One of the challenges of FeedBurner RSS subscriber migration is that, when you’ve advertised your FeedBurner feed URL as your RSS feed, you’ve basically ceded all control of your site’s RSS readership to them (FeedBurner). Since there isn’t an elegant way of getting RSS readers off FeedBurner that FeedBurner provides, you have to get them to resubscribe.
This is obviously a pain and a sticking point for many. Our promise is that anyone with a pulse who cares will come over, and the process to do that is described in the FeedBurner Migration Guide (click to download) and built in to the FeedBlitz RSS service. Basically, we serve a different message to your FeedBurner subscribers when you post, encouraging them to subscribe.
For many bloggers this works great – people come over after a few posts. But for some, their readership doesn’t seem to want to come over at all. They seem to be highly resistant to this kind of
coercion persuasion. Why is that, we wondered? These readers can’t all be machines or comatose, and it surely can’t be that they all don’t care any more. What is going on?
Well, one thing that we realized is that, although we serve different copy to your FeedBurner subscribers inviting them to switch, the link we serve to go with that post works just fine. So if a lazy reader doesn’t care about the message, and instead just keeps on clicking through to your site, then they get exactly where they want to be, and so won’t feel any pressure to change their subscription to your new feed address. Similar to “banner blindness” that reduces ad yields over time, these subscribers can simply tune out the “this feed has moved, please resubscribe” message and happily click through to your posts. For whatever reason, it seems that some blogs out there have a significant proportion of subscribers for whom this approach works just fine, thank you very much, and that yields to frustration when they don’t come over.
This effect is obviously a big obstacle to your regaining control over your RSS feed readership.
And so on Monday, January 21st at about 9am eastern, we’re going to make it just a little less convenient for FeedBurner RSS subscribers to avoid resubscribing like this. At that time we will change how we serve your feeds to FeedBurner, by not only changing the content we deliver, but also by changing the links that we send along for the ride.
Here’s what will happen.
If you do not have the FeedBurner migration message enabled in your FeedBlitz RSS feed, nothing different will happen when the user clicks through. They’ll get straight to your post, just like they do now.
If, however, you do have the FeedBurner migration message enabled, we’re not going to send the subscriber directly to your blog. Instead, the link will send them to a landing page we host for you, with your feed’s branding, where the migration message will be repeated, further encouraging them to resubscribe. There will also be a link that they can click on to get to the article itself, but the intent here is that the visitor will know that you really, really, REALLY want then to resubscribe; and that it is going to be much more inconvenient for them if they don’t. It’s going to go from a single lazy click to twice the effort along with repetition of the resubscribe message.
The net effect should be that more of your readership will come back into your fold, and we’ll start to wear down the last obstinate few.
Or, in other words: You get to take back control of your FeedBurner RSS feed subscribers and free your feed – with FeedBlitz!