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Alternatives to FeedBurner's RSS to Email Service (Subscribe to my new newsletter!)


You can now subscribe to my new Weekly Newsletter email at Revue. If you are reading this in your email account, please subscribe to the new version, as FeedBurner-managed email will be stopping imminently.

Since FeedBurner announce the demise of their RSS to Email function, I've been struggling to figure out where to host the email version of my Weekly Update

After some experimentation and research, I've decided to use the Revue newsletter platform

This is not an automated RSS to email service. Each newsletter is manually created by me. That is a bit more work, but Revue lets me import a post from blog's RSS feed with just a click, which is very easy. And it has additional integrations and customization options that make it appealing. 

Here are the factors I considered:

Cost 

FeedBurner is free, with no limit to the number of feeds and subscribers. I was not expecting any other platform to be so generous, of course, but I also don't want to spend a lot of money on a service that may not give me much in return. 

Limits to subscribers and feeds

Many email services use a formula for free and paid tiers that takes into account both the subscriber number and the total number of messages you can send each month. I never had a huge number of email subscribers, so not an issue today, but something to consider for (possible) growth.

Importing contacts

The ability to import contacts or add individual email subscribers is a plus. If you are moving from FeedBurner, you can still export your email list.

That said, my FeedBurner email list has a large number of subscribers who either never verified their subscription or who look totally fake.  And people who subscribed 8 years ago may no longer be interested. So I'm not importing my email subscriber list, but I may add some individual email addresses.

Formatting

FeedBurner had basic formatting options that let you adjust the look of your feed and email. That is important to me because sometimes the feed post doesn't look great as an email message without adjustment. 

Flexibility

Sending out my blog posts by email has been really easy, but I've been thinking that having the option of consolidating sending either sending additional emails or being able to skip posts would be useful. 

Branding and ads

Free is never actually free. It's not unusual for the free tier services to include branding. But it varies how intrusive that is.  

Integrations

Any integrated service that saves me time and effort, or ads nice features, is a plus. Are there sharing tools? Are there options to import content?  

Scheduling

I am a fan of scheduling content to publish in the future. I do that with blog posts, videos, even Tweets.  So it's important to me to have some control over when the email is published. 

For FeedBurner I had it scheduled to email only once a day, in the morning (my time). That was my basic requirement. 

Monetization

Something I've been considering is having a paid newsletter. That isn't something that will happen any time soon, but having that option is one of my considerations. 

Beyond that, some email platforms are aimed at businesses and designed for ecommerce. If you sell products or service that is another element to consider. 

Staying Power

I don't want to sign up for a service that will disappear in a year. 

Why I selected Revue

Revue is a newsletter platform acquired by Twitter in January. If you post Tweet threads, you probably have seen the promo. 

I have some confidence that Twitter will not drop the platform any time soon. And if they do, that it could be acquired by another company. Misplaced optimism? Maybe. We shall see. 

The pros: 

These are the features that convinced me to start using Revue: 
  • It's totally free.
  • You can link multiple RSS feeds to your account. Content from any feed can be added to the newsletter with a click. 
  • You can add team members for collaboration.
  • You can get links to share from your Twitter feed, Facebook Page feed, Pocket or Instagram.
  • You can automatically share a link to a new edition to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Medium.
  • There are a number of other integrations, including WordPress and Stripe.
  • The newsletter editor interface is easy to use.
  • There is an option to offer paid subscriptions. Revue currently takes a 5% cut of the revenue
  • You can set up a custom domain, like newsletter.peggyktc.com (but be aware there is no SSL option). 
  • You can add a Subscribe button to your Twitter profile (still in development). Great for me as Twitter is the main place I promote my blog.
  • You can import or export your subscriber email list.
I've also been enjoying Paolo Amoroso's Practicing Google and Matt Navarra's Geekout newsletters on the platform.

The cons: 

It's not the perfect solution, of course. These are the main drawbacks so far: 

  • I have to create the newsletter manually. Even though it's easy to do, it still takes some effort. 
  • The mobile interface is not great.
  • If I want to have more than one newsletter, I would need multiple Revue accounts. They do offer a "Publisher" account for large organizations and teams that supports multiple newsletters.
There may be more issues that come up as I use the service.

What other options are there?

Here are the other email options I looked into. Maybe one of them is right for you!

RSS to Email Services

Mailchimp

Mailchimp offers marketing and commerce tools for small businesses. 

  • About Mailchimp's RSS to Email service
  • Pricing information. Includes a free tier. Paid plans start at $9.99 per month.
  • The free tier allows up to 2,000 "contacts", with 10,000 sends per month and up to 2,000 per day. If you have a mailing list of 2000 people, that would mean at most 1 email per day or 5 per month.
  • You can merge multiple feeds into one email campaign.
  • You can customize the layout of the email.
  • Integrations include Vimeo, LinkedIn, Facebook, Patreon, Twitter, many others.
  • You can add a customized Mailchimp landing page. 
  • Mailchimp Support.
FollowIt

FollowIt has been pretty aggressive promoting itself as an alternative to FeedBurner's RSS to Email service. Their free tier offers more features than many other platforms. 
  • Pricing information. Includes a free tier. Paid plain cost depends on how many emails you send.
  • The free plan allows you to have unlimited number of followers.
  • The free plan allows you to have up to 5 follow.it feeds.
  • On the free tier emails includes a footer that “invites users to follow more feeds or read suggested articles". 
  • FollowIt Help Center
FeedBlitz

FeedBlitz has also been promoting themselves as an alternative to FeedBurner.
AWeber

AWeber offers email marketing services to small businesses.
  • Pricing information. There is a free tier. Paid plans start at $16 per month.
  • About their RSS to Email service.
  • Free plans are limited to 500 subscribers. 
  • Offers a number of email marketing tools beyond RSS to Email.
Newsletter Platforms

In addition to Revue, I looked into several other newsletter platforms. 

Substack

Substack bills itself as "a place for independent writing." It's been a favorite of journalists and pundits, including a number (controversially) being paid by Substack directly.
  • Free to use
  • Writers can offer paid subscriptions
  • Newsletter editions have a web page that's blog-like, including comments. (Example)
  • You can find newsletters to subscribe to on the Substack home page, where they are organized by topic.  
TinyLetter

TinyLetter by Mailchimp is a simple free newsletter platform, "for people who don't need all the business features that come along with Mailchimp". 
  • Free to use
  • Customizable

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Comments

  1. Thanks for posting this. I only have a few email followers and I didn't feel the juice was worth the squeeze to look for something after Feedburner. This might change my mind...

    ReplyDelete

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