RSS to Email: 3 Tips To Get You Started
By Justin Premick November 11, 2008
More bloggers than ever are converting RSS to email to connect with a wider audience. (Are you one of them, too?) Now that the idea that RSS and email can and should coexist has taken hold, what can bloggers learn from the email marketing world and use to make RSS to email (even more) worth their while?
More bloggers than ever are converting RSS to email to connect with a wider audience. (Maybe you’re one of them.)
RSS to Email Tips
While this is by no means everything you can do to make the most of RSS to email, hopefully these tips will form a list of best practices we can all build on to better engage our blogs’ email readers.
OK, here goes…
1. Start With a Plan.
A number of articles I’ve read on “emailing for bloggers” (like this one) set this as the first thing you should do.
And no wonder. This is step #1 for any successful email campaign.
After all, if you don’t know why you’re converting RSS to email, you’re going to have a hard time convincing anyone to sign up, let alone deliver the kind of value that will effectively engage your readers.
Ask yourself: What is the goal of my email campaign? How will I know if I am meeting that goal?
The answers to these questions will help shape decisions about what content to include in your emails, how often you will send emails, and other tactical questions.
2. Decide How Often To Email (and How Much To Send In Each Email)
Frequency and scheduling aren’t typically the first things you should think about for your email newsletter.
However, with a blog I recommend thinking a bit more about them at first – especially if you have an established blog, or if you post frequently (if you haven’t gotten to that point yet, you might be better off focusing on creating content and getting potential subscribers to your blog).
And it’s important to think about how much content to send in each email – you don’t want to overload subscribers, but you want to make sure there’s enough to make opening and reading your emails worth their time.
Ask yourself: Will I send an email every time I have a new post? Once every few posts? Once a week? How much content is appropriate for one email? How many emails per week/month will my subscribers want to get?
The answers to these questions will help you decide how often to schedule your emails.
3. Define Why People Should Subscribe
One of my favorite lines is “Nobody wakes up and says, ‘Gee, I’d sure like to sign up for some email today.'”
If you don’t give people a good reason (better yet, several good reasons) to subscribe, well… they won’t subscribe. Even if they love your blog.
Sometimes the selling point is the simple convenience of being notified about new articles on your blog. Or only getting notified once a week instead of every time you post.
Other times it’s getting something of value that non-subscribers don’t – this tip was offered by a couple people when I asked for RSS to email tips on Twitter:
Whatever your “hook” is, clearly define it and then come up with a few (2-4) simple phrases or sentences that sell visitors on subscribing.
These will serve not only as headlines for your signup form, but also as calls to action to help you get more subscribers faster.
Use these tips to develop your own effective blog newsletter (if you’re not already doing so, you can discover why you should here and then use AWeber’s RSS to email tool to automatically turn your feed into an email newsletter).
What’s Your #1 RSS to Email Tip?
If you blog, and convert your RSS feed to email, I (and the readers of this blog) would love to hear your best-loved tip on using email with blogs effectively.