e-mail address or RSS feed generated by this service may impersonate you! They could, for example, unsubscribe you from the newsletter or send you spam through your RSS feed.

Think of the e-mail and RSS feed addresses given to you by this service as passwords or access tokens that you must keep private.

If you like this service and want to share it with others, just point them to this webpage and let them create their own RSS feeds.

I swear this is a real concern, not just a shameless way to self-promote :)

Privacy

I'll never share or sell the contents that come in this service inbox. But I do need to keep all the information on my servers, otherwise I couldn't provide the RSS feed to you.

Therefore, the recommended use-case of this tool is to subscribe for public newsletters. I'd avoid using it for anything else, specially if it involves private data.

Unsubscription

No longer want to receive the newsletter you signed up for? Please, remember to unsubscribe from it before removing the RSS feed from your client, if possible. Almost every newsletter contains links for unsubscription on the footer so it shouldn't be hard to do.

I'm running this service free for everyone, but I can't afford to spend lots of money on it. The less e-mails it receives, the smaller the stress on the servers and the easier it's going to be for me to keep them running.

I'll never charge you and you only use what you need. Deal? ;)

Abuse

Handling other's people e-mail is hard. In fact, this is not the first service attempting to solve this very issue. Before creating it, I searched all over the Internet for something equivalent and everyone seems to have gone out of business.

I'm not really sure what's the reason that made them cease. But I can guess they were attacked by spammers or people tried to DoS them. Maybe by running this service I'll find out the reason they failed.

If I find out that this service is being abused, I'll have to take it offline, which is worse for everyone, unfortunately. At least, this is free software and you'll always be able to deploy it to your own servers.

Development

This service runs on free software licensed under the GPL license. The source code is available on my Git server.

Contribute

Contributions are welcome, help make this service better! Go to my Git server and get involved.

Deploy your own

Either because you don't want to share your data with this service or because it may have ended up on some blacklist of a particularly nasty newsletter publisher, you're free to deploy your own installation to your servers.

Instructions are available on the technical documentation for the project.

Conclusion

I created this service to scratch my own itch, but I'll be glad if you find it useful too and maybe even share it with other people.

If you want to get in touch, you can find me on my personal website.

Thanks for using Kill the newsletter!