Subscribe By Text / SMS Now Available for Your Lists – And You’ll Love the Price

Every FeedBlitz email publisher now has access to a free, configurable, subscribe-by-text capability.

Yeah, we did that. Because we love to see our publishers be successful and grow. Because we want using this to be a no-brainer.

With many publishers doing in-person events, seminars, streaming videos, webcasts and more, we wanted to find a way to simplify the subscription process and make it more immediate. Rather than ask people to subscribe to a URL, you can simply have them text a code you define to the FeedBlitz subscribe by text number, and they can subscribe from their phones. It’s easy to start, fast to finish, and a fabulous call to action for any slide, periscope or talk you give.

And yes: It’s completely free to anyone with a FeedBlitz list. Other standalone services charge $19 a month for just this text subscription service. You get it here at FeedBlitz as part of the package, even if you’re a legacy user, or paying us our $1.49 minimum, or in a trial.

Easy Setup

We’ve already created a set of default codes for every list in FeedBlitz, to get you started.

To see them, click into the Subscribe-By-Text Builder on your list or autoresponder’s dashboard. You’ll see something like the screen below:

Free Subscribe By Text

There’s one numeric code – that is your list ID; you can’t edit that. Otherwise, you can change the codes already assigned to you by editing them here. You might want to make them make more sense from a human perspective, for example; add punctuation, better reflect your brand, or reflect a specific campaign / event. You can tell if they’re OK by the little icon.

You can also add as many new codes as you like, too. When one you want is available, click the “Add New Code” button; it goes live when the whole form is saved. So in the screenshot above, I’m trying to add “AVC” – but that code’s already taken.

You can even customize the text message FeedBlitz first sends to people texting in your codes.

Try Subscribe-by-Text Today

Super simple, easy to set up, instant gratification for you and your audience. What’s not to like? Give it a try!

P.S. It also works internationally!

Don’t Fear the Gmail Reaper. Or, A Word About the Winnowing

If your list got a little smaller recently and gmail accounts are the ones that are AWOL, you’re in good company – and there’s no need to panic. Gmail has been cleaning house, tidying up and removing idle accounts, or ones that are used in spam farms. They’re doing everyone a favor, and there’s no need to fret, because the accounts they’re removing were junk anyway.

All of us in the email ecosystem – recipients, mailbox hosts, publishers, ESPs (email service providers) like FeedBlitz – have a vested interest in keeping spam and junk out, and ensuring that email that ends up in an inbox is legit. We all have our responsibilities. The inbox hosts – e.g. Gmail, Yahoo, AOL – have theirs too. Most of the time, one would imagine that much of their focus is on filtering inbound spam out. That was the goal behind Yahoo’s and AOL’s DMARC policy changes a year and a half ago.

But they also worry about email that they send, and spam emails that ask for replies which go to accounts on their systems. What some spammers do is use cheap labor to create many free accounts on these systems, then sign up for mailing lists using dual opt-in to legitimize them, because look, a human did this! … and then they use these accounts to email junk, or as the inboxes where you’re invited to send your social security number, claim your Nigerian windfall, etc. You get the idea.

These accounts are otherwise typically idle and don’t behave like real people. The inbox hosts periodically remove them as they show up in their anti-abuse scans. So yes, they were dual opted-in by a human to make them seem real; but in fact they’re not real, weren’t paying attention to you mailings, and weren’t clicking through to read your content. They’re just online chaff, and it’s good to have them winnowed out.

When an ISP does this, they’re making the Internet a safer place by removing opportunities to run email scams; they’re saving you money by reducing the size of your list automatically (assuming, like FeedBlitz, you’re not charged for deleted subscribers); and generally making everyone’s lives better by increasing the quality of the mail streams we send.

ISPs taking responsibility for spam accounts on their systems is a Good Thing and should be welcomed, even if we subconsciously calibrate our online ego by the size of our mailing lists (don’t, BTW; open rate is a much better metric).

