FeedBurner Alternatives? What I’m Doing

Here’s the bottom line (updated Nov 20, 2013): I recommend Mad Mimi*. She keeps getting better and better. I’m so glad I made the switch.

Updated June 1, 2013: It’s official. I have been won over by the excellent customer service, the dreamy interface, the lower price and the recent updates (addressing many of the concerns expressed in the comments below) at Mad Mimi, so I’ve made the switch.

*There are affiliate links in this post.

***

Summary of this post: When it comes to my subscription service, I’m in wait-and-see mode regarding FeedBurner. I’m also considering paid-for options. Currently, my RSS subscribers are at FeedBurner and my email subscribers are at FeedBlitz, but I’m considering moving them to MadMimi (see update above).

(If you don’t know what I mean by “feed,” check out this post.)

Long version: You’ve probably heard the rumblings about FeedBurner shutting down on October 20, 2012. There’s a lot of confusion surrounding it and I don’t pretend to know all the ins and outs, however, there’s no indication the FeedBurner service itself will die on October 20, just the FeedBurner APIs. (The APIs allow developers to interact with it. I know that’s Greek to many of us, so if you want to know more, read this post from Phil Hollows at FeedBlitz who knows what he’s talking about. In that post, he tells you too that there’s no indication the service itself is going away.)

Suffice it to say, FeedBurner should still work and subscribers should still get posts after October 20.

Important companion to this post and I highly recommend you do this: How to Download Your FeedBurner Email Subscriber List

What’s the plan for FeedBurner, Google?

Still, there does seem to be some sort of shutting down process going on over there at Google when it comes to FeedBurner, and we’d all like to know what’s up. Mostly, we’d all like to know whether or not we can count on a free service in the future, whether it’s a new and improved FeedBurner or a different service that does the same thing.

All I know is that there are a WHOLE LOT of bloggers who use FeedBurner (big and small) and if FeedBurner just drops off the face of the earth one day, there will be a lot of really mad people. Not that Google is responsible (or cares) whether or not people are mad, but it wouldn’t be great PR for Google, to say the least.

It’s very difficult for me to imagine Google would do that without ample warning, but what do I know. (Phil Hollows says they did it in Japan, but I’d be curious to know how many bloggers were significantly impacted by that.) Given the popularity of FeedBurner as we know it, it seems to be in their best interest to give fair warning.

Plus, think about all the data they have access to when people sign up for FeedBurner. I’m no Google or RSS guru, but it seems reasonable to me that they’re using all that information for something and wouldn’t want to just let it go.

Recent FeedBurner woes

Then there was the glitch that caused everyone’s subscriber count to plunge to zero last week. Again, it’s not that everyone’s subscribers actually went away, it’s just that the counter seemed to stop working. As of this writing, it’s still not working although Google says they are working on it. It’s what prompted my last post about downloading the list of your email subscribers as backup. You should do that.

Here’s what I’ve done

When I first started hearing the rumbling about FeedBurner possibly going away, I decided to try another service because I knew people were going to start asking about alternatives.

FeedBlitz

I have heard nothing but good things about FeedBlitz (affiliate link since I’m a paying customer), so I decided to give it a whirl. The raving fans about FeedBlitz’s customer support are absolutely right and Phil Hollows graciously walked me through the process to switch. My RSS subscribers are still at FeedBurner, but I moved my email subscribers to FeedBlitz. I’ll be honest, it was a bit complicated and it costs $50 a month for the service–a HUGE jump from free. (Note that rates vary depending on how many email subscribers you have, RSS subs aren’t counted. I have the 2500-4999 subscriber plan.) Based on my experience the last few months, if it’s in your budget, I would recommend FeedBlitz. Frankly, fifty bucks a month for me is painful. So, while I haven’t used anything else I’m considering other options…

Conclusion: FeedBlitz is my current service for email subscribers and I’m happy with it, but the price is a bit prohibitive. (See the update at the top of the post.)

*Noted to add: Since I wrote this post, an issue arose with my FeedBlitz service that was out of the ordinary for me. It seems only about 1/3 of my list received my last blog post via email, How to Download Your FeedBurner Email Subscriber List. It’s unclear why. I heard from one other person who experienced the same thing with her FeedBlitz account on the same day (September 22, 2012). I have not yet heard back from FeedBlitz, but I will keep you posted on the resolution…

Update 11/20/12: I did receive prompt attention to the matter and was refunded one month’s fee due to the hiccup. It was very much appreciated.

