For web designers and developers, email can seem a dreadfully old fashioned way to spread information. I’ve spoken to plenty of people who tell me that RSS is going to take over and email will be dead soon.
There is no doubt that for some types of information, an RSS feed is a much better way to keep up to date. It’s also obvious that lots of people are struggling with too much email.
However, outside of the techy world, RSS has a very long way to go. Via Steve Rubel we came across a Forrester research paper on the state of RSS.
Nearly half of interactive marketers use RSS, but consumer adoption has only reached 11%. Of the consumers who haven’t adopted RSS, most don’t understand how RSS is relevant to their lives and the way they seek information. If marketers expect to reach a critical mass of consumers by using content syndication, then they must take on the burden of education.
Why does this matter to you?
This really is important to remember. While you and your immediate circle keep up with your favourite topics, products and companies via RSS, the great mass of people are not doing that.
In fact, even most Campaign Monitor customers do not subscribe to the RSS feed, and we always see a huge boost in traffic to the blog after our newsletters go out.
So when you next design a blog for a client, take some time to explain this to them. Clients are rightfully concerned about how to keep people coming back to their site.
An RSS feed is simple and useful, but it won’t reach most of their audience. Email newsletters, on the other hand, appeal to a much greater potential audience. You can offer a well designed newsletter layout to your clients, and help them get that attention.
It’s a nice additional source of income for your business as well as for your client’s business. Email may be old, but it’s got plenty of years left in it still!