Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi
 


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

RSS To Email: How To Let Readers Subscribe To Your RSS Feeds Via Email

As independent publishers keep lookingfor better and more effective ways to drive traffic to their web sites, email marketing remains one of the key strategic content distribution vehicles available to them.

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Photo credit: Dawn Hudson and Robin Good

Even with the superfast growth and increasing popularity of RSS, email has not lost any of its appeal, popularity and reach potential. And while RSS definitely carries major benefits for both the independent publisher and reader alike, the great majority of readers are still not familiar with RSS, how to use it and the benefits it could bring to them. The problem is not only for readers but it embraces online publishers too, who are often confused, unclear and not technologically savvy enough to know how to integrate RSS news syndication into their sites.

Given the above, any service that can facilitate or better yet, bridge, between the email established past and the benefits of future-looking RSS, is going to find a lot of demand going for it.

As a result, the past year has seen the release of a number of RSS to email syndication services, which allow bloggers to email posts to their readers automatically. Using one of these services, you can turn your RSS feed into a newsletter that sends your weekly or monthly writings directly to all of your subscribers' email inbox.

The good thing is that, after Bloglet has been the only service in this space for quite a long time (and thanks to you Bloglet for all the great free service you have provided to all of us), there are now a variety of free new RSS-to-email services that you can choose from.

In this mini-guide I will be reviewing RSS-to-email content distribution services that any independent publisher, news source or blogger can use to increase and augment the reach and adoption of its RSS-feed based content.

The online services here reviewed allow you to send out an unlimited number of emails to your subscribers completely free of charge. There's no software to install and in many cases the service also provides you with analytics tools, subscriber management facilities, email distribution options, as well as ready-made subscription boxes to place on your web site.

But once you get beyond the basics, there are a number of major differences among these RSS-to-email services.

Zookoda

zookoda_logo.gif

Zookoda is an Australian company that offers a wide range of email syndication services.

Email Schedule: Zookoda provides a very flexible email schedule, allowing you to deliver daily emails, weekly digests, or monthly summaries. When sending your emails, you can choose from a variety of professional templates or create your own custom design.

Subscription Form: Once inside the Zookoda control panel, you will be able to choose from a variety of subscription form templates in a number of different colors. Once you have customized your options, you will be given some javascript code that you can paste into your blog template.

In addition, you will be able to customize the confirmation landing page, the confirmation email that is sent to your subscribers, and the landing page they are shown after they confirm their email.

Analytics: Zookoda provides you with a complete metrics system that will allow you to track your email newsletter success. Once logged into the control panel, you can easily track multiple newsletters, subscribers, broadcasts, open rates, bounce rates, click throughs, and unsubscribe rates over a given amount of time.

Zookoda will then export this data to produce web-based charts or PDF reports.

Broadcast Emails: Zookoda allows you to send individual broadcast emails, enabling you to send one-time promotions, special offers, and news announcements.

Subscriber Management
: Zookoda gives you complete control over your subscribers. You can add and remove subscribers at any time. You can also export your list of subscribers into a CSV file for backup.

Additional Features: Zookoda offers many professional templates for customizing your emails. You can quickly send stylish html emails rather than plain text. If you want, you can even create your own email templates to match the style of your web site.

Zookoda recently launched a new version of their service on May 8, 2006, adding a number of features. Version 2.0 provides additional benefits for blog media companies by giving access to metrics across a blog network. Using Zookoda, a publisher can measure the performance of individual blogs as well as their network as a whole.

In terms of features, Zookoda is definitely an excellent choice. They are a young company that
is feeding off of their user feedback in order to make improvements. To keep up with the many changes and developments, check out the Zookoda blog.



Squeet

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Email Schedule: Squeet provides very flexible email options. You can send live, daily, and/or weekly updates to your readers. You can choose what day and time your email will be delivered or customize your options and create your own email delivery schedule.

Subscription Form: Squeet gives you everything you need to start signing up subscribers. Simply copy and paste the code needed to put a subscription box on your blog.

Analytics: Squeet provides you with charts and graphs that allow you to analyze how many new subscribers you are receiving each day.

Broadcast Emails: Not Available

Subscriber Management: Using Squeet, you can import subscribers by uploading a CSV file or entering email addresses manually. If you have an existing subscriber base, you can quickly and easily add them to your list.

Many of the Squeet services are largely focused on people looking for an RSS reader to aggregate a number of feeds. On the publisher side of things, many features are unavailable. Squeet does not allow for many of the customization features found in Zookoda.



