Hlib Kliuiko

Technical Writer

HEY Email Service Review

HEY Email Service Review

On June 15, 2020, Basecamp held a presentation of the new HEY email platform. The company has developed some innovations that make us take a fresh look at email receiving.

Access to HEY is currently limited. You must send a request and prove that you really need it. I gave quite convincing arguments and got it.

Let's see how the novelty looks from the inside. 

What's Interesting in the HEY?


Basecamp developed well-thought-out user interface; there's nothing unnecessary in it. That's how the service looks on the desktop:

Hey review

And that's how it looks in a mobile app:

mobile app Hey

Email Filtering Solutions

Jason Fraid, founder and CEO of Basecamp, emphasizes one of the key advantages of HEY in its online guide. Messages are not displayed in chronological order in which read and unread emails are mixed, because it is complete chaos.. Instead, HEY sortes emails in the Inbox (or, according to HEY, Imbox — important, immediate emails) into New and Previously Seen.

When you’ve read all your emails, you will see “good empty space”, as Fraid said.

Filtering emails in Hey

If you receive an email from an unknown sender, first of all, HEY will offer to confirm whether you want to hear from them. 

First, you need to open the first-time sender screen.

Imbox Hey

Then confirm deny you want to receive emails. If you click on the dislike button, the sender will disappear from your mailbox for good and all.

Dislike/ like button

A blocked sender can be unlocked. To do this, go to Screener History and just move the switcher opposite the sender's name.

 Screener History

Here you can find such an interesting feature as Your Speakeasy Code. If you receive an email with this password in the subject line, it will pass through all the filters straight to Imbox. 

Speakeasy Code

After you allow a sender to send you emails, you can select the folder where to place their subsequent emails. In HEY, emails are sorted into three categories:

  • Imbox — individual emails;

  • The Feed — marketing emails;

  • Paper Trail — transactional emails.

Categories in Hey

You can also group emails from one sender or tick the Ignore checkbox for the entire thread. You cannot create your own folders, just use the existing ones.

What is really cool in the HEY interface is that the list of emails looks like a news feed. Not only the sender's name is displayed but also part of the message content.

Preview in Hey

Such an appearance is enabled by default for The Feed section. To set it for the Imbox section, click on the Read Together:

Read Together

Email Notifications

You can select a notification mode for a new email from each sender.

Email Notifications

Response Planning

There are buttons Reply Now and Reply Later placing under each received email. Click on the Reply Later icon in the email, and it will follow you until you reply to it or remove the Reply Later mark.

Set Aside

Tagging and Subject Line Changing

You can change the subject line of the received email to more informative for you. The sender won’t see the changes; they are applied only within the account.

Subject Line Changing

You can also assign labels for more convenient email filtering.

Email filtering

Special Folder for Files

You no longer need to save files attached to emails separately. All files automatically fall into a special folder. You can download all the received files in it.

Files in the mailer

Simple Email Editor

HEY’s email editor has standard functions: the same fields, the same features for creating a simple text email as usual.

Text email

Get access to 350+ free email templates

Easy Redirecting Set Up 

Immediately after registration, you will receive instructions on how to configure receiving mail from your other mailboxes. You cannot import old mailings, but you will be receiving the subsequent ones.

Multigigabyte Storage

“In HEY, emails just flow, they don't pile up” — The HEY Way Manifesto

Despite this feature, you get 100 GB for data storage. In contrast, Gmail limits storage space to 15 GB.

Notes in Emails

I don't know about you guys, but I often take screenshots for myself or save information in drafts. HEY makes it more convenient In any email, you can leave a comment that will be visible only to you.

Notes in Emails

The email with notes will look like this in the general list:

Previously seen

Data Security

The company is proud of its security features. All customers need to use two-factor authentication.

Mobile Apps

Apple didn’t like that Basecamp refused to use in-app purchases. For Apple, it’s extremely unprofitable, that the subscription fee is paid directly on the HEY website. In this case, Apple can’t charge a 30% commission. You can read about the history of all the twists and turns on David Henson's Twitter:

David Henson's Twitter

The discussion went for a while, and then the HEY co-founder announced on his Twitter that Apple approved the app for the AppStore on June 22. Now you can download the email service on iOS or Android.

Imbox in Hey

It may seem that the service has only advantages. But what about the cons?

HEY's Disadvantages


HEY offers a 14-day free trial and then:

  • $ 99 per year. If you cancel your subscription before the trial ends, your address will be reset and after 30 days it will be provided to another user.

  • $ 349/year for a 3-character address.

  • $ 999/year for a 2-character address.


Localization and Early Access

I think that HEY will be interesting primarily for the English-speaking segment. Adding other language versions is not yet expected. It's also a little embarrassing that early access can be obtained only through an invite code.

Early adopter

Probability of Missing Something Important

Email filtering does not depend on domain, company, content, reputation, etc. but on the user's decision. Settings are assigned to the email address. If you add only one mailbox to the main folder, then you may accidentally miss messages from your other mailboxes.

In addition, it's hard to understand which emails are read and which are not in The Feed folder.

Inability to Import Your Mail History

HEY won't import all your previous mail from another account. The company believes that “a new start is a blessing, not a curse.”

But you can import contacts if they are in vCard format.

No Business Mailing

HEY doesn’t support signatures, so you can't use a footer with a signature in your campaigns. As the Manifesto states, the email already says that it's from you. If someone needs your phone number, he may ask you.


Some HEY users and competitors have doubts about the success of the service:

  • The first HEY users aren't sure that people will rush to change their regular mail service, especially for a paid one.

  • From the competitors: Thinko studio released a test version of Bye email service, costing 69 cents per month. The page design is an exact copy of HEY. And access is provided not by code but immediately after payment.

New Bye

A feature of Bye is that the service automatically sends insults in response to each email and deletes the email.


The company promises to send insults to iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Linux, and even to McDonald’s terminals.

Sending Marketing Emails on HEY

  1. You'll need to consider the new service when testing email design, deliverability, etc.. Despite the fact that now it’s not common. Yet.

  2. HEY blocks tracking pixels. Instead, they are uploaded to the hey.com server. So for now, only the fact of delivery and transitions is recorded.

And what do you think about the new email service? Would you try it?

5.0 from 5 based on 2 reviews

Hlib Kliuiko

Technical Writer

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