Panic not, then. And if you have concerns about a particular address on your list, please do drop a note over to FeedBlitz support. We’re happy to tell you about a subscriber’s activity, verify their deliverability and much more. We’ve earned our Sender Scores (96-99, thank you very much), after all.

Happy Labor Day! Support resumes Tuesday, 8 September

In observance of the U.S. federal holiday (and our need to cook with fire and slather things with barbecue sauce), FeedBlitz’s offices are closed today, Monday, September 7th. We’ll be back, bright eyed and bushy tailed (and possibly a little heavier) tomorrow morning. If you have a support question today, please email – we’ll get to you first thing tomorrow.

Making Video in Email Work with Animoto

Back in March, we extended our support for embedded video in email marketing by adding Animoto to our roster of supported video apps. FeedBlitz continues to be the leading email marketing service with the widest range of video support — all without the hassle and expense of a specialty dedicated video email service.

What is Animoto?

If you’re not familiar with Animoto, one way to think about is as that it’s a little like video powerpoint. On steroids. And in an Iron Man suit.

Animoto takes static content (and video too), splices it all together and makes a dynamic, interesting, shareable, rocking video out of it. That’s why Animoto is popular with realtors, for example, because it can quickly and easily turn the photos of a house that we’ve all seen before into something new and engaging.?áHere’s our video so you can see all the moving parts come together (the music is a little loud, you might want to turn the volume down if you’re in a shared space):

Our Animoto video is a mix of text, static images and screencast recordings (watch as you see the screencast play as the video does its thing). Animoto does the magic to make it rock, and we’re big fans of theirs. If I can do this, you can: You don’t need to be a tech or video guru to make a video sizzle. Not at all!

The point is simply this: what could have been a ho-hum feature announcement became an exciting and engaging news item that really connected with our clients. Which gets me to…

Why Video in Email Matters

According to a recent survey run by Animoto and referenced here?á– and with the cool infographic too — video in email can increase click through rates by 50% — that’s a tough metric to ignore. ?áI’ve written about video in email before, and we’re happy to partner with Animoto — as shown by this new video in email marketing case study on their site that highlights our work.

Give it a whirl – and we have a deal, too!

The combination of FeedBlitz and Animoto together is unique. If you’re looking for a better way to get your Animoto videos to yo subscribers, start a FeedBlitz trial here for a 10% lifetime discount.

If you want to do more with slides, static presentations and trade show displays, Animoto is offering our readers a 20% discount on business accounts. Click this link and use the code?áfeedblitz20?áat checkout.

Different Forms for Different Pages in WordPress

Have you ever wanted different subscription forms for different pages or categories in your WordPress blog?

Sidebars do not always have to contain the same content. From our perspective, changing a sidebar is useful if you have individual mailing lists for each category, and want to put the right subscription form in the right sidebar.

I recently visited Wordcamp in North Canton, OH and discovered a powerful plugin that accomplishes this easily without extra PHP coding.

Download the plugin “Widgets on Pages” and activate (although the plugin shows as not being updated in over 2 years, it still works properly).

On your WordPress blog’s admin page, navigate to “Settings > Widgets on Pages” in the main menu.

Depending on how many pages/posts you want different content on, enter that number into “Number of additional sidebars.” (This can always be changed). Then name the sidebars.


Go to Appearance > Widgets and see that the new sidebars are added.

Drag and drop a text widget into each new sidebar.

To add a different form for each sidebar, copy and paste the different form codes FeedBlitz provides into the text widgets.

Example: For Category A’s mailing list, add the sign up form for that list into the Category A text widget.

Notice there is a snippet of code under the sidebar titles.

[widgets_on_pages id=ÔÇ£Category AÔÇØ]

Grab that code and place anywhere in the text editor of your Category A page.

Follow the same steps for the other categories.

Only pages/posts containing the extra code snippet will contain the sign up form from the corresponding text widget.

