Many businesses periodically send newsletters by postal mail to keep subscribers current on their affairs or industry-related news, for the goal of maintaining a devoted customer base to whom they can market additional products or services. With pervasive usage of the net for information dissemination, and with RSS News Feeds gaining momentum as a powerful online communication tool, one must ask whether businesses are actually better served by publishing news feeds in place of newsletters.
There are obvious convenience factors that favor publishing news feeds over newsletters: No newsletter design delays or expenses, no printing delays, no printing costs, no postage costs, no mailing lists. But are news feeds far better than newsletters in delivering the message? And if that’s the case, can anyone with essentially no understanding of news feeds and with computer skills limited by sending email and browsing the net actually publish a news feed by themselves?
Putting aside the obvious features of news feeds in the above list, a significant question to ask when evaluating effectiveness of the newsletter versus the news feed is whether the info is time-sensitive. If the company is publishing information pertaining to such topics since the stock market, real estate, investments, weather, new products or services, competitive analyses, product catalogs and prices (and you are able to probably add more to the list), the potency of the newsletter dramatically diminishes since the delay between the “event” and the delivery of the info about the big event increases. In case a newsletter is published every three months, normally the info is six weeks old! And it’s not only that the info arrives too late to be important to the recipient, but additionally because recipients can come to understand the newsletter is irrelevant to their affairs and tune out. Unfortunately, that means it is going to be viewed as spam and tossed into the trash without opening. Why would I care about an investment opportunity if, by the time I receive that advice, it’s too late to act on it? (At my postoffice, a recycle bin is provided in the lobby so you can conveniently toss away your spam without even taking it home.)
Recognizing this time-sensitivity problem, businesses have already been depending more and more on email broadcasting to a request list. You’ve seen the come-on — “Register for the email list” ;.To many, this really is viewed as volunteering to get spam. Even though one does reluctantly submit their email to those hopefully-private lists, spam filters will often trash that email, and for the email that does complete (and most of us understand how effective spammers have become), the email from the legitimate businesses usually gets lost amidst all that spam. Just what exactly does it matter if the company has avoided the development, distribution, and delay problems associated with newsletters by utilizing email, if in the end the message never gets to welcoming ears.
News feeds effectively overcome the shortfalls of newsletters and email broadcasts. With news feeds, nothing is ever printed or emailed, and the news feed is instantly available online. Recipients can volunteer to get the info with no it “pushed” at them, so there is no sense of spamming associated with news feeds. The audience for the info can receive that information at their convenience and can receive alerts or “signals” whenever new information is published. For example, if you were thinking about listening in on investment advice from an advisor who publishes a news feed, you may donate to that news feed – without giving your email away – and whenever new information is published, you may receive a signal and operate on that real raw news information in real time. Imagine … literally within seconds following the advice is published, you may read and act upon that new information.
If your intention is to spam – quite simply, to send unsolicited information to others with the intent of gaining some advantage – than news feeds aren’t for you. Your targets will not listen in to news feeds that don’t interest them! Spammers are stuck with email and mass mailings with the hope that recipients will accidentally open the spam and get teased into the proposition by the seduction of the message.
The good news is that RSS News Feeds may be incredibly easy to publish if you decide on the proper publishing tool. Numerous tools are “out there” (some much easier than others!) for publishing news feeds; some are online services such as for example Enfeedia, some are programs you download. Some are free, some are not. For maximum ease, pick a news feed publishing tool you utilize by filling in an easy form so that you need not learn any technical skills to make the most of the power of news feeds; it can be as simple as writing email.
How will you tell others about your news feed? In virtually any communication you do (your business cards, your website, articles you write, etc.), include your news feed address. It’s the same to an internet site address except it presents the news feed using contemporary browsers. (Older version browsers don’t support news feeds.) It’s common practice to set up an industry-standard RSS “button” on your website that, when clicked, displays your news feed and provides the news feed address for subscription purposes (see more about subscribing to news feeds below).
For powerful promotion of your news feed, select a supply publishing service that offers the ability to actually display your news items directly on your website, blending in with the design of your website, and such as the methods to donate to that news feed. On-site display of new items along with frequent posting of news is an extremely easy way to incorporate fresh content to your website that could actually improve the positioning of your website in search engine results placement (SERP).
If you decide on Enfeedia to host your news feed, you can just tell others your “account name”, and they will be able to gain access to and read your entire news feeds there. Therefore it can be as simple as saying, “See my news feeds at Enfeedia, my account name is _____” ;.
What does it mean to donate to a news feed? This will depend on the service you utilize for subscribing, but typically this means that you specify the address for news feeds of interest for you, and the service keeps a list for you to ensure that you can easily read your feeds once you want … with the current news shown. With a MyYahoo personal page, you are able to subscribe for alerts when items are posted onto news feeds to which you subscribe, even by cellular phone if you wish.
With contemporary browsers, you are able to bookmark news feeds – exactly like you can bookmark an internet site – and get signals when new items being available in news feeds that you bookmark. And in its “Leopard” os, Apple integrates news feeds using its Mail program, bringing news feeds to mainstream online communication. Such moves by Apple, and by others which are sure ahead, will popularize news feeds akin to the growth in pervasiveness of websites during the 1990s.