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A FeedBlitz Branding Experiment ...

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

An experiment over the next few days; comments welcome. "Pro" users can modify the subject lines of their emails, standard publishers can't. The standard email used to have "[FeedBlitz]" at the front to show that it was a legitimate email from a trusted service.

From today, however, we're going to drop the "[FeedBlitz]" from the subject line for a while as an experiment. If you have an opinion as to whether we should make this change permanent, please comment below. Personally, I think it makes the update subject lines more anonymous and thus less likely to attract attention and be read. On the other hand, it may make them look less "spammy" and so increase the likelihood that a reader will open the update.

Do you prefer this way or the old way? Don't give a hoot either way? Go ahead and let us know in the comments. Meanwhile, if you're tracking open rates, see if they improve or decline in the next few days. We'll give this a week or so to run.



Blogger Sam Freedom said...


Please leave the [FeedBlitz] tag in place. It helps people who SPECIFICALLY signed up for our feeds locate and identify important messages amidst the stuff that is REALLY spammy.

Whatever the impressions of those you asked to share open rate tracking results, such evidence is anything but scientific whereas aWeber, responder service, conducted tests that conclusively showed some kind of aberrant identifier at the beginng of the subject line - like a DATE, or a TAG - got a significantly greater open rate.

Please leave the FEEDBLITZ tag and just keep the option for pro members to use it an FOR CRIPES SAKE STOP WORRYING ABOUT THE 'SPAMMY LOOKING' ISSUE. It's about as beaten to death as "fear of sexual harrasment lawsuits."

Thanks for asking our opinions,
Sam Freedom
Sam Freedom's Internet Marketing Controversy Blog!
Sam Freedom's 12DailyPRO Madness Blog!

3:52 AM, April 26, 2006  
Blogger Alice B. said...

I actually prefer it without. The person who signed up for the subscription signed up for the blog or feed in question and I think having the [feedblitz] in the title detracts from that. I know if I signed up to receive emails from "blog x" I would prefer seeing "blog x"'s name stand out rather than something I've never heard of before.

Inside the email is a different story. There the feedblitz logo can be prominently featured but again without overkill. I have to say there is definitely something "spammy" about the word "blitz" and although it may sound good to email senders like me, it sounds a little more overwhelming to email receivers...

8:51 AM, April 26, 2006  
Blogger Matt Weeks said...

Thanks for asking. I receive quite a bit of "blog feeds" both in my email (as in FeedBlitz) and via my RSS Aggregator (I use MyYahoo! - which should be the topic for another rant).
In Email I sometimes miss a day or two of any particular feed. To make sure I don't miss anything I use the Outlook bar to "sort by" either "subject" or "from." If you eliminate the [FeedBlitz] brackets from "from" it removes my ability to sort quickly and see if I have missed anything. So it would take away one tool from my user's "usability" toolkit, and thus would degrade my user experience. Just one data point for you.
I am also unconcerned about spammy headers, as I have, by now, eliminated most of the spam via a couple of very good products. Don't want to promote them on this page, but rest assured that most of your readers aren't worried about their in-box "appearing" spammy... we are more worried about eliminating the real thing.
Keep up the great work, and thanks for keeping the blog real and up to date.
Matt Weeks

2:14 PM, April 26, 2006  
Blogger HappySlob said...


I'm just about to sign up for your service, after getting completely frustrated and fed up with Bloglet. :) I'm glad to have found an alternative to let my blog visitors know when I've updated!

Anyway - I agree with what Sam Freedom had to say. I think for people who signed up for blog updates with FeedBlitz, it'll be helpful for them to keep the tag in place.

Thanks for asking our opinion!

3:00 PM, April 27, 2006  
Blogger Will said...

I would suggest either having feedblitz, the person's domain name or even a generic "Blog Post" as the lead part of the headline. When people see the "regular" blog article headline, they might think it is junk mail. They need to know right off the bat that it is a blog posting that they signed up for (and not some type of spam).

My click-thru rate has not improved with this new format - it has even gone down (even though I have gained many more subscribers).


9:58 AM, April 29, 2006  
Blogger Pete said...

From the comsumer point of view I am sure it helps with the identification of the site. However you have titled this experiment "A FeedBlitz Branding Experiment". One of the very first rules of branding is to use your id (bug or name)whenever you can to build brand awareness. You don't want them guessing who it belongs to...you want them to know immediately that is from FeedBlitz or whatever ID you consider your brand. I would love to explore this further. Pete

3:52 PM, April 30, 2006  
Blogger Susan Lucas said...

Seems as though you've given us the flexibility to keep Feedblitz or use our own. What's the problem?

Marketing Sherpa lists these subjects in the top "Openers" in a recent study:
- Eye on [Company Name] Update
- [Company Name] Newsletter February 2006
- Invitation from [Company Name]
- [Company Name] May 2005 News Bulletin!
Overall, 17 of the 20 included the company or brand name of the sender. Also, 10 had the word "newsletter," "News" or a synonym such as "update." None of them featured an overt promotional offer, although three were invitations."

Go here for more info:


If someone signs up for your Feedblitz feed, they should remember what feed they signed up for, right? I'd suggest Terribly Tasteful is what they want to see if that's what prompted them to sign up at http://www.terriblytasteful.com.

11:34 AM, May 02, 2006  
Blogger Mark Brooks said...

I'd like the daily update to focus on building my brand, Online Personals Watch. People know they will get a handy daily email courtesy of the wonderful Feedblitz service.

A few mentions of the Feedblitz brand is fine, to help subscribers feel more and fuzzy about the supporting technology...and help you build your brand. Feedblitz is mentioned half a dozen times in the email itself. That's more times than my brand. The subject line is holy territory. I'd like that not to mention Feedblitz. I understand that if I want to remove some of the email mentions of the Feedblitz brand in the email I'll have to pay to upgrade...which I probably will soon.


Mark Brooks
editor, onlinepersonalswatch.com

4:48 PM, May 13, 2006  

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