Social Media

My RSS Wish List

From a marketing perspective, RSS feeds lasso the market and bring it home. They connect your website with other sites and work to gather links and visitors for your website. Briefly, RSS feeds are a standardized method that is used to make content portable, so that it can be read without a web browser. Think of RSS feeds as a quick way to see what content is new on a website. By taking advantage of RSS feeds, your content gets exposure on news sites, RSS aggregates, and other places that syndicate your content. People can basically read what is on your website in places other than your website. This helps open up the doors to your market in more ways than just typical advertising, marketing, and search engine optimization. FeedBurner fits right into this picture because it allows people to track data about their RSS feeds. FeedBurner gives you data on how many people have subscribed to your RSS feed and how many have taken a look. This is obviously useful for a lot of people, but as a marketer I’m dying to know more. RSS feeds can give your website more, so I think that it would be great if FeedBurner could give you more statistics. There are certainly a few more things that I’d like to have at my fingertips.
###Repeat Subscribers
First off, I want to know how many repeat subscribers are coming back for more versus how many people I’m getting for the first time. This tells me whether or not the new content I’m releasing is getting people to come back or if it is turning them away. This would also tell me whether or not the new stuff I’m putting out there is attracting new subscribers.
I’d also like to see what the trends look like each day without having to do the math myself. A simple green or red arrow type of thing would do the trick and I’d know immediately whether or not the day was a good day or bad. I’m lazy and don’t like to think, so if FeedBurner did some quick thinking for me it would be great.
###Web Analytics
Another key to taking this to the next step would be analytics on my RSS page. Most of the people that find my subscribe page are going through my website first, but I’m also getting ranked for certain keywords. I’d want to know if somebody found my blog home page on Google for the term “online marketing blog” and subscribed. Any type of conversion data on this would be very helpful and I’d be more than happy to put some javascript on each of my blog pages.
There are already some graphs on FeedBurner, but it would be nice to put my own tags on those graphs so I know what happened on days that were hot or not. This way I’m not tripped up every time I look at my graph for the last 30 days and see that one day that got only 30 subscriptions instead of the normal 1000. Turns out, that was Christmas day and I shouldn’t be shocked every time I see it.
I would like to be alerted about my RSS feed at any given time. I’d like to see an email, IM, text message, or even dashboard alert whenever something unusual is happening. This would help me stop problems at the outset, or even find those things that are really helping and make sure I do that consistently.
The last thing I’ve been wanting is to know is what geographical area my subscribers are coming from. Are my blogs only appealing to people in one place? Are people looking at my blogs from another area and not subscribing? Help me out here, I’m in the dark and I want to improve in order to attract more subscribers.
Overall, these are things that would make FeedBurner that much more valuable to me. They might have a lot of this in the works, or this might even be available in the corporate version, but I am not sure. The current product available for free is great and probably satisfies a lot of people, but as a marketer I’m always wanting to know more about who I’m reaching, who’s coming back, where they are, and what is going on with my blog. Hopefully they will dazzle me with new features at some point. Right now, I’ll just have to hold my breath and wish.

 My RSS Wish List
Neil Patel is the co-founder of KISSmetrics, an analytics provider that helps companies make better business decisions. Neil also blogs about marketing and entrepreneurship at Quick Sprout.

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