Many blogs offer email subscriptions to their blog, usually via Feedblitz or Bloglet. As I mentioned in a previous post, now AWeber, more well-known for its autoresponder service, is also offering an email broadcasts of RSS feeds.
What I like about service is how customizable it is; you can create an HTML template that complements your blog design. AWeber also offers a series of predesigned templates for you to choose from. HTML and plain text versions are automatically generated. Confirmed opt-in is required, so you’ll only be sending these emails to people who really want them, keeping you safe from charges of spamming.
There’s no additional fee for this service for people who are already AWeber members, but membership is $20/mo. (AWeber memberships also offer powerful autoresponders and the ability to publish email newsletters.)
I especially like the flexibilty you have with the layout and the ability to add messages to outgoing emails. In the example above, you can see that I created links to articles on my Web site. Through the admin system these messages are easy to change, even if you’re not comfortable with HTML. There is also the ability to track clickthrus and view other reports. You can also choose how many posts will appear in a single email broadcast.
Two things I don’t like about the current AWeber offering, however:
- You can’t choose between full text and excerpt; the system automatically limits your email with a “Read more…” link.
- Images and links you may have created in your feed do not carry into the email version.
Tom Kulzer, the CEO and Founder of AWeber says both these features are being considered for a future release.
One other thing that may work against AWeber is the fact that Feedblitz now offers many if not all of these feed related services, plus others, for just $4.95/mo. Although I haven’t yet tested Feedblitz, it appears to offer a compelling alternative.