MailChimp

MailChimp (not an affiliate link) has a free deal for those with less than 2000 subscribers and who send less than 12,000 emails a month. You don’t get all features with the free package, but it might be worth it for some. If I were to switch to MailChimp, it would cost me about the same as FeedBlitz ($50/mo). The main thing that makes me nervous about MailChimp is their Terms of Service (see Part 1, Section 11f) state affiliate marketers are not supposed to use the service. Posts from former users on the subject like this one (particularly the comments about sites being shut down) are giving me pause. Granted, what they mean by “affiliate marketer” is unclear. So many affiliate marketers are spammy, but a lot of us are legit. The question is, where do they draw the line?

Update 12/11/12: Erin from Design by Insight (excellent designer BTW) sent me this link in the Support Forum at MailChimp: Does MailChimp Ban Affiliate Links? It’s definitely worth the read and sheds some light on how to use MailChimp and affiliate links safely. (The section “Ah-hah! In your list of risky content, you say: ‘Affiliate Marketers.’ Busted!” is particularly helpful.)

Conclusion: MailChimp doesn’t seem like a good option for me at this point. is one I’d consider given the update above.

AWeber

Another popular service is AWeber (not an affiliate link) and it’s cheaper too. According to their pricing plan, I would pay $30 a month nearly $50 a month (many thanks to Beth from In Good Cents who pointed this out in her comment here). There are a gazillion posts about MailChimp vs. AWeber (google it if you’re interested) and as far as I can tell, lots of people prefer AWeber over MailChimp.

Conclusion: AWeber is a possibility for me, but won’t save me anything.

MadMimi

Another service I’ve looked at is MadMimi (affiliate link because I’m a paying customer). I continually go back to them, mostly because I love their site, I always get great customer service and their interface is dreamy. I’m a paying customer for non-blog newsletters. For 5000 subscribers, their service would cost me $29/month ($24 for the base service plus $5 for the RSS to Email Add-On which I would need to send out my blog posts via email). Update 11/7/12: MadMimi has changed their pricing structure. Now it would cost me $27/m0 for 5000 subscribers (this now includes RSS to Email for free).

Conclusion: MadMimi is a definite possibility.

Update: I’ve now switched to MadMimi.

FeedBurner

What? Yep, I’ve even (gasp!) considered moving back to FeedBurner. For me currently, it would be a savings of $50 a month. Fifty bucks. I like fifty bucks. :) Am I nuts? Oh maybe. But honestly, I’m holding out that Google’s going to come through for us. Like I said earlier, it’s super hard for me to imagine Google pulling the plug on FeedBurner without any warning and without any alternative. I think there’s a good possibility they’re cookin’ up something over there. Only time will tell, I guess.

Conclusion: I’m still considering going back to FeedBurner.

Others

There are other services I’ve come across as I’ve researched. The ones above are the most popular I’ve found so I haven’t explored anything else too deeply. If you have a recommendation, please, leave it in the comments!

My plan

For now, I’m waiting. It’d be great to hear from Google (although I’m not holding my breath). My RSS subscribers are still at FeedBurner and for the time being I’m leaving them there. My email subscribers are at FeedBlitz, but I lean more and more in the direction of MadMimi. I’ll let you know if I take the plunge. That is, if Google lets me down. :(

Why this whole thing frustrates me

Look, I like free. My goal is to make blogging as cost effective as possible, not only for myself, but for you too. I do my best to only promote paid-for products I really, honestly feel make a difference and are reasonable. FeedBurner might not be the fanciest RSS-to-email service, but for a lot of us, it does the trick. Most of us don’t need a lot of bells and whistles–just send my posts to my subscribers and I’m good.

Why panicking is unnecessary. Numbers lie.

Why do I think there’s no need to panic? Because numbers are for the birds. Why do we put so much stock in them? Really. Let’s think about this.

We talk about the importance of the numbers and keeping track. I think it’s important to look for overall trends, but honestly, how often do we use the numbers just to feel good (or bad) about ourselves? Maybe it’s just me.

And also, this subscriber thing is not an exact science. Sometimes the numbers don’t give you an accurate picture.

