Switching Email Subscription Services

Recently, I switched my blog’s email subscription service from Feedburner to FeedBlitz. Why? Because I listened to the feedback from my readers.

two men fighting over an envelope

Feedburner is owned by Google and it’s free. It provides a simple way for bloggers to offer both RSS and email subscriptions to their readers. It’s free, but it is a one-size-fits-all approach. You don’t have much control over the formatting, especially for email subscribers.For example, you can’t do much to customize the graphics other than insert a picture. You can’t modify the subject line, so that it includes the article title. As a result, every email I sent to my subscribers looked like this, with the exact same subject line:

Feedburner emails in my inbox

Kind of redundant, huh? It makes it very difficult for my readers to scan their emails and see which one contained the post they wanted.

FeedBlitz is an alternative to Feedburner. It isn’t free, but it offers significantly more options for customizing your messages. You can also modify the subject line, so that it includes the specific article inside the newsletter. It looks like this:

FeedBlitz emails in my inbox

This only scratches the surface. You can customize almost every aspect of your feed and your email newsletter. If you are a blogger, it is worth evaluating FeedBlitz. The company even offers a 30-day free trial. I also found the tech support to be fabulous.

Question: What service are you using for your email newsletters and why?
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  • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com patriciazell

    Thanks for all the technology posts. I'm working to be up to speed in "everything," so I'm learning from you and others. Pray for me as I get things set up.

  • http://www.publishinganswers.com Cheryl

    Michael,
    One of the issues I've found with subscribing to other people's blogs with Feedblitz is how difficult it is to unsubscribe. In my experience, it wanted me to have my own feedblitz account as a reader and then I could manage all blogs I was subscribed to. That's a lot of hoops to jump through.

    The other alternative seemed to indicate that if I unsubscribed that way, I'd have a hard time should I want to resubscribe to that blog again later.

    Though it does have limitations, Feedburner just seems more user friendly for the reader to me, but maybe my experience was not typical, I don't know.

    • http://www.feedblitz.com Phil Hollows

      Hi Cheryl:

      It's easy to unsubscribe using the links. You do not have to log in or register to unsubscribre, just ckick the link on the email and confirm on the page that appears. No need to register or log in – just two clicks. It is harder to resubscribe, because to minimize spam we require resubscribing to be done in yoru account, whcih means you do have to log in. We warn you about that as you unsubscribe simply so you can make a fully informed decision.

      Phil Hollows
      Founder
      FeedBlitz.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I was about to answer and saw Phil's response. I could never get a lick of tech support from Feedburner (owned by Google), but as you can see here, Phil is Johnny-on-the-spot. He provides fantastic tech support!

  • fmckinnon

    using feedblitz here as well

  • http://portraitofawriter.ginaconroy.com Gina

    I'm using the free version of feedblitz, but I"m not too familiar with all of it's features. I can't even figure out how to get my email one line summary to change to including more of the post in the email. Wondering if there's tech support for the free version I'm using…

    • Michael Hyatt

      I'm not sure either. It’s worth checking.

    • http://www.feedblitz.com Phil Hollows

      We support everyone :-) Drop us a line at the support email address.

      Phil

  • http://terripatrick.wordpress.com/ terri patrick

    It all depends on your target audience. I am sticking with the really generic stuff right now – and doing my best to learn to use it – because the people I want to connect with are there – or just getting there.

    The new and cool gadgets and technology cater to those in the know – who want to get themselves out there – and it's a bit of an ego boost to fly Mach 2 with your hair on fire on the leading edge. Been there for years, taught many how to get there too – when it was still new. Now I know, those that are still trying to find their wings, do it simple and free. So that's where I'm going to make my mark. It's what I say, not how I do it.

    You are currently leading leaders. Who they are planning to lead is where they need to be in the technological world.

    Are you a leader in the new techno gadgets and web tools, or do you want to put shoes on children?

  • http://www.vakil.org Arif Vakil

    I have been a heavy user of email subscription services for many years. My favourite till date had been Zookoda. I mourned the day they freezed their services. Since then I have felt like an abandoned child. In the recent past used Mail Chimp, currently using OEM Pro, but am not happy with either of them. Not sure if Feedblitz will deliver the same output and user experience as Zookoda. May give it a shot, let's see.

