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Automating blog and newsletter delivery

If you struggle with how to reach your customers with e-mail newsletters and RSS feeds, you’re not alone. I started out several years ago with a monthly e-mail newsletter and later added a blog that has built up to a daily posting. I’ve struggled with how to provide this information to subscribers without duplication using the delivery method that they want. Today, I will share what I am doing—it might help you think through your own content delivery strategy.


I’m cheap, so I started out using the list server mechanism that comes bundled with my Web hosting. It’s kind of an ugly format, however, so it forced my customers to get newsletter excerpts in plain text. The old plain text Biznology Newsletter
And my wife and I had more work to do, originally writing a Perl script to allow folks to sign up, manually processing unsubscribes, and then having to figure what to do if something went wrong with the list server (like when we went on vacation last month and my service provider decided to upgrade the list server and sent out a cryptic message to every subscriber on the list.)
In the meantime, I also have this blog going. It seemed silly for the folks using RSS to subscribe to the blog not to see the newsletter, so I started posting blog entries each month pointing to the newsletter. But it also seemed silly to restrict the blog subscriptions to those that use feed readers—might not some newsletter subscribers want a daily e-mail instead of a monthly e-mail?
For a long time, I didn’t know what to do, but I finally decided to use FeedBlitz to consolidate all my feed deliveries for e-mail and to offer all my newsletters as full-fledged blog entries. So, if you look at this blog post on my Web site, you’ll find that you can subscribe either to the feed or to a daily e-mail, now powered by FeedBlitz. The new FeedBlitz-powered Biznology Blog
I’ve been planning to do this for a few months, but finally got to it over the weekend. Today when I went to make the switchover, I noticed that on Friday FeedBlitz will begin incorporating ads into their e-mails, but I went ahead and switched anyway. I am hoping they are smart enough not to make the ads too intrusive, but if they do, I guess I will have to figure out what to do next. (I think I am doing e-mail wrong quickly…)
And I am shutting down the list server, too. Once a month, I will mark a blog entry as my monthly newsletter (I’ve established a newsletter category) and that entry will be shipped as e-mail to the subscribers of the monthly newsletter.
So daily blog subscribers can stick with their regular RSS feed or they can change to e-mail delivery if they prefer. Monthly newsletter subscribers can continue to get a monthly e-mail, or they can switch to a daily e-mail or RSS feed if they decide they want more.
I don’t know if this will satisfy everyone, so let me know if you think I am missing something. And let me know if you have more questions on how I did this—if this kind of information is helpful to other marketers, that’s even better.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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