Let RSS Power Your Email Marketing

by Ray_Matthews on March 14, 2003 at 09:08 AM

With the proliferation of government web portals and pages, it is becoming ever more necessary for agencies to reach their customers by email. You can no longer even expect your most devoted readers to visit your web sites on a regular basis. One of my web hosters made a major service change several months ago but never notified their customers by email. The notice was only on their website, and then in a place only accessible by password. When I suggested yesterday to their sales rep that email notices were preferable and that the company could provide them at no additional cost, she was incredulous.

Even when governments and businesses do market news and services by email, they're usually using mailing lists and e-newsletters. I subscribe, for example, to newsletters about Utah travel and events, and I get email news of newly posted court opinions and administrative rules. I bet that in every state there are hundreds of these kinds of lists. The problem is that the public cannot easily learn of their existence and they are relatively time intensive for us to prepare and distribute.

Using RSS, customers can more easily find and subscribe to our syndicated news, and we can eliminate all the extra processes needed to prepare information or repackage it for email delivery. As one who has managed 30 simultaneous mailing lists, I know. In a few days from now, I'd like to begin sharing with you some methods of using RSS technologies to automate the process of email news publishing. If you have a method that works for you, please write me, Ray Matthews, and let's share it.


Indeed, email is - in some contexts - still king.
As for RSS and email, I see great potential here. I for example use Newsisfree's notifications with composite feeds updates. Add their XML-RPC web service, and you can build advanced services, one of which could be a mailing service. How about a variant of CapeMail, but instead of returning Google results, it would return, say, news from the Utah blogroll? I'm sure Mike Krus at Newsisfree would be happy to add the full blogroll to his service, so you can use his web service, and just "pipe" the results to a mailer ...

Posted by: John Gotze at March 19, 2003 03:22 PM