feedburner: where do we go from here?

feedburner: where do we go from here? - designbyinsight.net

There are many questions about the future of Feedburner. What we do know is that in the past few months Google has:

  • shut down Feedburner’s Twitter account and blog
  • shut down the Feedburner API (that allowed developers to interact with it)
  • removed Google Adsense from RSS feed posts
  • allowed the Feedburner domain in Japan to expire
  • stated that Google Reader will be shut down on July 1

Feedburner has been the primary free source of RSS Feed and email subscription services for years. I don’t know what Google is planning here, but my personal opinion is that they will probably offer some alternative, likely something integrated with Google+.

so where do we go from here?

I’m not saying you should all immediately jump the Feedburner ship. This latest email subscription issue may be only a small number of people and they may fix it. What I do recommend is that you be aware of the situation and consider what option is best for you and your site long term.

alternatives to consider

(in no particular order)

FeedBlitz

Think of Feedburner without the intermittent outages, stat glitches, and lack of help. Add on more features and quality customer service. That’s what you get at FeedBlitz. Yes, you do have to pay, but think of what you’re paying for. When something goes wrong, you have someone to help you.

Key things to consider:

  • pricing is based on the number of email subscribers, so your posts to RSS Feed subscribers will be included for free
  • starts at $1.49/month
  • free 30 day trial
  • offers both RSS Feed and email features from one source (something you don’t find with the other options below)
  • makes it easy to migrate your current subscribers with a step-by-step PDF guide

MailChimp

MailChimp is the favorite of many for easy-to-use email newsletter delivery. MailChimp can also be used for your blog’s email subscribers. It’s a great, reasonably priced option for getting those email posts delivered.

Key things to consider:

  • it’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers and up to 12,000 emails sent a month
  • for unlimited emails, prices start at just $10
  • services are for email delivery only (there is no solution here for those who subscribe in a Reader)

Aweber

Aweber has been offering email newsletter and blog post delivery for years and is known for offering quality service. For many bloggers, this may be a great option. I personally find Aweber’s interface less user-friendly, but it is a service well worth considering.

Key things to consider:

  • there is not a free option
  • prices start at $19 a month (up to 500 subscribers a month, unlimited emails)
  • the first month is only $1
  • services are for email delivery only
  • affiliate links are allowed

Mad Mimi

Mad Mimi is another email subscriber delivery option similar to MailChimp. I have personally experienced their incredible customer service, though ultimately I decided to go another route.

Key things to consider:

  • it’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers and up to 12,000 emails sent a month
  • for unlimited emails, prices start at just $10
  • services are for email delivery only (there is no solution here for those who subscribe in a Reader)
  • affiliate links are allowed
  • emails will show an excerpt of the post with a link to click and read more on your site (full content in the email is not an option at this point, though it may be in the future)

 another option: FeedBlitz for RSS feed + another service for email subscribers

If none of the above options seems to be the right fit, consider the possibility of using a combination of services. This is the option that I chose for Design by Insight and my blog. (We are using FeedBlitz for RSS feed and MailChimp for email subscriptions.)

use FeedBlitz for your RSS feed

For just $1.49 a month, you can use FeedBlitz for your RSS feed subscribers (those who subscribe in a Reader). This is for unlimited subscribers, as long as you don’t use FeedBlitz for email. You can migrate your Feedburner subscribers fairly easily.

then choose a second service for your email subscribers

You can use any of the options above (MailChimp, Aweber, or Mad Mimi). Keep in mind that you can export your Feedburner email subscriber list and then import it into your account at any of these services.

the bottom line

Don’t panic! Do your research and figure out the best way forward for you and your blog. There’s no one answer that fits every situation, so you will have to become well informed and make a decision. But it will be okay!

Also, we do recommend that you check on your own Feedburner delivery to see if it is working properly. If you aren’t subscribed to your own blog via both in a Reader and by email, we highly recommend that you do so. Keeping an eye on your own post delivery is essential, no matter what service you choose.

For additional information on this topic, we recommend the following posts:

FeedBurner Shut Down: The Facts – and Tales from the Front Line – FeedBlitz

FeedBurner Alternatives? What I’m Doing – Blogging with Amy

How to Download Your FeedBurner Email Subscriber List – Blogging with Amy

The FeedBurner Deathwatch Continues: Google Kills AdSense For Feeds – TechCrunch

Google Loses Feedburner.jp Domain (The Latest Sign That Feedburner Is Dying) – Marketing Land

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7 Comments

  1. Thanks Erin, this is the clearest breakdown of alternatives I have seen!

    Question: I am just starting to use mailchimp for a newsletter. To use it for emailing blog posts, would I need to manually copy in each post, or can it be set up to automatically retrieve the post when it goes live then send it out?

    1. Great question, Patti! At MailChimp, you can set up a new campaign based on your RSS feed so that it will automatically go out. You have the option to set how often the emails are delivered (daily when there’s new content, weekly, etc.) and the time of day.

    1. Yes, thanks so much. At the time I wrote this, their policy was not this clear. I had since read the article you referenced, and I have now removed the incorrect reference in the post.

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