There are other approaches to getting different forms on sidebars, but this one (using “shortcodes”) is simple and effective.


Important New Feature: Ad Suppression Through Tagging

This morning I realized that a key feature was missing from FeedBlitz’s monetization option.

Premium FeedBlitz publishers should be able to suppress advertisements from their feeds and mailings without logging into FeedBlitz and making changes to their account.

Sometimes we ?áhave to write about things that are too personal, too important, or too sad for ads of any kind to be appropriate.

As of today if a post is tagged or categorized as “noads” there will be no ad in that RSS entry or added by that post mailed as a stand alone mailing. You can apply “noads” as a tag, category or label, depending on your blogging service. FeedBlitz treats them all the same.


In an email, “noads” prevents additional ads from being inserted. If the mailing contains multiple posts, some with ads from the RSS feed and some without, the mailer will not strip the ads that are already there.

Remember, the actual category, label or tag should not include the quotation marks, they are used to differentiate the tag from the rest of the sentence.

I am thankful to work for FeedBlitz, where our experiences as writers and human beings, is something we are expected to use to improve what we do.

It is a dark time for my home of Charleston, SC. Please keep this community in your thoughts.

No Support Today, Monday May 25 2015

Even FeedBlitz’s amazing support team needs a day off now and then, and so I’ve told them not to come to work today.

For everyone else, please note that the offices are closed for the Memorial Day holiday here in the U.S. Stay safe, enjoy the time off if you can, and we’ll be re-opening all bright eyed and bushy tailed first thing tomorrow.


Hero Images, Thumbnails and Tumblr: RSS Subscriber Emails with Impact

Want your subscriber email blog updates to be more than a rehash of your blog posts? Splendid! Because now they can be, as the FeedBlitz EZ Template editor just keeps getting better.

Want to extract your blog’s main photo and use it as a “hero image” at the top of your mailing for extra impact? Now you can.

Perhaps you need thumbnails for daily or weekly digests with many posts? Done and done.

In addition to adding more dynamic content such as pins from Pinterest, pictures from Instagram and (New!) the latest from Tumblr, we are now giving you much more flexibility in how your mailing’s content is displayed. With this latest update to the EZ template editor, you can now choose to:

Display content as it appears on your blog:

This is our standard default setting.

Display the post title, then the first significant image (a.k.a. a “hero” image):

Give some “wow” up front with a compelling visual!


Display the hero image, then post title, then content:

More visual pop, but this time the featured image appears before the post title.

Display a title, ?áthumbnail version of the featured image, and then the content:

Small, but perfectly formed, a discreet image for a more subtle, elegant presentation.

Display the thumbnail, title, and then the content:

No matter which layout you pick, you can now?áalso choose how the body of the post is displayed.?áWith or without images, for example. Or using the (usually abbreviated) description of the post, if your site provides one. If your site does not provide a descriptive item in their feed, we can also abridge the full content intelligently.

TL;DR: Lots of new choices!

Too many words in this post? Worry not, Dear Reader. Here is a screencast video that walks through the current features of the EZ Template Editor. As always, if you have any questions our support team is here to help Monday ?á- Friday 9am – 5pm Eastern.

By the way…

Did you know that more than half of email is now opened on mobile devices? The good news is that all mailings created with the EZ Template Editor are, by default, responsive. You do not need to spend time testing your mailings across devices and platforms, we’ve taken care of the work for you.

The EZ Editor gives you the ability to add your own logo, change fonts and colors, add a table of ?ácontents, and a toolbar without ever having to worry about losing your responsive design.

No Phone Support Today, Tuesday, May 12th.

Telephone support will be unavailable today; live chat (from the top toolbar) and email support will still be available during east coast business hours, however. Phone support will be added back on Wednesday, May 13th.

Power Email Marketing with FeedBlitz

Did you know we have great power email marketing capabilities? While FeedBlitz is best known for its RSS feed powered email automation (corporate engineering motto: If it moves, automate it), we’ve been steadily increasing FeedBlitz’s traditional email marketing capabilities as well.