Case in point: After I moved from FeedBurner to FeedBlitz, I had 1000 fewer email subscribers in FeedBlitz than I did in FeedBurner. I was a little concerned, so I asked Phil Hollows from FeedBlitz where those 1000 subs went. Were they lost in the transition? According to him (I trust him), it’s not that the subscribers were lost, it’s that FeedBurner simply doesn’t track the numbers well. (I’ve looked for my conversation with Phil so I could quote him, but unfortunately, I can’t find it. I’m trying to remember–Phil, if you’re reading, correct me if I’m wrong–but the bottom line is, there are people on the list that don’t get emails due to bounces, unverified addresses, etc. but FeedBurner counts them as subscribers anyway. But they aren’t getting the emails so they shouldn’t be counted as a subscriber.)

You might say my FeedBurner numbers were lying. I didn’t really have 5000 subscribers, I really had 4000 (or whatever it was). What was really interesting was how deflated I felt after finding out the truth. For a minute there, my feelings of worth decreased right along with those dumb (fake) numbers. I have issues people.

And then I started thinking about all of the stats that get thrown about in media kits and on advertising pages and I wondered how many of those numbers are just plain wrong too. I’d guess a lot of them are. I still think media kits and advertising pages are worthwhile, I just think we should recognize they don’t guarantee anything.

On top of that, let’s think about how many people actually read our stuff. To often we equate subscribers with readers, but they’re not the same. I’m absolutely positive a lot of people subscribe to my blog but never read it. How many blogs have I subscribed to that I never read? Lots. How many emails do I get that I never read? Less, but still quite a few. How many emails do I open but delete within the first two lines? A fair amount. In that case, I’m counted as an “open” and the assumption is I actually consumed the information, but I didn’t.

Sometimes I just want to pull an Ann Voskamp and skip worrying about the stats altogether. It’s obviously working for her. And there’s something freeing about the idea.

Where I’m at now

I realize there has to be some way of measuring this stuff. I realize there are a lot of people that really get into the nitty gritty of the numbers and I’d even argue it’s important in a lot of instances. But for me, a smaller blogger who has other stuff to think about, I have to ask myself if I’m putting too much stock into the numbers. And do I want to pay for the privilege?

Just my $.02. What do you think?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. says

    I’m currently testing FeedPress.it as a FeedBurner replacement. It doesn’t have all of FeedBurner’s features but so far so good.

    I use Aweber for my newsletters and was considering moving my FeedBurner email subscribers there too, but that would boost me from the $50/monthly bracket to the next one at $130/month! So I’m just using FeedPress’s email capabilities for that too.

  2. says

    Some how I have very large email subscriber around 50k, how to do when actually Feedburner stops working or become paid service.

    Check all the best ones which are around $250 or quite more for 50k/unlimited email. Seems by luck I have gathered those subscriber, offcourse they are not quite useful except some traffic but if at all I have to pay for it, only option is just forget all those.

    What you guys ahve to say on the unique situation?

  3. Rachael says

    Excuse my naïveté, but how do these email marketing services differ from the built-in email subscription JetPack widget that comes with WordPress? Is it just that it enables you to somehow track people who are subscribed to you via RSS through other various channels like Feedly or something?
    I’m not really seeing how I can benefit from one of these services at all if all I want to do is get my posts out and not make a separate newsletter or something. Correct me if I’m wrong, but all blogs (regardless of whether they use an email marketer or not) can be found on RSS services like Feedly, right? You don’t have to pay for FeedBlitz or Mad Mimi to get subscribed to via RSS, right? Is the benefit of signing up with a service like Mad Mimi just that it enables you to see how many people subscribe to your blog via one of the numerous RSS outlets?

  4. Heather F says

    Hi Amy,
    I’m new here, and just getting started building my blog. Your website has been so helpful!! Today I was working on setting up ‘sign up for newsletter’ functionality on my blog, and I decided to try MailChimp since it’s free up to 2000 subscribers (and I don’t have any yet), and the buzz out there is indicating that people are moving away from FeedBurner. Anyway, I discovered that MailChimp requires me to include my actual physical mailing address on all emails to comply with current anti-spam laws. I don’t want to publish my home address to a bunch of strangers! How are small bloggers dealing with this and staying legal?