Yutter

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Yutter is very intuitive as well as extremely powerful. Yutter offers a viable solution for the techie and non-techie alike. To take this service for a test drive, visit the Yutter demo.

Email Schedule: Yutter puts you in complete control of your publishing schedule. You can send out updates hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly. You may also export your subscriber list for safekeeping.

Subscription Form: You will be provided with the html code to put on your page in order to start accepting email subscribers.

Analytics: Yutter provides analytics that allow you to see exactly how many people are opening your email.

Broadcast Emails: Not Available

Subscriber Management: You can import subscribers manually or by uploading a tab delimited CSV file.

Additional Features: One of the biggest benefits of Yutter is the ability to brand your emails. Unlike many of the other services, Yutter doesn't put any ads in your emails. Your readers will feel like the updates are coming directly from you.

You are allowed to add your own logo to the email header as well as on the subscribe and unsubscribe pages.

While this service may be missing some of the advanced features, Yutter is extremely powerful and very easy to use.



FeedBlitz

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FeedBlitz provides a very easy registration process. I was quickly able to get signed up and create my own newsletter.

Email Schedule: Your readers get an email daily digest of your posts.

Subscription Form: Feedblitz provides you with the HTML code to place on your blog.

Analytics: Feedblitz allows you to track email open rates and click-through behavior.

Broadcast Emails: Not available unless you upgrade to a Turbo subscription, which costs $9.95 per month.

Subscriber Management: Feedblitz allows you to manually add and delete subscribers. You may also export your subscriber list into CSV or OPML format. If you have multiple newsletter feeds at Feedblitz, you can import your subscribers from one list to the other. You can also import feeds and email addresses from Bloglet.

Unfortunately, once you get beyond these basic features, they start charging for additional services.

For a low-monthly fee you may upgrade your services to receive text-based subscriber import, customizable email content, custom from address and subject lines, graphical email template editor, custom subscriber landing page, broadcast mailing, and a weekly newsletter email schedule. You can visit their site to see an in-depth overview of their features and service levels.



FeedBurner

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Feedburner just released their email syndication service on April 19, 2006. Email subscription capability was previously provided through a partnership with Feedblitz and Squeet.

However, Feedburner now offers a very basic service that can send out text or html newsletters of your latest posts.

Email Schedule: Your updates are sent on a live basis rather than in a daily or weekly digest form.

Subscription Form: Feedburner allows you to copy and paste the HTML code needed to place the subscription form on your website. This code can be placed into your blog template so that it shows up on every page.

Analytics: Not Available

Broadcast Emails: Not Available

Subscriber Management: Feedburner gives you complete control over your subscribers. You can export your subscriber list to Microsoft Excel or CSV format.

Because many people already use Feedburner existing services, many bloggers will find it easier to simply switch on the email newsletter option than to sign up for a new service.

With Feedburner, you will only receive the essential tools needed to send out RSS email updates. Advanced features and options are not provided.

However, if you are looking for something reliable and very simple, FeedBurner will definitely work for you.



Overall, I would recommend Zookoda because of the many features available. Zookoda provides a complete email solution for bloggers that puts you in complete control.

If you're looking for a very simple, but powerful solution, you may want to try Yutter.



Related Reviews:

Zookoda 2.0 launches - Michael Arrington - May 15, 2006

Email Syndication Services - Zookoda and Yutter promising - Richard MacManus - May 15, 2006

Feedburner's new email subscription service impressive - but it's not game over yet - Richard MacManus - May 15, 2006

Robin Good and Kim Roach -
 
 
 
Readers' Comments    
2008-06-12 15:10:35

thw

cool,I have a RSS2email collection too!
Check at http://www.thws.cnarticlesrss2email-list.html



2006-05-24 20:28:25

Phil Hollows

hi RobinL

Thanks for the mention. Worth pointing out that our (FeedBlitz's) business model is the way it is,so that we do not put our ads in your content.

More to the point, we offer a free Bloglet migration service, allowing Bloglet users to move their subscribers over simply and easily - in fact, FeedBlitz is Bloglet's recommended service (see www.bloglet.com). We also partner with FeedBurner and integrate our metrics with FeedBurner, so FeedBurner publishers wanting more flexibility and options than the house integration can use FeedBlitz with no loss of data or insight.

Best,

Phil



2006-05-23 16:29:59

Steven

Hi - we are looking for a RSS Feed / Email program and have a few bucks to spend on one. Can you recommend a good option for a startup that needs an ad-free system under $25 a month?
Thanks
Steven
Click For Lessons (Local Search)



 
posted by on Tuesday, May 23 2006, updated on Saturday, February 27 2010


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