The Death of E-mail Marketing and the Rise of RSS? What Can You Do?

The recent announcement that AOL and Yahoo! will start charging e-mail marketers postage per thousand e-mail messages delivered, via the pay-me-to-deliver-email Goodmail program, is rocking e-mail marketers all around the world and at the same time making die-hard RSS fans proclaim the death of e-mail marketing.

It’s certainly a fact that AOL and Yahoo! announced they’ll start implementing the above mentioned pay-me-to-deliver Goodmail program and charge $2.5-$10 per thousand emails sent to guarantee delivery.

But what does this really mean for e-mail marketers? Is it the end of the world as we know it? And is RSS really poised to take the throne for direct content delivery and direct marketing?

A] IT’S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD AND CERTAINLY NOT THE END OF E-MAIL MARKETING

While e-mail postage will certainly increase e-mail delivery costs, it’s still too early to say whether it’s actually going to drive ROI down.

Depending on your own e-mail metrics, the increase in delivery might actually help you increase your ROI, even considering the increased e-mail campaign costs. This is by all means certainly a time to start carefully analyzing your e-mail metrics and calculating what these changes might mean specifically for you, before you actually start getting worried.

It’s now also finally a fact that website optimization, to ensure increased visitor-to-customer conversion rates, will become paramount to reaching online profitability.

The important point right now is that you start measuring and analyzing, finding ways to adapt to the coming changes in the world of e-mail marketing. It’s not the end of the world, but simply another issue to adapt your marketing to.

B] GET STARTED WITH YOUR RSS MARKETING PROGRAM

But adapting to the new rules of internet marketing is not only about optimizing your e-mail programs and your website conversion rates, but also finally getting started with RSS marketing, if you haven’t done so yet.

For those new to RSS, the simple explanation is that RSS is a tool that gives you the benefit of 100% content delivery, without any problems associated with spam and other filters, such as the one that AOL and Yahoo! announced they’ll start using. And the best thing about RSS is that it can even be free to implement and certainly free to deliver.

But if you haven’t started with your RSS marketing program yet, now is most certainly the time.

First, consider these tactics for integrating RSS marketing with your existing e-mail marketing programs:

1. Use RSS to announce each new issue of your e-mail e-zine, which you make available in full on your website.

2. Provide a separate RSS feed for the articles you publish in your e-mail e-zine and get them to your subscribers as soon as the articles become available, without them having to wait to receive them in your e-mail newsletter. The same goes for your news section, if you have one.

3. If you publish much content in different topic categories in your e-zine, provide a separate RSS feed for each of those topics rsspromo. Take another look at the elements we listed above that a typical e-zine might include. Each of those elements could in fact become a stand alone RSS feed.

4. If you’re doing e-mail autoresponder marketing, provide those very same autoresponders as RSS feeds, allowing your visitors to subscribe either to the e-mail or RSS delivery channels to receive the very same content.

5. If you have your own affiliate program, make sure that your affiliates can also subscribe to your affiliate notices via an RSS feed, not just e-mail. Basically, all you will be doing is duplicating the same content you’re sending out via e-mail in an RSS feed.

6. If you’re sending out special notices or updates to your existing customers via e-mail, create a special limited-access RSS feed to deliver those same updates via RSS as well.

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