Since my earlier post on RSS in relation to email marketing, I've come across many related articles...I thought I'd point to some of these...bottom line is that Email as a sales driver has had dramatic success over the years...the debate should move away from RSS v Email and move to how RSS can become part of the marketing mix.

 

 

 Email v RSS, Email Marketer v Customer Matrix (updated 25 May 2004)

 

Perspective

Email Positive

Email Negative

RSS Positive

RSS Negative

General

 

Email Marketer

Email is intrusive

 

Email is trackable (open rates, CTR, etc) down to individual level – ROI is easily understood, mature channel with industry standard metrics

 

Email content can be highly targeted

 

Email can be highly cost effective

 

Email can be highly designed / branded / rich content (if HTML version)

 

Viral (marketing) effects well known

 

Email drives sales

 

Email can be to easy to forward

 

Widespread use and knowldge of email (products)

Once opted out, contact is suppressed / not contactable

 

Opt out rates are on the up (normally due to irrelevant communications)

 

Response rates are falling

 

Email blocking / filtering out is increasing

 

Regulation tightening up on opt out / opt in – governance and compliance is becoming harder - risk of legal action by customers

 

Important/critical content / messages can get lost/blocked in fog of spam

 

Spoof emails creating environment of  confusion / distrust about email

 

Total number of emails being sent is not sustainable (i.e. number of emails sent out per year as a ratio to the number of recipients and numbers of emails received)

 

 

RSS provision is fully and automatically opt in – zero opt in / opt out governance and compliance overhead – zero risk of legal action by customers

 

RSS content (through topic  channels) has the potential to deliver highly relevant content to subscribers

 

RSS is able to deliver designed / branded / rich content

 

RSS does not get blocked / filtered out so that important/critical content is sure to be ‘delivered’.

 

Not just email-type content can be provided by RSS

 

RSS content can be accessed through many devices

 

RSS customer use is growing

 

RSS awareness by software developers is increasing, more RSS integration and ease of use)

 

Strong evidence of ‘viral’ (marketing) effects

 

RSS aggregation becoming common portal feature

RSS is not intrusive, customers are in control (although marketers should see this as a positive)

 

RSS is trackable, but there are no industry standard metrics yet

 

Customer does not expect to provide any data in exchange for ability to subscribe to RSS (this will change – early websites were free-to-view, many are now require registration)

 

Little evidence to show RSS feeds drive sales, but early signs are good

 

RSS reader is one more application to download and one more user interface to learn

Marketers (should) recognise, enable and honour customer preferences -  medium (email, web, RSS, DM, IM, etc), frequency, content relevancy

 

If marketers really want data (and/or money) from customers through the provision of RSS content then marketers need to provide a proposition compelling / valuable enough for customers to do so

 

Marketers have opportunity to innovate in provision of personalised single RSS feed

 

Marketers should consider providing an RSS option on current emails

 

RSS tracking metrics need to be defined by marketing industry (so marketers can clearly compare & contrast against standard email metrics)

 

Email as a sales driver has had dramatic success over the years...the debate should move away from RSS v Email and move to how RSS can compliment email marketing. Email is here and ain’t going away, at least in the short-to-medium term)

Customer

Once opted out, not bothered again (theoretically)

 

Email content can be highly relevant

 

Emails can be blocked to some degree

 

Increased power to customers to report spammers though increased regulation of opt out / opt in laws

 

Email can be to easy to forward

 

Email can be easy to add/edit/delete then forward

 

Email can be highly designed / branded / rich content (if HTML version)

 

Email can be filtered, sorted, and archived

Email is intrusive – that is why opt out rates (for irrelevant communications) is on the up

 

Email is trackable (open rates, CTR, etc) down to individual level – potential privacy concerns

 

Email inbox content is mostly highly irrelevant

 

Email subscription often requires the provision of additional PII data

 

Important/critical can get lost/blocked in fog of spam

 

Spoof emails creating environment of  confusion / distrust about email

 

Number of emails is increasing – not enough time (nor inclination) to open and read all

 

Email address obtained by marketer, and once given can never (or hard to) be retrieved

RSS is not intrusive

 

RSS subscriptions can be easily stopped

 

RSS (through topic  channels) gives easy access to highly relevant content, and lots of it

 

RSS subscription process usually requires no provision of additional PII data (including email)

 

RSS content can be designed / branded rich (although this may be seen as a negative)

 

RSS channels can be managed, ensuring important/critical doesn’t get lost/blocked in fog of spam

 

RSS is efficient - enables much larger amounts of content to be viewed from more sources

 

RSS content can be accessed through many devices

 

RSS content being provided by more and more ‘providers’

 

RSS content can be more trusted (e.g. harder to phish)

 

RSS can be to easy to forward via email (standard feature in most readers)

 

RSS can be easy to add/edit/delete then forward via email

 

RSS can be filtered, sorted, and archived

 

RSS integration and add-ins into existing products is increasing (e.g. Outlook)

 

RSS is trackable – potential privacy concerns

 

RSS reader is one more application to download and one more user interface to learn

 

Customers want choice of medium (email, web, RSS, DM, IM, etc), frequency, content relevancy

 

Customers expect content for free, without providing data or money), but may be willing to do so if the proposition has real value