Hey Email Review: Is a Tidier Inbox Worth $99?

The new email service from Basecamp founders David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried is pricey — but for good reasons

Kaya Thomas
Published in
5 min readJun 17, 2020


Photo illustration. Screenshot: HEY Email

What words come to mind when you think of email? The first two words I think of are “overwhelming” and “unending.” I’ve tried many different email clients, like Apple Mail, Gmail, and Spark, but I have always been disappointed by how little control I felt I had over my mailbox. No matter how much auto-sorting the client did, I still felt it was hard to find the emails when I needed them and I was constantly getting messages I didn’t want. No email software has ever improved my relationship with email. That is, until Hey, a new email platform developed by Basecamp founders David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried.

Originally announced back in February, Hey started rolling out on an invite-only basis this week — it’s available on web, desktop, and in native iOS and Android apps. I got an invite and secured kaya@hey.com, the first time I’ve had a first-name-only email address. The trial period lasts for two weeks, after which you have to pay $99/year.

One of the most frustrating things about email is that it is an open doorway. Anyone who has your email address can send you an email, and there’s no way to prevent it. Hey has tackled this by allowing you to screen anyone who sends you an email. You have the choice of whether or not you will allow the sender’s emails to get to you and where you want to receive them.

This means you have complete control, which is a blessing and a curse. You have to do more work upfront because Hey does not make any presumptions for you about where you want emails to go. Most email services have a “smart” or “auto-sort” feature that will…