Offer email subscriptions

By Daniel Scocco

Take a look at the blogosphere and you will realize that many bloggers rely exclusively on RSS syndication to get in touch with their readers. While I do believe that RSS is a corner stone of online publishing, I also think that offering email subscriptions can be very beneficial for a blog, and here are the reasons:

1. Email subscriptions can increase the number of subscribers to your blog: The blogs that offer email subscription usually have from 5% to 15% of their readers getting updates via email. This may not sound impressive for small blogs (if you have 100 RSS subscribers you will probably get only 5 or 10 more readers by offering email subscription), but it will certainly make a difference once your blog starts to grow.

2. Not everyone is familiar with RSS: if you are already publishing your blog it is very likely that you find new technologies such as RSS trivial, but you must bear in mind that the vast majority of the population is not so tech-savvy. There are studies, in fact, confirming that only 3% of adults and 6% of teens use RSS readers. Email subscriptions come as a natural way to fill this gap.

3. Email subscription gives you an opportunity to interact with readers: people getting your feed through RSS do not reveal anything about themselves (except what kind of reader they are using). Email subscribers, on the other hand, must leave a very valuable asset on your hand: their email! Now, while you should treat this information with privacy (i.e. affiliate offers and the like) there are certain situations where having emails from your regular readers can be useful. You could, for instance, send them a quick survey about what topics they would like to read about or what design they prefer for your blog.

Here is a list of Email subscription providers:



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20 Responses to “Offer email subscriptions”

  • Shawn

    Daniel, great list! However, since this is in the “blogging basics” category, I think you’re missing one part. What does a blogger do to offer email subscriptions?

    My personal recommendation is FeedBurner ( http://www.feedburner.com ) and I also hear lots of love for FeedBlitz ( http://www.feedblitz.com ) but haven’t personally used it.

    Are there any others out there that I’m missing?

  • Daniel

    Shawn, thanks for the comment, I just added the top three services of email subscription on the post.

    The only one you missed is Zoodoka, but I agree with you that Feedburner is the best option unless you need to provice weekly newsletters (Feedburner only offers daily updates).

  • Ajay

    I haven’t used Zoodoko so far. But, I have used both Feedburner and Feedblitz. Both work really well.

  • Bes Zain

    Nice tip. Email is still used on a much wider scale compared to RSS feeds or even instant messengers.

    I have used the 3 mentioned above. When I used Feedblitz last year, it did not have that many options compared to Zoodoka [if I remember correctly], yet it was still highly flexible. Seems like they have updated their site since they used be to the preferred email subscription service used by Feedburner until Feedburner started offering email subscriptions.

    All 3 are fine, in my opinion. I currently use Feedburner and am happy with it.

  • engtech

    Some things I’ve noticed in my experience

    – I tried offering multiple feeds per category but it really wasn’t worth the hassle. Most people are interested in full feeds only.

    – Only 3% of subscribers opted for RSS over email… but that’s what I get for having a tech-focused blog.

  • Roberto Alamos

    My blog is focused on software developers and therefore RSS prevails over email subscriptions by far. In fact my current relation between them is 6:1, something that clearly shows than when people is aware of available technologies, they choose better technologies (is obvious, isn’t?). I also prefer RSS over email subscription, because it’s not “intrusive” in the sense that you read your rss subscriptions when you want, versus being forced to read your subscriptions when you receive them in your email inbox.

    BTW, the name of the 3rd service is Zookoda, not Zoodoka 😉

    Nice work Daniel 🙂

  • John

    While I understand the power and availability of RSS, the one feature it lacks in my mind is that the users are not encouraged enough to participate in discussions. (The extra clicks to post comments is enough to drop the comment rate.)

    In any case, congratulations on your nomination in the Bloggies.

  • Daniel

    engtech, yeah the percentage of email subscribers will certainly be influenced by the topic of the blog, I have one blog about business and innovation where the email subscribers top 25% of the whole number.

    Roberto, 6:1 is not a bad ratio, once you reach 1000 subscribers 166 of them will be email readers, which is not negligible!

  • osacara

    HOLA

  • mat and jacob

    some one send me subsriptions for anything send it to my email asap- leader_of_the_blackparade@hotmail.com

  • fred

    well looky here

  • Karrie

    My web designers have explained to me that having an email subscription can mean that hundreds of malicious emails are delivered to your site with resultant server problems. Can anyone tell me if this is a problem they have experience of, and if so what can be done to avoid it>

  • SEO Genius

    Yeah i have just started using feedburner to offer both an RSS feed and email subscription, it is not going so well at the moment, not sure if the feed is set up correctly as it i had to code it myself in xml because its a static page.

  • ishingyiro brian

    IT IS REALLY GGOD

  • Rio

    I have used feedburner since several months ago, but now it is error. Then I try to use Feedblitz, but it did the same. When I registered to Zookoda, my e-mail have not been verified yet until this time, so I still cannot send any updates to my readers. 🙁

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