    Thanks so much for all the useful information and guidance you are providing here!

    • says

      Many of us use a PO Box. If you’d prefer not to spend money, I think I’d just start with FeedBurner for now though. :)

  5. Sheila says

    Hi Amy,
    Just read about your switch to Mad Mimi in your new Useletter (very nice)
    I am new and just signed up with MailChimp but was concerned about the affiliate marketing issue so thought I would take a look at Mad Mimi since you recommend them.
    A bit confused about one issue with Mad Mimi though. Are you allowed to use affiliate links in an e-mail sent through Mad Mimi? Their TOS says: “You may not use Mad Mimi to send email campaigns that link to or display . . . affiliate and network marketing materials, or any other content we deem inappropriate. They also say they charge 250.00 for violations resulting in spam complaints.

  6. says

    Hey Amy a couple of things,

    I’ve missed a couple of your emails because I’m not yet familiar with your last name. I read the one that said you were branding to your name instead of Blogging with Amy, but I’m not conditioned to open the new one yet!

    One more thing…I have an email responder that gives yo demographics, auto responers, and entry ways with QR codes, facebook links, linked-in links and more…but most of all THEY WILL MOVE YOUR LIST FOR YOU! Check them out at http://brendatrott.com/bestautoresponder (affiliate link since I’m a paying customer:)

  7. says

    I am using feedburner as of now but read somewhere the mailchimps allow you to customize the way your feed looks (email). I am confused. Also, I don’t know much about feedburner. It just send the whole article to the subscriber. Will read your How to Get & Optimize a Feedburner Feed article. Thanks.

  8. says

    Hi, and thanks for a very useful post. I’ve just moved my (rather insignificant) blog from blogger to wordpress and am trying to get the subscribe thing to work … And I’m able to sign up, confirm etc, but I (or anyone else who’s tried) don’t get any e-mails when new posts are published.
    I searced the FAQ and found the same question from several people, and only one got an ansver, from the Feedblitz guy, giving a couple of suggestions (been there, done them) and then recommending his own service if things didn’t work out.
    Thanks,
    Cicci
    As, for, me, paying a set sum for such a service is currently unthinkable (my number of subscribers is i two digits – at best :-) ), I’m hoping to get some help with the non-existing e-mails from Feedburner. Do you have any light to shed on the subject? (The feed is updated, the subscribers registered, etc).

    • says

      Hmmm…not sure on this one. As a free service, the support is pretty much nonexistent unfortunately. You might try downloading your email subs and then deleting the feed and trying burning it again. (Maybe you’ve already done that but that would be my plan of attack.)

  9. says

    Hi Amy, Yes! One can now opt for full posts, provided:
    1. The feed setting itself (nothing to do with Mad Mimi) allows for full posts.
    2. The ‘Automatically format RSS feed for clean display’ box is unchecked in your Mad Mimi account RSS set-up.
    The full post will go through, although there may still be a ‘Read More’ tag inserted at 1000 characters. We’re working on getting users a toggle on/off button for this.
    I hope this info helps your community! Be in touch, for sure, if there are more questions.
    Best, Kate

    • says

      Thanks for replying, Kate. I’m not sure I’m understanding…so if I opt for full posts, will my readers only see them if they are under 1000 characters?

      • says

        Hi Amy,
        If you opt for full posts, your reader will see the full post, no matter how long the post is. But, for now, they’ll also see a Read More tag at the end of the post. I quickly set up an example for the Mad Mimi blog feed. You can see what the Preview looks like, with the ‘Automatically format RSS feed for clean display’ box unchecked : http://mad.ly/5e6183
        I should have started with this picture, because it shows what I mean better than I told :-) If you look at the Mad Mimi blog, you’ll see the posts in the RSS email above are the full posts.
        Best, Kate

        • says

          Thanks Kate! OK, I think I understand now. But you’re working on the option to toggle the “Read more” link off? I think that would be excellent. In any case, this is great news for those who want to make sure their readers get their full posts in their feed. I appreciate you adding to the conversation.

