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Increase Your RSS Subscriptions with RSS by Email

written by John Chow on October 8, 2007

As part of my competition with Shoemoney over who can get the most new RSS subscribers in a month, I’ve been experimenting with various ways to boost my RSS count. I’m hoping all the methods I’m employing will not only help me win this competition but it will also allow me to share the information with you so you can use it to increase your subscriber base. One of the more successful methods I’ve tried so far has been to offer RSS by Email. Since I turned this option on three days ago, I’ve picked up 119 new subscribers.

What Is RSS by Email?

RSS by Email is a feature of FeedBurner. Instead of a reader subscribing to your RSS using a feed reader like Google Reader, they subscribe using their email address. Any new posts published will then be sent directly to the reader’s inbox. It’s a very convenient way for readers to subscribe.

rss-email.png

To access RSS by Email, go to the Publicize tab of your FeedBurner control panel and activate Email Subscriptions. Once activated, you’ll be given customization options like subscription management, communication preferences, Email branding and delivery options.

Customizable Sign Up Box

Enter your email address:

FeedBurner gives you the codes to add a RSS by Email subscription box on your blog. If you do not have a place for the subscription form, FeedBurner allows you to link directly to a subscription box.

The sign up box is completely customizable. You can see how I’ve integrated it by looking under “subscribe to John Chow dot Com” at the top right of this blog. I placed the sign up box directly under the RSS button.

Getting Unconfirmed Subscribers To Confirm

Before FeedBurner delivers your RSS by Email, a reader must first verify their subscription. If they don’t, then they will never receive a single Email. I’m happy to report that I have only ten unverified subscribers. However, many blogs have upwards of 50% unverified and sending everyone a friendly email to verify their subscription can be a tedious task.

To make things easier you can try the Notify Unconfirmed Subscribers WordPress Plugin by Techie Buzz. This plugin will send a personalized email to all unconfirmed subscribers asking them to verify their subscriptions. It’s very important to get everyone to verify their RSS by Email subscription because if they don’t, they don’t get counted toward your RSS total. If you’re one of the ten readers who have yet to verify your subscription, then please do so now.

I believe RSS by Email is going to be a key factor in my battle with Shoemoney. If you haven’t added it to your blog, you should. Offering more subscription choices can only help you get more RSS subscribers.

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