Marketing Blogs Go Ballistic

 

Top150 Marketing BlogsThis was going to be a quick meandering kind of round-up, but obviously not a speed-linking post because I tend to avoid those, but it grew… so it doesn’t have as many links in it as I planned.

Sometimes there are people you just want to link through to as part of the conversation, sometimes you want to link through to someone as some kind of reciprocation, and sometimes you link purely for selfish gain.

First of all I would like to congratulate Todd And on his deal with Advertising Age – I have actually twice thought about applying for the list, but I don’t think I have ever hit the submit button.
I always wanted enough multimedia elements on the page – graphics, video and sound to max out on those “And Points” and despite logo designers complementing me on my logo design occasionally, I know my overall design will eventually have to have the rough surface polished, after a heavy site structure revamp.

So where would I be on the list currently? (figuratively speaking if I did apply)

Pagerank 5
Bloglines 147 – 11 points, just shy of a 12
Technorati Rank 1445 – I think that is 27 points without publishing themes
Todd And Points – How can I judge?

Here are the criteria:-

Todd And Points (1 to 15) – As the only subjective measure in the Power 150 algorithm, 1 to 15 opinion points were assigned to each blog. Todd And values frequent, relevant, creative and high-quality content. The use of audio, video and graphics is also heavily weighted in the Todd And Points.

I do use video on occasion, most often when talking about Jason Calacanis, or Rich Schefren

Graphics use? I use them most when talking about SEO

I do publish relatively frequently, everything else is subjective.
I am going to give myself a 12 just because I am biased, and because Todd has given so many of my readers a 13 ;)

Total: 5+11+27+12 = 55

That would place me somewhere between 35th and 41st and among some great company.

But the list is a little bit subjective

It is almost totally devoid of affiliate, niche and “internet” marketers, and I hope that will become something that changes over time.
I don’t mean any disrespect to Todd in that statement because I think he has had his hands fairly full managing the list he currently has.

Another major problem comes from metrics as in many fields of marketing “reach” is calculated not just on Bloglines subscribers. I am sure if reach included Email subscribers I wouldn’t appear in the top500.

RSS To Email Services Currently Suck For Marketing

First of all I would like to point out I haven’t explored every avenue yet, and have mainly concentrated on the cheaper options.

I don’t want to host email delivery on my own domain, so I am forgetting about plugins for now. I certainly don’t want to have to manually handle bounces, it is bad enough for comment subscriptions.

  • Feedburner – whilst the delivery rate is great, there is no way to give incentives for signing up. That is vital, because unfortunately email subscription confirmation is only hovering above 60%. As I pointed out when they were taken over by Google, legal compliance is borderline for commercial email.
  • Zookoda – The delivery options are great for a free service, but it isn’t a “marketing tool” where you can easily migrate list members around. They have their own counter for subscribers, but it would be nice if they reported numbers to feedburner. I have seen discussion regarding poor delivery, but nothing confirmed and haven’t done any testing.
  • Feedblitz – Actually Feedblitz might not suck, especially their new(ish) Newsletter Edition – they have been working on their delivery a lot recently, and it will be interesting how easy it would be to move over from Feedburner.
    They are not cheap compared to many high volume “marketing” email providers, but possibly an option.
  • Getresponse – I hate seeing “I have just updated my blog” emails from Getresponse users, knowing that what blog readers really want is full content. The Getresponse emails don’t even link through to the permalink. Come on Simon, you guys can do better than that. Getresponse also don’t report email subscribers to Feedburner (which could be optional)
  • Aweber – Aweber can send RSS > Email immediate broadcasts, and can send updates after so many posts, but from what I can see they don’t support the ability to schedule an email at the same time every day containing all the posts for a single day. They also don’t report subscribers to Feedburner to my knowledge.

Ideally I want these services to also handle all my comment subscriptions in some way, not only providing a delivery via SMTP, but also managing bounces.

this isn’t a conclusive list of email service providers, I will keep looking.

