Said to be the fastest email app in the business, Superhuman turned many heads with both its potential for email booming as well as its extremely steep cost of $30 per month. The waitlist of over 275,000 people as of February 2020 shows that there is a real market demand for this type of tool. But, is this the one? Is the hype justified and does Superhuman deliver on its promises? Is the superhuman price backed up with superhuman functionality?
Why should you read our Superhuman Review for 2024?
Alpha Efficiency is a user experience and web design agency in Chicago, that served over 500 clients since its inception. Our UX process gives us an edge in evaluating websites and applications on the web. Not only do we provide these as a service, but we are also focused on UX audits and Quality assurance for all the products that we are shipping to our clients. This experience makes us an authority on all things related to apps and UX.
How it all started
Superhuman was founded by Rahul Vohra. If this name rings your bell, it’s because Rahul Vohra was the co-founder of Rapportive, which he sold to LinkedIn in 2012 for a reported $15 million.
Rapportive was a Gmail extension perfect for cold email marketing since it provided relevant social media details on the person you were emailing. As the saying goes: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This is why similar features were also incorporated into Superhuman.
All-in-one productivity software is the current trending topic in Silicon Valley. For example, Notion just raised $50 million at a $2 billion valuation. Being developed for a similar group of users, Superhuman quickly picked up on this trail. Targeting working professionals who look to boost their efficiency by streamlining their workflow, the app has already raised $33 million in funding. While most start-ups raise funding based on the number of active users, Superhuman chose a different approach. Not everyone can use this tool. You have to apply and patiently wait for the invite. Some wait for months, some for years. And this huge waiting list is exactly what shows beneficiaries that there is a high demand for their product in the market.
But, what good is the demand if you don’t deliver? And, does this tool deliver on its promise to be the fastest email client on the market?
Yes, Superhuman is great. It is fast and packed with an abundance of useful features. However, you are very likely to grow more than just a couple of gray hairs, rather an entire patch, before you actually get to use it. And once you finally get to use it, be prepared to pay triple the amount you would for a decent email client.
Let’s put that aside for now and continue our review of the Superhuman email app with what happens when you actually get an invite.
You got an invite
Continuing our Superhuman email tool review, we must state that it can be a REALLY long time before you actually get an invite from their team. The waitlist is enormous, so you better arm yourself with a lot of patience.
However, for the sake of this modern email tool review, let’s say that by an amazing stroke of luck, you got a Superhuman invite. Once you accept the invite, you will be connected with your onboarding specialist. His job is to walk you through all of the features Superhuman has to offer, but not before you fill out a survey on how you currently use email.
Some of the questions you can expect are:
- Where do you work?
- What devices and apps do you use for email?
- How much time do you use email each day?
While most of the survey questions are tailored around work-related emails, you can expect to cover personal accounts during your onboarding call. Of course, you will also be asked to provide your credit card information so that people at Superhuman would ensure that you have enough money to pay for the staggering $30 monthly subscription.
Note that while you can download the app ahead of time, you’ll gain access to it only after you have finished the consultation.
Once you have your consultation scheduled, expect to dedicate 30 minutes of your workday to a Zoom call with one of their employees. The meeting will probably start with covering your responses to the survey, after which you will be walked through setting up the app for the first time. While this process is very thorough and comprehensive and you’ll learn everything you need to know about the tool’s functionality and shortcuts, we can’t help but wonder what will happen when Superhuman decides to open its gates to all of the users currently on their waitlist.
The difference between Superhuman and email service providers
Moving on with our review, let’s see how Superhuman email client differs from SaaS ( software as a service) products such as email service providers. For starters, here are some of the key metrics that SaaS companies track:
- Sign-ups – Companies track users that sign up for their product.
- Paying users – Since many SaaS products offer a free trial, companies track how many users decided to upgrade from free to paid service.
- Activations – SaaS companies track how many users have crossed an activation threshold. This threshold could be based on the amount of time spent in-app over the course of a dedicated number of days, or based on usage (for example, the number of emails sent over the course of a dedicated number of days).
Email service providers are responsible for sending and processing emails, with their servers capable of handling a massive volume of emails monthly. Superhuman, however, operates differently. It is not an email provider but an email client, meaning it doesn’t handle the sending of emails. Instead, it connects to your Gmail account and acts as a highly efficient frontend, albeit with significant monthly fees. This setup offers the fastest email experience with advanced features that enhance the overall email experience.
Unlike most SaaS companies that track user sign-ups and activations, Superhuman streamlines the process, going directly from sign-up to activation through an onboarding consultation, ensuring a seamless and expedited service.
Their unique onboard strategy and going straight to activation has a great chance to translate into a lifetime value that is higher than average for most SaaS companies.
Shortcuts are perhaps the main value of this email app and the next thing we will talk about in our review of Superhuman. Superhuman offers extremely intuitive shortcuts and commands that go a long way when it comes to managing your inbox. Here is an overview of its shortcuts.
Though incorporating keybord shortcuts is nothing new, Superhuman does an amazing job of introducing you to them and even encouraging you to use your keyboard every time you reach for your mouse. The goal that their team set before themselves was to keep every interaction under 100ms. And we must admit they have done an amazing job. We can guarantee that pretty soon you’ll find yourself going through your inbox more efficiently than ever before. Here are some of those we found most useful:
- k: navigate down your inbox one email at a time (you can also use the down arrow)
- j: navigate up your inbox one email at a time (you can also use the up arrow)
- e: Archive an email (mark your email as Done)
- cmd-enter: send your email
- cmd-shift-enter: send and archive your email
- cmd-o: open the links in your email (you can choose an individual link with arrow keys or open all of them)
- cmd-k: search all commands
- escape: go back
- /: search your email
- cmd-shift-c: add CC
- cmd-shift-b: add BCC
- cmd-shift-i: instant intro (move to BCC)
Here are some of the most prominent features that this email client has to offer:
- Read Receipts
- iOS mobile app
- Split inboxes
- Intuitive shortcuts
- Sender social info
- Undo send
- Inbox-zero celebrations
- Scheduled follow-ups
Of these, what we’re most amazed by are shortcuts and scheduled follow-ups. As we have already mentioned, both an employee at Superhuman through consultation calls and the app itself does a great job at introducing you to shortcuts. It is very easy to get the hang of it and very soon you’ll find yourself combing through your emails at lightning speed.
Scheduled follow-ups will help you keep your inbox tidy at all times. In case you are not ready to answer an email yet, just hit the shortcut, type in the day and time, press enter, and let Superhuman take care of the rest.
Let’s break this section of our Superhuman email review into two parts.
First, let’s talk about what Superhuman has to offer in terms of workflow and efficiency. There is one thing we should get out of the way right away: Superhuman is a great email client. In case your current email flow is awful and a tidying up is long overdue, you should give Superhuman a try by all means.
On the other hand, many of Superhuman’s shortcuts can be ported over to just about any other email client. You can also replicate most of the features. In terms of design, Superhuman beats other email clients by a mile. But, is the gorgeous design worth $30 per month? We don’t think so.
Long story short: Superhuman is by far the best email client on the market, but probably too expensive to most people.