    • http://www.feedblitz.com Phil Hollows

      Please do give us a shot – 30 day free trial and a great deal of flexibility. We just introduced a new WorPress plugin and more publisher tools are on the way.

      Phil

  • http://www.booksonthenightstand.com Ann Kingman

    Thanks for the insight, Michael. We struggle with the Feedburner subject-line issue as well. We have been changing the subject line manually each time we put up a new post, but today, for instance, I forgot, making it even more confusing for our readers.

    So I am considering Feedblitz, but I would like to know what the changeover process was like. Were you able to automatically switch your Feedburner subscribers over to Feedblitz, or did they have to re-subscribe? I guess that is my biggest concern — I don't want to lose subscribers because of the changeover. Thanks for any input.

    • Michael Hyatt

      The change-over process was surprisingly simple. I export my email subs from Feedburner. They I imported the fle into FeedBlitz. We sent them a message telling them of the conversion, so they wouldn’t be surprised. FeedBlitz handled all that for me with a couple of clicks. It was painless.

  • http://www.jimgrayonline.com @jim_gray

    i'll have to give this some consideration.

  • http://christophermingryan.typepad.com Chris Ming Ryan

    I agree the the support is good at Feedblitz. You get a real person to talk to/write to where as with Feedburner you get the faceless Google support which can be maddening.

  • http://www.rowentree.com April Rowen

    Hi Michael,

    I don’t know how ‘un-savy’ it is to comment on older posts, but I have to tell you a big thank you for sharing this post! My husband and I are just now sitting down and enabling my blog to be sent via e-mail and we didn’t know where to start. A light bulb went off, and I decided to first turn to you and hope you had a post to help.

    Help you did! And with options, to-boot. THANK YOU!

  • Anonymous

    Michael, I’m researching Feedblitz and recalled this article from a year or so ago in which you described your reasons for switching from Feedburner. That being said, it appears that you have switched back to Feedburner.  Would be very interested in learning why the change.

    http://michaelhyatt.com/get-updates-to-my-blog-via-rss
    http://feeds2.feedburner.com/michaelhyatt
    http://feeds2.feedburner.com/michaelhyattresources

    Thanks

  • http://www.facebook.com/ralfskirr Ralf Skirr

    Yes, good question,  I’d also be interested to hear why you switched back to Feedburner.

    I found your post because it’s linked as endorsement at FeedBlitz’ website. Well, now it’s not exactly an endorsement anymore…

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’m actually using MailChimp. It gives me the ability to more elegantly format my email newsletter with more intuitive user interface. Thanks.

  • http://CaptivatingCappadocia.com Duke Dillard

    I am looking into this as well. I know you are “out of touch” this week but hopefully you can respond to this at some point. 
    I am interested in how you are using MailChimp. Do you have it automated like feedblitz? I did not know it had that feature. Or do you have to set it up yourself after publishing your latest post? I assume it is automated. Also, your signup page is very nice. Is that all custom or does mailchimp give the template for it? 
    I like your emails the best of everyone I subscribe to. They look just like the post on your site. I don’t need more than your posts. Any tutoring you can give (feel free to do a post on this) on this area of your blogging (I’m talking about the nuts and bolts) would be much appreciated.
    peace,
    Duke

  • http://paulcoughlin.com Paul Coughlin

    Hi Michael – may I ask a question?

    How do you differentiate between a conventional ‘newsletter’ and an ‘email subscription’ service?

    I notice you don’t seem to offer a newsletter. However you do take advantage of email to notify subscribers of new posts.

    Do you think it’s important to make a distinction between a ‘newsletter’ and an ‘email subscription’ service?  – if so, why?

    thanks,
    Paul.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Usually, a newsletter offers different content from your blog. It is usually another version of a “free offer” or incentive to signup for the email list.
      Personally, I don’t have the bandwidth right now to add a newsletter. Thanks.

      • http://paulcoughlin.com Paul Coughlin

        Thanks.