  10. says

    Hi All,
    I’m sorry I’m so late to this comment party, but I just came across it. I work for Mad Mimi – that rockin’ woman! – and would love to help with as many ‘RSS to email’ feature questions as I can. I’m glad some of you reached out to Mad Mimi support already, but also wanted to let you know that we’ve changed our pricing structure since this was originally posted, as you noted, Amy, and our RSS to email feature is better than ever! I noticed a couple of things that came up in the comment thread repeatedly, so here’s a look at the current snapshot of our feature:
    *Mad Mimi’s RSS to email feature is now free – for both Free/2500 contacts and paid accounts.
    *We offer a ‘clean’ checkbox on the RSS to Email set up. By default, as of this week, it’s unchecked. The option of this check box gives users more control over the full post vs. excerpt and also affects how Mimi handles the images for you.
    Remember, however, your RSS feed has its own settings, too, so sometimes it just requires some tweaking to get everything the way you want it.

    Please feel free to email support@madmimi.com any time. We’ll get right back to you and help as best we can! You can also sign up for a free account, just to test the RSS to Email feature and see if you like it/if it works for you. Viva bloggers!

    • says

      Thank you, Kate, for your response here.

      So, do I understand correctly that one can now opt to offer full posts?

  11. says

    Wow, it sure would appear there’s a wide open opportunity here for someone to introduce a free Feedburner alternative. Currently, I’m just linking to /feed/ on my Genesis blog and allowing people to subscribe via Google Reader that way. But of course, I’m missing the opportunity here to collect email addresses. Once my new site picks up steam, I’ll switch to a paid solution.

  12. says

    Amy, your a genius at this blog stuff ;O)
    I am so green and have tried all of the above…and have forgotten how to illiminate the options. Some people have subscriptions from places I don’t even know about.
    My real question is {sigh}, I have a women who email me irate that she is getting my updates. I know, right!? She had to have verified it no matter where she’s getting the feed from. I tried to explain to her how to unsubscribe but that made her even madder. I went to feedburner {fav so far for getting & tracking subscriptions} but she’s not listed there. I am now trying to check an old feedblitz account but can’t find where I set that up.
    Do you have any helps for me???

    • says

      Oh yikes, if you’ve checked all your accounts for various services and can’t seem to find her, I would just email her again, apologize, assure her you’ve done everything you can to try to find her email address but there must be a glitch that is not allowing you to find it. I would then try again to encourage her to simply click the Unsubscribe link in any of her emails and that should do it. So sorry!

      • says

        Thanks Amy! Thanks for making me feel less like a goob!
        The only thing I don’t know how to check is my apparent feedblitz account. I have one for reading blogs but can’t find an account for my blog sending stuff. I at least had one at some point because I personally get an email from that feed {that’s how I test stuff}. Is there a way to figure out that account? Or is there even a way to see subscribers using that feed?
        I did email her and just ask that she ‘spam’ me…I don’t know what the consequences of that will be but at least she won’t continually be upset with me.
        THANKS again for your sweet {and fast may I add} response!!!

        • says

          If you login to FeedBlitz, on the left side, there is an orange link for “My Sites”–click on that. Any of your sites with a feed should be listed underneath. Click the envelope icon to see any email newsletters associated with your site. Hope that helps!

  13. says

    Thanks so much for the advice. I am confused about what to do. I am on Blogger and my email subscribers are still getting my posts. They just can’t click through to my site. Any recommendations? I really don’t want to have to pay for a service. Thanks!

    • says

      FeedBurner still works so you shouldn’t have to pay for a service at this point. Not sure why they can’t click through your site. That sounds strange to me. Maybe Blogger Help has some advice.

  14. says

    Hello Amy:

    I pray bottom of my heart that feedburner doesn’t shut down. There are many big sites still didn’t plan for any migration, such as mashable.com , probloggers, etc. I just visited their sites to know what they are doing. They are still using feedburner.

    I think that Google is planning big that will blow all other feed service providers in the market. They are enough fool enough to ignore millions of bloggers and their fate.

  15. says

    My Feedburner hasn’t sent anything in a few weeks. Do we know if it’s really gone for sure?

    I’ve been trying to figure this out, and it’s so, so frustrating.

    I can’t pay for a service when my blog isn’t making money & I can’t use mailchimp because they want a physical address.

    WHY GOOGLE. WHY??? lol.

    • says

      Hmmm…not sure why this would happen. I’d make sure the email subscription setting is activated and everything else looks good. You might also ask your readers to see if they are getting your posts and/or subscribe yourself with another email address and see if you get them. Might be something with your email address??

