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RSS feed subscriptions via email

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Monday April 30, 2007 )

A while back I mentioned that even in the age of RSS, I feel it’s important to also offer email subscriptions for your blog content as many people, including myself, still aren’t heavy users of RSS readers. If you don’t have the time or opportunity to set up and maintain your own mailing list, this free service may help.

Rmail is nifty RSS to email gateway service. By implementing a small chunk of code, a subscription box will appear on your site like so:


Email:

… allowing your readers to receive the latest posts published to your blog directly to their email inbox. Rmail handles all the subscribe functions and will check your feed every hour or two. There’s nothing further for you to do.

There are no stats available to view the number or details of subscribers you acquire at this stage, but I suspect that’s currently under development. It would certainly seem a logical extension of the service and Rmail could generate substantial revenue by offering the feature at a premium. Rmail was recently acquired by NBC Universal, so I expect to see this service evolve quite rapidly.

Given that you have no control over your subscribers at this stage, I still recommend running your own mailing list software if possible, but Rmail is a great option to scoop up a few more subscribers that you otherwise may miss – I certainly see a steady flow of subscriptions by offering updates to Taming the Beast.net’s blog via email.

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2 comments for RSS feed subscriptions via email
  1. Thank you for this excellent and potentially useful information!

    I’ve been a fan of your blog for quite some time. In fact, your postings had helped me extensively when I was first getting into the world of SEO and effective web design. Thank you for providing useful information. It helped me a lot!

    Regarding this posting: I’m thinking of adding the R-Mail code to one of my blogs. What I don’t know is if by doing so will I will generate any inbound links to my blog as people sign up for the service. Do you have any knowledge of this? If so, please share!

    Also, I agree that one of the drawbacks of using R-Mail is the fact that you, the user, do not get the info about who has signed up. The folks at R-Mail would do well to add that function to this seemingly excellent service.

    BTW, I noticed that your blog utilizes the evil and unnecessary rel=nofollow default tag to the comments section of your postings. Why not disable that feature with a nofollow plugin, so that your trusting and admiring fans can get some quality inbound link credit when they leave intelligent comments on your excellent blog? (nudge, nudge… wink, wink)

    Keep up the excellent work!

    Best regards,

    Twan

    http://www.twanslist.com

    http://www.awareness-network.com

    Comment by Twan — May 4, 2007 @ 5:37 pm

  2. Hi Twan!

    Firstly, thanks for your very kind feedback – I really appreciate it!

    In regards to RMail – I’ve been testing it out for a few days now. It seems to take several hours to mail out to subscribers the new posts and adds a couple of Rmail’s own ads to the email sent out. That’s fair enough given the service is free and as I said, I see this as a good option for bloggers who can’t maintain their own mailing list for whatever reason.

    I do think that perhaps other RSS to email solutions are around and it’s something I’m going to look into as it’s a great idea.

    As for creating inbound links – I don’t see how that would happen directly, but if subscribers are getting relatively fresh alerts about new posts to your blog via email; the chances are better of the bloggers among them posting items on their own blogs linking back to the post on yours :).

    As for the nofollow tag issue – I’ll give it some thought :). I’m not overly paranoid about the “linking to bad neighborhoods” issue, but the nofollow feature does help reassure me a little that if I miss a particularly nasty outbound link, I (in theory) won’t get hammered for it :).

    Comment by Michael Bloch — May 5, 2007 @ 5:00 pm

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