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RSS feeds: Cheaper and More Effective to Use Than Email?

According to the recently released book "Unleash the Marketing & Publishing Power of RSS", spam blacklists and decreasing customer conversion rates are turning web marketers from email to RSS feeds.

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary - depending on who you're talking with. RSS feeds are free content feeds from Web sites that contain article headlines, summaries and links back to full-text articles on the web.

The author of this book, Rok Hrastnik, claims email marketing is no longer an effective way to deliver information to customers and readers. According to him, RSS feeds are cheaper and more effective to use than email.

Even though RSS has been around for a couple of years, marketing with RSS is still not common practice. However, with the future integration of RSS in Internet Explorer 7 (available this summer), I think this technology will certainly boost.

Is RSS Going to Replace E-Mail? I don't think so: email is a two-way communication medium while RSS is only a distribution one. Email marketing is, however, being threatened by spam and deliverability issues, so RSS may well poised to substantially challenge email in its ability to be the best and preferred distribution/subscription mechanism for newsletter publishers on the Internet.

In my opinion, email marketing is not dead yet. I see real value in adding an RSS feed to your website and even in publishing your newsletter as an RSS feed. However, you should not replace it with an RSS feed. Think of RSS as an additional communication channel. With RSS you can easily inform customers & prospects of new content that is posted to your website, new product releases, upcoming events, etc. without cluttering your recipient's inboxes.

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