The Issue – Multi Feed Subscription
The company I work for recently went through a ton of changes. Take three high profile software companies, merge them in to one, and then re-package, re-brand and market in a whole new way. Not an easy feat by any means.
Having four main sites, each with various RSS Feeds, we wanted a sign up area for all of our newsletters. This would give clients the opportunity to sign up for a variety of articles, or just one that might focus on the area they were interested in. My immediate thought was FeedBurner. I had used this service in the past for a personal blog, allowing visitors to subscribe to content. Great, problem solved!
Not quite so easy. The main component we needed was for people to sign up for newsletters en masse. We certainly didn’t want them to have to go through a possible 11 sign up forms, not the smoothest approach. I found out that FeedBurner does not have the ability to let you subscribe to more than one feed at the same time. Back to the drawing board then!
The Answer to Smooth Subscriptions
Google is definitely my friend so I took to the search engine to find an alternative. FeedBlitz kept coming up in search results. They offer a free trial so I took it! Figured if it didn’t work the way we needed, I would cancel and not be charged for trying it out. We set up 11 different RSS feeds. Each feed can easily be turned into an e-mail newsletter, with the ability to customize the template using images, styles and verbiage. Code is provided to create a subscription form for all of your feeds and newsletters. To say it’s easy is putting it mildly.
The most work needed to be done was additional customization of the form to fit in with the flow of our company website. The very fact that this level of customizing was possible was such a huge selling point. Visitors to the registration page simply check off boxes next to the articles they wish to receive, enter their e-mail address and submit. After submitting their request, they receive an e-mail prompting them for confirmation, and they are all set!
Saving My Contacts!
A huge concern was losing the current subscribers we already had. We were using Constant Contact for a weekly tip e-mail about one of our products. We had almost 800 readers in that list. No way were we going to make the final switch if we couldn’t somehow get them all over. FeedBlitz allows importing of subscribers in a variety of ways (including importing from FeedBurner). We were able to export a list from Constant Contact, then import the list directly in to FeedBlitz. Subscribers were notified about the change in the service provider, it was that simple!
Recently I started a new blog project, creating web content for small and growing businesses, helping them build their online presence through their website and social media. FeedBurner is a free service offered by Google, FeedBlitz is not. Having used the service for quite some time through my full time job, I knew that FeedBlitz was the way to go. I am happy to use a paid service that creates a smooth seamless process for the subscriber, gives flexibility to the feed creator and has fantastic customer service.
About The Author
Megan Walker is a Brit living and working in the USA. By day she works for software company Bond International Software, Inc. in Atlanta, GA. She created Sociable Co. in 2012, providing social media tips and tricks to small and growing businesses. You can read some of her other articles to get started on building a great online presence for your business. Follow her @sociableco on Twitter.