Tuesday, January 6, 2009 | 6:12 PM
FeedBurner's email service began delivering updates in April, 2006. The launch was just weeks after scientists determined email and feeds could be safely combined in a laboratory setting. Our public service has since delivered millions of messages on behalf of thousands of publishers, making sure that publishers who want to get the word out can reach the broadest audience possible — including many site visitors who don't already embrace feeds (or feed readers, like Google Reader), but who trust their email inboxes to be the best way to have content that matters most delivered to them.
As part of our move to Google infrastructure, FeedBurner has added some new features for email publishers. Most of these are of the under-the-hood variety, but a new set of subscriber list management features will be especially beneficial for publishers with dozens, hundreds, and even thousands of existing email subscribers. Here are features live today for all feeds managed through a Google account:
- Added reliability and delivery scale, thanks to Google infrastructure. The same systems that handle Gmail and other, large-scale public email communications traffic now deliver FeedBurner email subscriptions, too.
- Robust subscriber list search and pagination. Instead of loading your entire subscriber list, which is too much for some browsers to handle if that list is really big, the new service displays just the 150 most recent subscribers. You can search for specific addresses or general domains (e.g., "hotmail.com" will return a list and total count of your subscribers with "hotmail.com" in their addresses.) This list is now paginated to allow you to scroll through its contents easily.
- Complete subscriber list export. Want to view the whole shebang offline? Download a CSV-formatted text file of your entire subscriber list.
These new features are in addition to FeedBurner's classic email capabilities. As always, you may:
- Customize delivery time frame and time zone
- Write your own welcome/activation email text
- Choose from multiple custom font, size, and color combinations
- Incorporate a custom graphic logo in your HTML message header
Want to use the free email delivery service with your feed? Using the latest improvements to email requires moving your existing feedburner.com account to Google (if you haven't done so already). If you use AdSense, any feeds you set up to use AdSense for feeds will also include ads in emails delivered with this service. Sign in to your AdSense account, click AdSense Setup, then Manage Ads, and then locate an AdSense for feeds unit you have created. Click the "View Feed Stats" link next to this unit to reach your feed's Analyze page. Click the Publicize tab, then Email Subscriptions to view and set up service options. Email subscriptions will be delivered, using your settings, starting with your feed's next update. (If your Google account is already set up to use FeedBurner, you can also get to the "Email Subscriptions" service setup area by signing directly in to feedburner.google.com, clicking your feed's title on My Feeds, and then visiting Publicize > Email Subscriptions.)