FeedBurner Using Aggressive Email Marketing?


I recently got an email for my other site which started with:

To Whom It May Concern:

I noticed that you are currently running some RSS feeds on your site. I am writing to suggest that you run those feeds through FeedBurner.com. We currently manage over 190,000 feeds...

They manage the feed for this site and I guess that is cool, but are they getting ready to cash out, or why the aggressive Web0.0 marketing all the sudden?

I asked why he spammed me and he quickly replied that he doesn't think it is spam. At least he replied, but I can't imagine any tech savvy person who has been on the web more than 3 months calling a to whom it may concern marketing email like that anything but email spam.


Fair comments

(copy of email sent to Aaron earlier tonight)

Hi Aaron -

Saw your note about our recent email, and I wanted to make a few comments. First off, we're FeedBurner - not Feedster. So while part of me likes the confusion in this particular case, I thought it only right to point out the error. :)

Second, I wanted to give some background on the decision to reach out to high-trafficked blogs. (Feel free to blog this if you'd like, by the way.) As you know, we maintain a free service. And a number of bloggers who use our service aren't aware that we have opportunities for them to monetize their content - so we decided it would be a good idea to reach out, let them know what we can do, and ask if they'd like to know more. And there are many other bloggers who are unaware of the services we provide - and this was part of our attempt at ensuring that they hear from us to know how we can help.

That said, we take your feedback seriously - and I'm open to suggestions on how we might improve (or discontinue?) this approach. As evidenced by the comments all of us at FeedBurner leave every day on various blogs whenever anyone asks questions about our service, we pride ourselves on working closely with the tens of thousands of bloggers who use our service every day. Our goal is to simply ensure that those who want to take advantage of our services get a chance to do so, and that we ensure that those who want to blog (as a hobby or as a career) can have their RSS feeds become a key part of their revenue plans.

I'm really sorry that our email struck you the wrong way. I agree that the 'to whom it may concern' is a tad formal, so we'll figure out a way to be a bit more relaxed. We appreciate that you use our service, want to keep you happy with our engagement with the blogosphere, and look forward to keeping in touch.



Rick Klau
VP, Business Development
FeedBurner - http://www.feedburner.com

AIM/Y!/Skype: RickKlau
office: 312.756.0022 x2012
direct: 312.239-0727
cell: 630.362.8911

not sure if anyone wants to

not sure if anyone wants to read it, but here are some of the marketing ideas I threw Ricks way...

I think using individual names is going to be key.

Also, do a case study or two...get a few bloggers to spread how much money they make via FeedBurner feed monetization... you know that stuff would fly all around the blogosphere. 'I make an additional $ with no extra effort. It was simple to set up, etc..."

and the email was just flat out poor marketing if you wanted to push the monetization angle... you gave me no concrete numbers about that. and no links referencing even how that bit worked

you also did not mention bandwidth...which is one of your key points isn't it?

Ironically the top post on the site that I think? you emailed me about (that is another problem, I can only guess which site since I have have many blogs) the top post is one about reaching out to bloggers http://www.seobook.com/archives/001504.shtml

BTW, I think you guys do a great job and have been impressed by how quickly you guys answer questions on various blogs and I liked what I read of the feed for thought series so far.

also what about an invite a friend program or something? blogs are inherantly viral. you guys surely have reach with it right? why not buy some of your own ad slots like google does and say "make money putting ads just like this in your feed. Free. Automatically. Learn more... etc"

sorry on the feedster bit...must have been tired...fixed it

two more thoughts for ya
1.) if you are afraid of publish backlash to self serving your own ads you could let them opt in or out on it.
2.) outside of the number of subscribers is there a way you can allow bloggers to make their stats public if they like? like show most read posts? growth per month? something like Alexa's movers and shakers that shows which feeds are really growing in readership this day / week / month? While SiteMeter is not an overtly amazing high quality service IMHO they seem to do pretty well with the public stats bit



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