How to Integrate RSS Into Your Marketing Mix
Copyright © 2006 Kim Roach, All Rights Reserved
RSS is changing the way we consume information online. Instead
of being overloaded with mounds of information in our inbox, we
can pick and choose exactly which content providers we want to
On the other side of the story are the publishers. Not only is
RSS changing the way visitors view information, but it is also
opening up vast opportunities for publishers wanting to
syndicate their content across the Internet.
RSS is turning into one of the most popular distribution
channels for webmasters, publishers, article writers and news
syndicators. With RSS, you have the opportunity to have a
continual digital conversation with your readers. You can use
RSS to syndicate a wide variety of media formats including text,
video, and audio.
No longer is the Web all about text. You can use RSS to
syndicate your very own talk show, weekly podcast, or a
collection of video tutorials.
With over 100 RSS and blog search engines available online, it's
time that you started integrating RSS into your marketing mix.
This article will outline how you can combine the power of RSS
with your current marketing activities.
To begin, let's start with email marketing. Some people have
predicted that RSS will one day overtake email as the top
communication model. However, this is not likely to happen
considering the differences between these two technologies.
Instead, the two should be combined to form a powerful marketing
Email Marketing and RSS Intertwine
You can complement your email marketing campaigns with one or
more RSS feeds. By providing your readers with alternatives,
you will reach a much larger number of subscribers.
There are a number of ways that you can integrate RSS into your
current email marketing campaign.
1. Use RSS to announce each new issue of your ezine. Announce
your e-zine in your RSS feed as a single RSS content item. When
your subscribers click-through, they can access your newsletter
in full on your website, drawing additional visitors to your
2. If you are currently using email autoresponders, provide
those very same autoresponders as RSS feeds. You can do this
at www.zookoda.com/ .
Using RSS, you can syndicate a wide variety of content. One of
the most obvious uses of RSS is to deliver content updates to
your users. RSS is an excellent communication medium for
delivering daily updates of your web site content. You can't
expect your visitors to come back to your site every day to
check for updates, but with an RSS feed they can quickly pick
up any changes that interest them.
However, this is just the beginning of what is possible with
Deliver Content Updates, News, and So Much More...
You can also use RSS feeds to deliver news announcements, forum
discussion updates, new product releases, quick tips, quotes,
new coupons, job listings, classifieds, and real estate
RSS can even be used to deliver content that is not available on
your site. Let's face it, you cannot possibly publish all of the
great information that is available on your site's particular
However, you can supply your users with a content aggregation
service that directs them to the best content within your
With all of the digital junk that is currently being delivered
online, you would be delivering an extremely valuable service
simply by syndicating the most important and relevant
information within a particular niche.
Keep in mind that relevant information goes beyond whether or
not the content relates to your visitors' interests. Relevant
information can also speak to each individual user. Just like
email marketing, you can use personalization within your RSS
feeds to increase your response rate.
Speak Directly to Your Visitors with Personalized RSS Feeds
One of my favorite examples of personalization can be found at
Babycenter.com. As soon as you enter the site, you are asked for
two pieces of information:
Your due date or your child's birthday and...
Your email address
After you submit your information you start receiving a weekly
e-zine that is relevant to your pregnancy stage or the age of
your child. If you have a 2-year old, you'll be receiving
articles, tips and product recommendations for that age.
Do you see the power in this? By using profiling, webmasters
are able to send information that is highly relevant to their
readers on a case-by-case basis.
You could use this same idea with your RSS feeds.
Basic personalization might include elements such as the
reader's first name, while more advanced personalization might
deliver personalized content, product recommendations and so on.
Once you have decided on what type of content you would like to
syndicate, you must then start organizing content for your feed.
If you want to use RSS to its full potential, then I would
highly advise you to create multiple RSS feeds for your users.
Use Multiple RSS Feeds to Increase Your Exposure
You can do this by creating RSS feeds for each category of
content you cover. This extends your reach and marketing
capability. Do not pack all of your content under one generic
RSS feed. This is not beneficial for you or your visitors. By
breaking your RSS feeds into categories, your visitors will be
able to tap into the exact information that they are looking
For example, visitors who only want to keep up with forum
updates shouldn't have to sift through articles, news, and other
When you begin marketing your RSS feeds, keep in mind that this
is still a fairly new technology.
RSS Isn't Quite Mainstream, So Educate Your Visitors
Take your visitors step-by-step through the process of locating,
subscribing and reading an RSS feed. By doing this, you are
informing your website visitors and helping to promote the use
of your own RSS feed.
To see a really good example of this, go to
There is one last step to integrating RSS into your overall
marketing strategy. This one is often overlooked, but can be
extremely powerful when executed properly.
Take Your RSS Marketing to the Next Level with Your Affiliates
Provide your affiliates with an RSS feed of your product
catalog. They can then use your feed to syndicate your latest
product releases on their own websites. Whenever someone clicks
on a headline, they would be directed to your web store. If they
decide to make a purchase, the referring affiliate would make a
commission on the sale.
Of course, this type of RSS would most likely need to be
customizable, allowing the affiliate to carry only the products
updates they feel would be a good match for their website.
Amazon.com has implemented this very same technique and it's
time that the rest of us do so as well.
RSS is one of many ways to communicate with your customer base.
RSS should not be your only communication mechanism, but rather
simply a piece of the marketing puzzle. When RSS is combined
with other communication models, including email and postcard
marketing, your message will finally receive its true potential.
When any of these techniques are used alone, they lose much of
their marketing power.
Start combining your communication models to see much higher
Kim Roach is a staff writer and editor for the SiteProNews
(www.sitepronews.com) & SEO-News (www.seo-news.com)
newsletters. You can contact Kim at: firstname.lastname@example.org
This article may be freely distributed without modification and
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