Many companies, including Smallbiztechnology.com, send email newsletters to their customers, audience (in my case), prospects, staff, etc.
However, as spam increases it gets harder to ensure your email is reaching the recipient and not being blocked by their spam filter.
One alternative to email, which I would recommend using IN CONJUNCTION with email and not in place of email, is Really Simple Syndication(RSS). With RSS there are no spam complaints. No lost deliveries. RSS is an internet service that pulls content into a special RSS reader. With each article you publish the headline and/or the full text is pulled down into the RSS reader that reads the RSS feed. Your email audience can now have your online content and that of thousands of others online publishers delivered directly to them.
RSS is great for publishing content, like news and/or aggregating and reading content.
How do you start an RSS feed? If you use a blogging service, such as Blogger.com (as I do) to write regular posts to your web site, many blogging services can enable RSS for you automatically. You can also set up an RSS feed manually, but it’s easier to let a computer do it for you automatically.
How do you GET RSS feeds? First you need an RSS reader. There are many free RSS readers such as NewsGator, RSSReader or many others. Some email clients, like Mozilla Thunderbird (which I use) come with built in RSS readers. Note: There are RSS reader programs that you install on your computer, or RSS reader services that are only online such as Bloglines and My Yahoo and you must go to a web site to read your RSS feeds.
Yahoo has a nice overview of RSS feeds here and Webreference.com
The writers of RSStop10 have issued a free guide and write that the world is fast moving from a push-based information delivery (where you send information via emails) to a pull-based information delivery (where the subscriber accesses your information as and when he wants).
Email has its own advantages. Till the time, RSS becomes as popular and omni-present as email is now, you cannot ignore email-based newsletters. Also, you cannot get the exact number of the people who have subscribed to your RSS feed because RSS subscription is anonymous.
Embracing RSS technology right now can put you on the fast track and give you an edge over your competitors who are slow in adopting this hot new technology.
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