A perfect storm has emerged for marketers using email and dm vehicles in particular.  The 2 main factors are:

  • unsubscribe numbers are on the increase due to spam and poor targeting
  • the new EU directive moving to an opt-in contact basis (the rest of the world will surely follow)

By definition, RSS is an opt-in form of news/content 'delivery'.  A growing number of news & content providers and most bloggers offer (and consume) RSS feeds.  The provider has the potential to make content as customisable as they want, and the consumer can decide 'what',  'who' and 'how' they consume.   Pull rather than Push, defined by the consumer.

So is RSS the future opt-in-friendly solution to spam?  Could be.  I'm seeing more and more developers (the early adopters) reporting that they have unsubscribed to newsletters, and instead consume RSS feeds.  This trend could become widespread depending on how easy it becomes to do (already there are add-ons for extending email clients to consume RSS, Newsgator as an example).

Related links:

RSS: A Medium for Marketers (Clickz.com)

Interesting discussion regarding RSS' marketing potential:  The original Adverblog 'Rss and marketing... a new perspective' article is here , with a response at Dana's Weblog here.

Will RSS kill the e-newsletter? (XMLMania.com)

Look Out, Outlook: RSS Ahead in 2004 (Zdnet)