Email Wins Over RSS?

By | September 26, 2006

I’ve been obsessively watching email subscription to my blog via Feedblitz and while we’re talking modest numbers here, it’s great to see people signing up. (It’s on the left hand side of the blog below my smarmy mugshot.) Much more personal somehow, than an RSS subscription.

Which doubles the pain when someone unsubscribes. Was it something I said? Something I didn’t say? The way I said it? What’s the etiquette on this?

Email subscription to blogs is actually a pretty useful tool. It may look like a step back from RSS but actually it has its uses. I use it for those blogs that I definitely want to read, and can’t afford to ignore (knowing that some days I’ll only get around to checking my RSS reader once or twice.) Email I’ll always read. And most feeds look nice in Feedblitz.

But maybe Feedblitz has missed a trick. Given email is a two way street, wouldn’t it be good to make the Feedblitz subscription more interactive? Allow readers to comment on a post just by hitting ‘reply’, or at least to offer feedback to the writer (especially when they unsubscribe a day after subscribing.)

4 thoughts on “Email Wins Over RSS?

  1. Phil


    FeedBLitz “pro” customers can tailor the from and reply-to addresses to achieve exactly what you’re saying. We also have a further trick or two up our sleeves to make things more interactive in v2, coming out real soon now. Stay tuned, and thanks for the feedback!


  2. JesseCiccone

    Funny…this week, I’ve been feverishly unsubscribing from e-mail newsletters.

    Don’t take it personal when somebody does, Jeremy. If my experience this week is any indicator, it’s a move driven purely by e-mail volume and information overload, not content!

  3. Amit Agarwal

    I guess some people confuse when subscribing to email updates – they imagine receiving a CNET or PCWorld style email newsletter but all they get is a plain vanilla text email saying – “This blog has 5 new posts” – this could be one of the reasons for people to unsubscribe.

    Still, a lot of internet users prefer to read rss feeds in their inbox instead of the rss readers. Of the 5k subscribers to my blog, a healthy 25% are via feedblitz.

  4. Jeremy Wagstaff

    Jesse, thanks for this. Overload is a problem for me too, and I know the feeling of mild satisfaction one gets from reducing it a little. Amit, also a good point, and something I’m working on. I think newsletters are still a viable medium.


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