Jonathan Volk wrote a guest blog post on this blog call You’re Missing Out – Email RSS Subscriptions. In it, he explained why you’re missing out if you don’t offer the RSS to Email option found in Feedburner. Most bloggers just turn on the RSS option and don’t do anything with the Email. I happen to be one of those bloggers who leave the Feedburner Email option off and I can tell you that I am not missing out on anything. In fact, I would say you’re missing out by using it and not the solution I use.
A Better Solution – Aweber Blog Broadcast
The main problem with the Feedburner RSS to Email option is that it only sends RSS updates to your subscribers. It cannot send them anything else. The entire point of getting a reader’s email is so you can send him/her whatever you want. Fortunately, Aweber offers a much better solution than Feedburner.
By using the Aweber Blog Broadcast feature (one of the many features Aweber offers), you can offer the same service as Feedburner’s RSS to Email and be able to send subscribers additional content that is outside of your blog posts. Aweber Blog Broadcast takes the contents of your RSS feed and turns it into a ready to send newsletter. You can set when the broadcast goes out – by certain days of the week or by number of posts.
Instead of offering your readers the option to subscribe to your blog via RSS or Feedburner RSS to Email, you replace the Feedbruner RSS to Email with Aweber Blog Broadcast. The net effect will still be the same. A reader subbing to email by Feedburner or Aweber will both get RSS updates from your blog. The big difference is Aweber is a complete email marketing solution allowing you to email additional contents/offers to your subscribers.
When readers subscribe to Feedburner RSS to Email, they get added to the Feedburner counter. When readers sign up to Aweber Blog Broadcast, they get added to the Feedburner counter as well, so you don’t have to worry about not having all your subscribers counted. If social proof is important to you, this is a great feature.
Here is a screen cast on how to set up an Aweber Blog Broadcast.
The only downside to the Aweber solution is it cost money while Feedburner is free. However, given all the advantages Aweber offers over the Feedburner solution, it’s money well spent. Aweber offers a $1 trial. Try Aweber for the first month for only $1. The trial account is the same as a normal account. You can set up unlimited list and unlimited auto responders. If after a month, you find that the solution is not for you, send Aweber an email and they won’t charge next month. They’ll even give you your $1 back! It’s 100% risk free and one of the reasons I recommend them so much.
With the Blog Broadcast feature of Aweber, you can offer your readers the option of subscribing to your RSS by Email and you’ll also be building your mailing list. And we all know, the money is in the list!