Additions and Attractions for Our Feeds-by-Email Service

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
Also, new subscribers are still required to confirm their requests (to minimize potential abuse).

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.)

27 comments:

GadgetGuy said...

Here's an idea for a new feature - a button whereby you could send a new activation message to all users whose a RSS by email account remains unverified.

Digital Davo said...

Sorry if this is a duplicate. Any ideas on how I can import my list of email subscribers I have on feedblitz into my new feedburner email list ?

thanks,
davidp.

bmarchal said...

What about localization? The lack of which has prevented me (and others I'm sure) from using the service.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Does all of this mean that if we don't have an Adsense account (Google has frozen me out), we will not be able to use Feedburner for email? Since you've gone Google, it's nearly impossible to get any tech support on this issue. I don't want to leave Feedburner, but if I can't get into Adsense, I'll have to. How can I get answers about this?

Katty said...

It's a pitty you need to copy a visual captcha to subscribe by e-mail to the feed of this blog. There's no auditive alternative! Is this the same with the feed subscription by mail you can implement on the own blog? If that's the case, please, give me the possibility to implement an audio captcha in an easy way. If not, subscribing by mail is useless to me, because many visitors of my blog are visually impaired and can't handle the images and visual captcha's! Thanks in advance!

Steve Olechowski said...

@Lydia - you do not need an AdSense account to use FeedBurner for email. We will be enabling a way for FeedBurner users who do not have AdSense accounts to migrate their data very soon.

Nigel Howarth said...

In the pre-Google days of Feedburner there was some discussion about a weekly (rather than a daily) email delivery.

Is anything planned or in the pipeline?

Thanks

Slade15342 said...

@steve Orl

I'm having a problem with with people signing up for my feed, and then getting a screen that said I do not have email subscriptions enabled. Well I most certainly do, and this has only started recently. This is really annoying and I haven't had an new email subscriber since December 16. Any thoughts on what this may be?

Carlota said...

I agree with GadgetGuy. It would actually be nice to automate the messages. For instance, sending out a couple of scheduled reminders if the unverifieds haven't confirmed after a few days.

Voices en EspaƱol said...

I "migrated" my Feedburner account to Google and 97& of my subscribers vanished into thin air. Have these subscribers been wiped clean out of my account? Do I have to rebuild my subscriber list from scratch? (I posted this query over in the Feedburner/Google forum but it's been a day and no one has responded over there.)

Any help or insight will be greatly appreciated since I've lost close to 2000 subscribers overnight, thanks to the Feedburner account "migration".

Steve Olechowski said...

To everyone who is worried about lower reported subscriber numbers, please read our FAQ on this subject.

It may take up to a week for reporting to be correct again. Your content is still getting to subscribers who are not being tallied yet.

Gisele Jaquenod said...

funny thing is my question is the opositte... from one day to the next i have 200 readers more :p and i mean it's nice, but could it be a wrong number? sounds a bit strange :o

Inge said...

I love the idea of automated reminderds to people who forgot to confirm their subscription. I currently do so manually (hip hip hooray for Gmails canned responses!), but it's still too much work for a very basic task.

Furthermore: please, please, please start localizing the newsletter! I hate it that I have to force my readers-to-be to read and understand English. I'm more than confident that this funnel has a terrible exit rate.

Kimball said...

Has there been any resolution to the issue of lost email subscribers when the blog feed is transferred from Feedburner to Google?

Finding a real live tech support person at Google (even an email) is impossible...

DJViBE TV said...

yeah I agree with what Nigel Howarth said.. I would appreciate some customization of when the emails get delivered. I think that some subscribers think that a daily email is too much. A weekly and also monthly option would be nice.

Also being able to customize what content get featured would be great..

Keep up the good work

Cheers,

Technomad said...

I'd like to suggest the option to get alerts (daily or whatever) about NEW subscriber counts - not just emails when folks leave, but letting us know when new ones join. Why the focus on losing subscribers rather than gaining?

Also, the ability to send a customizable 'thanks for signing up!' message (for example, with a link to a bonus chapter to a book, a song download, or other reward) would be huge. Positive feedback for subscribing.

- Karl

phthalo-blue said...

I've lost the ability to see the stats on live hits and visitors, though subscriber info in intact. Do others have this problem? Will it be restored? Can I migrate back to the old Feedburner?

litteratureaudio said...

I totally agree with Nigel Howarth and DJViBE TV : to implement the possibility of a weekly or monthly digest (instead of only daily now) should be the priority of the new Feedburner-Google team.

Thanks a lot for your great work,

Augustin

Terry said...

Gadgetguy, i agree that such a feature to re-send verification email would be excellent.

Jami said...

GadgetGuy has a good point. I'd love to be able to send my unverified subscribers a reminder.

Ankur said...

May I know when can we expect a customized email subject title for every post sent through Feedburner. As of now you have to manually set a subject title for your email. It would be great if you could give an option to set email subject title as post title.

I have searched on Google groups, it shows that this request is pending for more than 1.5 years now... Why is it taking so long for Google to implement it when other smaller and similar service providers are providing such feature since a long time? No offense please.

Muzi Mohale said...

integrate the verify process to be within the first registration step (let everything be done on ONE page only). more users don't have time to complete the last step, thereby accumulating lots of unverified users.

The Captcha is not visible, do away with italics and use regular...its time consuming having to re-enter it...

please make the entire process easy...

Eddie Gear said...

Hi there,

I used Feedburner mainly for the e-mail subscription service. Now if its moving to Google, How am I gonna use this feature moving forward? Can somebody help me with that. Thanks.

Cheers,
Eddie Gear

Cru Jones said...

Can I use feedburner email to send just a portion of my posts? As it is, my subscribers get the entire thing, and have no need to come to the site.

Thanks

Brendan

Matt Shobe said...

@Cru Jones: You *could* use the Summary Burner service to truncate posts in your feed to just show a portion of the total content. If you only wanted to do this for email subscribers, though, you might want to burn a separate copy of your feed that's just used for email and continue to offer full-text to your regular feed subscribers on your existing FeedBurner feed.

david lawton said...

I just have a suggestion, it would be awesome if the delivery options were more flexible. Ideally I'd like to send out an email only once per week with a summary of the updates for that week, as opposed to daily emails which kind of feel like spam.

Cheers!

Heidi@OneCreativeMommy.com said...

I've seen many feedburner feeds that include a featured image from each post. How do I do that? I've been searching all over, but I can't find the answer.