In case you missed it, here’s a quick summary of our “Newsflash” emailing function, which is used for “traditional” (i.e. manually produced) newsletters, updates and sales pieces:

  • New: Draft mailings from blog posts, and then edit before mailing;
  • New: The ability to mail multiple lists at the same time;
  • New: The ability to apply multiple suppression lists to a mailing;
  • New: The ability to suppress mailings using active or unsubscribed members of other lists;
  • Use custom fields to send mailings to specific segments;
  • Real-time and scheduled mailings.
To round this list out for completeness, FeedBlitz also offers:
  • Multi-step autoresponders;
  • Triggers to automate transitions between lists;
  • Shopping cart and third party system integration via API and parser;
  • And, of course, the industry’s most capable RSS to email marketing service, period.

There’s a lot to this side of FeedBlitz, and in this post I’m going to briefly explore the new Newsflash dedicated email blast capabilities.

How to send a mailing

To send a mailing that isn’t being produced by an RSS feed as its source, go to the main list’s dashboard. Click the large green “Send a Mailing” button upper right, then choose “Newsflash Email Blast.”

You’ll end up at a screen asking you how you want to create the content for the mailing before you start to edit it.

New: On-Demand for curated newsletters

This option lets you pick and sort the posts to include in the mailing. Unlike the “On-Demand” option from the screen where you picked “Newsflash,” this choice drops these posts into the Newsflash email editor. This gives you the chance to add editorial, make changes … and turn your blog posts into a curated newsletter. What it eliminates is lots of tedious copying and pasting for you, which makes producing your newsletter faster and less error-prone. If you have a newsletter that is a basically your blog posts but with extra commentary and specials for your newsletter subscribers, this is a great option for you.

New: Include other lists

No matter which option you choose from the starting screen, you can readily mail multiple lists with the same content. Better yet, you don’t have to worry about sending mailings to the same subscriber multiple times, or having to go to the hassle of creating a master list.

In the “Audience Selection” area you can now pick one or more other lists to send the mailing to. When the mailing is sent (important and worth repeating: Not when you schedule it, but when the mailing actually starts); FeedBlitz sends the mail to every active subscriber on the list just once. It’s a great time saver! Here are the details:

  • If the subscriber is on multiple lists and on the “main” list (i.e. the one you’re nominally sending the newsflash from), the newsflash will appear to come from the main list;
  • Otherwise the mailing will come from (one of) the other list(s) you picked;
  • No subscriber will be mailed more than once;
  • Metrics (sent, opens, bounces, unsubscribes, complaints etc.) will all be reported under the main list only;
  • Mailings will be sent formatted with the template of the list the subscriber was pulled from;
  • If the subscriber unsubscribes it will be from the list they were pulled from.

New: Go wild with subscriber suppression

We’ve had suppression lists for a years, but what’s new is that you can now use:

  • Multiple suppression lists in a mailing;
  • One or more of your email lists as well as / instead of one or more dedicated suppression lists.

For example, say you have a main marketing list, and a smaller list of people who’ve bought product X from you. You don’t want to email those who’ve already got the product something that says “Buy Product X” — so you use that smaller list to suppress mailings from the main one.

You can choose multiple suppression lists, active subscribers and unsubscribed readers. Like the multiple list mailing feature above, those to exclude are determined when the mailing starts, not when it is scheduled, so it’s safe to schedule an offer days or weeks in advance.

Finally, it’s worth emphasizing that suppression always wins out over inclusion. In other words, if a subscriber is active on any of the lists / segments you define, but is also on one of the suppression lists you pick, then that subscriber will not be mailed.

FeedBlitz: Going Beyond RSS to Email

Want to go beyond automated mailings? These new capabilities make targeted delivery and traditional curated mailings a breeze in FeedBlitz.