Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The "Feed Broadcaster"

Aweber never ceases to amaze me. If you don’t know who they are, they are the industry leader in email marketing - which basically means that they are THE company to sign up with if you are publishing a newsletter or setting up an autoresponder series of any kind.

You can check them out, and even sign up for a free trial, here: http://sswt.aweber.com

The latest and greatest is what they are calling the Feed Broadcaster. Basically it lets you turn your blog into an HTML Formatted Email Newsletter with the click of a button! This is a great (and easy) way to set up email notifications for your blog readers.

In fact, if you look over to the right you will see an example -->

The Feed Broadcaster is not limited to just RSS content on blogs, any content created thru an RSS or XML data source can be used to automatically create email newsletters.

Let's think about the possibilities for a minute... I dont know about you, but lightbulbs are going off in my mind about the various ways you could put this to use!

Obviously, you can add Email Notification as a feature to your current blog(s). A great service to offer your readers, and a great way to encourage repeat visits!

You could set up an HTML Formatted Newsletter for any or all of your Niche websites, and use Bloggers easy interface to publish it via email. Obviously the added benefit is that you also have a Blog that serves as an online archive of each issue, brings in search engine traffic... and that can be used to promote your newsletter through all of the Blog & RSS directories!

If you have a website created through WordPress (very popular for creating niche sites lately!), this is a super simple way to set up a Newsletter or Email Notification option for your visitors. Actually, any website that is RSS or XML based would work!

FYI - Here is some documentation directly from Aweber:

How do I create a Feed Broadcast?

To start a newsletter based on RSS/XML content follow these steps:

Login to the Customer Control Panel from the top of the main AWeber page using your login name and password. This will bring up a page titled "Online Customer Control Panel."

Select which list you would like to create your newsletter for. In the upper right-hand corner of the page a drop-down box titled "Select List." Choose the name of the list you want to edit, and click the "Go" button. The page will reload.

Click on the "Messages" tab. This will bring up a page titled "Message Manager".

Click on the "Feed Broadcaster" link in the blue bar at the top of the page. This will bring up a page titled "Feed Broadcaster".

Click "Create New Feed" to start a new email newsletter broadcast template.

Enter the URL link for your RSS/XML content at the top of the page where it says "RSS Feed URL".

If you wish to send broadcasts created from RSS automatically check the box titled "Send Automatically". Leaving this unchecked will create the broadcast but place it in "Review" status that can be sent manually after reviewing.

If you would like to place more than one RSS story item in each broadcast use the "Items in Each Broadcast" drop down to specify this.

Select a template to import a pre-designed text and HTML message for placing RSS content automatically. These templates include pre formatted personalization tags that allow for modification by you or a qualified web designer.

Once modification of the template is complete click on "Save".

What RSS formats are supported?

Feed Broadcaster is compatible with:

RSS 0.9 through RSS 1.0
RSS 1.0's modules
RSS 2.0

Are templates available?

Yes, pre-designed HTML and text templates are available for Feed Broadcasts. These templates come in many different psychological designs and color schemes and are easily loaded with the click of a single button.

How are new story items detected?

The item link URL is used uniquely determine a new story. If a previously published story has its URL changed on your publishing side it may potentially cause the story to be sent out again as a broadcast. Be careful in editing previously published stories if you do not intend for them to be re-broadcast.

What order are multiple story items published in the email?

Publishing multiple stories in a single feed broadcast will appear in oldest to newest order with the oldest story appearing at the top of the email.

How frequently do we check for new story items?

Currently all RSS/XML feeds are checked for updates hourly starting around 15 past the hour. This is subject to change as usage of this feature increases.

When are emails sent with new stories?

Emails are sent to the subscribers that requested that information when the appropriate number of story items are detected. If the "Send Automatically" option is selected then the broadcast is sent immediately. If left unchecked, you will need to login and manually queue the message for sending after you approve it.


If you already have an Aweber account, log in and check this out. I'd love to hear what you think! If not, you can get more information on Aweber, or even sign up for a free trial, by clicking here: http://sswt.aweber.com/ .