My initial thoughts on HEY after 24 hours:

  1. the workflows and UX are pretty great, as mentioned by almost everyone
  2. one negative, maybe: some screened contacts aren’t sticking to their The Feed designation, though it’s possible I did something wrong during initial training – will monitor more before reporting as a bug
  3. so far, The Feed looks like a great way to browse those types of email on my own time. You can get the gist from what is exposed and dig in if you want. Brilliant.
  4. when they launch custom domains, look out. I probably would have subscribed already.
  5. love to see full data export and no lock in – this makes committing a little less stressful
  6. full testing is kind of hard as I am hesitant to respond to emails from the Hey address. It does force me go back into Mail.app to respond, but that also reminds me how ugly and broken the old system is!
  7. Would have loved to get jason@ but it was always a dream given who’s involved 😄

At this point, since I use Fastmail already, the decision is whether or not the workflows are worth the extra $35 a year, assuming the custom domains come soon-ish. I am leaning “yes” at this point, as they’ve really have me re-thinking email and how I deal with it. I love that it becomes permission-based across the board and not just for opt-in lists.

I do appreciate DIY posts like these that show what’s possible on your own, but honestly all of the services mentioned cost more than Hey on an annual basis and it looks like more work to maintain. If I was already in that world, I’d probably be hesitant to change to something new, but I’m not going to build all that to match Hey functionality and not save money/time.

In the end, custom domains + Hey’s functionality out of the box seem like an easy Yes. I hope they announce more on timing for custom domains before the end of the trial, though I am not counting on that to make my decision.

More to come!