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FeedBlitz Announces RSS- and Blog-Powered AutoResponder Service

Monday, May 01, 2006

Today we're announcing a novel twist on RSS-powered email solutions, building on our leadership in RSS to mail communications services.

First it was blog-powered newsletters. Now FeedBlitz takes the initiative again with our unique, first to market, RSS-powered blog-built autoresponders.

Autoresponders are a series of predefined email messages that are sent on a schedule to readers after they subscribe, usually over some period of time. They can be as simple as a one-shot "Thank you" email, or they can be as complex as a series of articles automatically delivered over a few days, weeks or even months. Autoresponders are great ways to deliver sequential / serialized / episodic content (training courses, guides, lesson plans, blooks, podcasts), to keep in touch with readers automatically, or to deliver special offers to your email subscriber base to thank them for subscribing in the first place.

Setting up an autoresponder in FeedBlitz is easy, and because your content is created and managed using your blogging platform, you get all the benefits that "Web 2.0" technologies bring to bear (RSS mashups as autoresponders? Bring them on!). You can set them up quickly because FeedBlitz autoresponders require no special knowledge, no custom rules programming, no new editors to master. Just your standard blogging product or service and a new setting in FeedBlitz.

And, like the rest of FeedBlitz, there are no limits on the number autoresponders, the number of articles in an autoresponder, no limits on autoresponder subscribers, and (like the basic newsletter update service) your basic cost for all of this is nothing. Zip. $0. Naturally, "Pro" upgrades are available to tailor your autoresponder's look and feel, of course, if that's important to you. (16 cents a day. That's all I'm saying). Autoresponder customization is also included as part of our "Pro Plus" premium accounts.

How does it work? All you do is create a blog especially for your autoresponder, and space out the post(s) as you want them to show up in your readers' inboxes. So the second one should be dated, say, a day after the first, and so on. Easy.

Then you syndicate the blog in FeedBlitz, enable the autoresponder capability in the feed's settings (see the graphic on the left), and you're done. So all you really have to do is blog your series of emails; we take care of when to deliver them on a subscriber-by-subscriber basis.

Every FeedBlitz autoresponder can be customized with a "Pro" upgrade, can track opens and click throughs, export subscribers, and more, just like any other FeedBlitz powered email syndication. You can have users subscribe to an autoresponder directly using the standard FeedBlitz generated HTML signup code - great for an email training course - or you can make a subscription to one feed start an autoresponder based on another - such as a simple "thank you" email.

In fact, we've been using FeedBlitz autoresponders on this blog, FeedBlitz News, for about a week now. Over 1,000 new readers have been thanked this way already. It shows both how powerful and easy it is to set up and configure an autoresponder using a blog and FeedBlitz together. Here's how it works:

FeedBlitz News is configured to use the autoresponder "FeedBlitz Email Services" - a single entry blog that automatically sends a "thank you" message to the subscriber once they confirm. The sole post thanks the reader and then invites them to subscribe to three other autoresponder-based feeds (gotta have that call to action):
By clicking on the "Subscribe By Mail" link the reader is subscribing directly to the autoresponder feed (rather than the automatically launched "thank you" feed). So this series of blogs and the FeedBlitz autoresponder configuration enables a whole series of new and valuable interactions between us and you, our subscriber / prospect / customer. All automatically, no effort required. To see the source blogs themselves, click the "View Online" option.

And, yes, it's very flexible. You can have multiple email syndications start the same responder, for example. You can even delay the delivery of the first email. If you look at the FeedBlitz news setup outlined here, the hardest part in setting it all up was writing the content. Configuring FeedBlitz to use it was a snap - less than five minutes.

What other changes do autoresponders bring? Just one - a new item that may appear on your dashboards is a blue dot - this appears for subscribers and subscriptions where the autoresponder has run its course.

So, whether you're a new subscriber or an old-hand FeedBlitz publisher, why not sign up for one of our new "tips" courses above and take our autoresponders for a quick test drive? It's easy and the tips are actually useful. Really! So why wait? Subscribe now and enjoy.



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