Sometime over the next few days I will make a decision which service I will go for. Most likely is unfortunately Aweber… because support for Aweber is also provided by membership site software that I intend to use, but I could possibly also explore the other services depending on how they can handle subscription requests.

Check out Todd’s full list of Marketing Blogs

 

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Comments

  1. says

    Hi Andy. Our GroupMail Software allows users to send their RSS feeds to their recipient lists in a click. You can also schedule messages to be delivered at any time in the future. Also, GroupMail allows you to automate your opt-in, opt-out and bounce management efforts. So essentially you could schedule a weekly email that pulls your RSS feeds (via nooked) to be sent automatically to your lists, and have bounced messages automatically deleted from your list based on criteria that you specify (i.e. after 3 soft bounces or 1 hard bounce, delete recipient from group). For more information about email and RSS integration, please read my blog post below:

    Email and RSS Integration (remix)
    http://www.messagingtimes.com/blog/?p=589

    All the best

    Tom

    • says

      I am sorry Tom but a desktop solution isn’t a solution

      1. You are not reporting to Feedburner
      2. Even if you were, Feedburner wouldn’t accept numbers from an application which you can use to import 1,000,000 email addresses from safelists etc.
      3. You can’t really notify the desktop app of an update, so you would have to manually trigger it or poll very frequently
      4. Email delivery speed would have to be throttled with my ISP
      5. I have readers who would want a blast within 10 minutes of me post, others would like a daily round up of all posts, and still other might opt for a weekly. I would want all the stats to be aggregated and then sent to feedburner.
      6. Desktops Apps, even if they have a way to be notified, or can pick up content by polling still have to be switched on – sometimes I am travelling and don’t even switch on a laptop for days.

      You might be able to persuade someone with lots of staff to use such a system, or who works at home, brick & mortar etc, but once you run a wired business, you try to avoid desktop altogether.

  2. says

    Andy: Please call / mail me. Happy to show you around the new capabilities and chat about how we can meet your needs.

    Phil Hollows
    Founder & CEO, FeedBlitz

  3. says

    I am still in the stoneage when it comes to using feeds – I use Technorati as an ersatz-reader :) As for the rating system: sure, it’s subjective, but it is far better than using just one yardstick and probably a step up from the kind of cross-guestimation that most of us do!

  4. says

    Derami – I recommend you check out Google Reader, which I have found much more reliable than Technorati. ;) Especially as Technorati seem to be having some serious issues lately, like losing my favourites all the time.

    Snoskred
    http://www.snoskred.org/

  5. says

    Hi Andy,

    Thanks very much for the mention. Should you ever need any help polishing up your logo design / appearance I’m keen to help out.

    As for the RSS to email, I started off using FeedBlitz’s free service, but recently switched to FeedBurner as I much prefer the aesthetic appearance of their emails. That being said, FeedBlitz might be fully customisable with their paid service, I’m not sure, but a free offering suits me fine for now.

  6. says

    I spent a lot of time looking at different services that integrate RSS and newsletter capabilities. I focused on Zookoda for a while, but am not sure that being acquired by PayPerPost will be good for their delivery rate over the long haul. I’ve already seen

    I’ve wound up using AWeber for my weekly/custom newsletter, and on some blogs using Feedblitz for daily updates.

  7. says

    I used the feedburner email service on TechyStuff, however I have about 35 RSS subscribers, and only 6 by email. I believe that the email is a better option for people not familiar with RSS (friends, family, etc) however would like to keep up with your blog. But great post, keep them up!

  8. James Watson says

    support for Aweber is also provided by membership site software that I intend to use

    Which membership software are you going for – will you be writing a post about that, I expect there would be a lot of interest!

    • says

      I am currently juggling between launch formula marketing and butterfly marketing, but I own a few others as well, and also know a few friends have used Amember with some additional integration code.

      I know Yaro Starek with Blog Mastermind went for Butterfly marketing eventually because of some of the offer features, but thought the code was a little messy.

      Optiniche as a bonus provides some WordPress membership functions which is also tempting to play around with.

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