  16. says

    Amy, my head is about to explode, trying to figure out what to do with my email subscribers. I got the feedblitz manual, quickly read it, and am completely overwhelmed with all the tech stuff, as I am soooo not techy. Anyway, it looks like I only have 50 or so feedburner email subscribers as I am pretty new to blogging. I do not use ad sense on my blogger account, and have my blog strictly as a creative outlet with no income. That suits me fine so I am not looking into paying for any service. Is there an EASY way to fix my problem for us non-techy people who just want their subscribers to get my posts via email? I subscribe to my own blog via email and RSS. My RSS works fine but I haven’t received any email posts since Sept. Dummy me just figured this out today cuz as soon as I write a post, I get it thru blogger, but not as an email subscriber. My friend just told me today she wasn’t receiving my email posts and that’s how I finally found out there was a problem!

    • says

      Hi Lisa, make sure your email subscriptions are Activated. I’m not sure what to tell you other than that. I’d google it to see if others have had this issue. Not sure why it wouldn’t be sending your emails out. Sorry I’m not much help. :(

  17. says

    For a new blog/site, or a hobby site (self hosted WordPress), what do you think of the new built in JetPack subscription service? It’s free, and surely not fancy, but until/unless I get to the point where I want to pay for it, have you heard much about what people think? Would love your thoughts!

  18. says

    Great to read all your comments here … great informations! But all these services are very expensive … too expensive, if you have just a little blog – still. I tend to Mailchimp, but I’m also concerned about the affiliate issue :-(

    If you just need feed statistics, this is a great plugin for WordPress:
    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/feedstats-de/

    and I’m going to try this one, too – http://wpplugins.com/plugin/46/subscribe2-html/, but it’s all not for sending out special e-mail newsletters, just alternatives for Feedburner mail subscriptions.

  19. says

    I started using Google feedburner a few weeks ago. Today I realized my social networks weren’t being fed, so I went to my feeds account and guess what? All my feeds were gone! I’m really pissed at them, but I have no idea what would be the best free alternative. I don’t use email subscriptions, just RSS.

  20. says

    I opened a Mail Chimp account today, but I’m so confused that I think I’ll just wait & pray that feed burner continues. My first problem is that I can’t figure out if my subscribers on feedburner are email subscribers or rss subscribers…how do you know???

  21. says

    Hi Amy! Thanks for responding to my question on Facebook. Just to remind you…my email subscribers are no longer showing up, so I can’t download them. You suggested I log in and then go back, but I had already done that and that didn’t help. I’ve posted on feedburners forum and haven’t gotten any help. I’ve asked three times!

    Let me just say that I don’t have a lot of subscribers, so I’m still able to sleep at night ;). BUT, I’m wondering if you know of anyone who can help me with this? I have a tech guy I skype with every other week, but he is not familiar with feedburner.

    Regarding feedblitz, I subscribe to a blog (won’t mention it here but it’s a popular one) that uses feedblitz. The email itself doesn’t look very appealing. The subject line just says ‘feedblitz’ instead of the blog name, which shows up after that then when you click it has numbers 1-4 of their latest posts. It’s kind of dreary looking imo. Is that what feedblitz has currently? I’m confused because I subscribe to your blog, you said you use feedblitz, but your emails don’t look like that.

    Anywhooooo…thanks for all you do for us newbies (and not so newbies too). I hope someone can help me!

    • Amy says

      I’m so sorry to hear about FeedBurner Doreen. I’m afraid I’m not sure what to tell you. Unfortunately, FeedBurner can be a bit finicky. It’s not uncommon for subscriber numbers to fluctuate significantly. The support forums are notoriously unhelpful and most of us have just had to roll with it. :( Nevertheless, I would continue to check every once in a while to see if your email subscribers reappear. You also might consider posting about the situation and ask people to resubscribe.

      FeedBlitz allows you to edit your email format so my guess is that the person you mentioned probably just hasn’t gotten around to do that. My emails are sent by FeedBlitz too and I customized them so they look the way they do. Pretty easy to do. :)

  22. says

    Goodness, am I the only guy who’s writing here? lol

    I’m sticking with Feedburner until I get the word that they’re shutting down, and from their own mouths they have no plans on shutting it down any time soon. So I can hope that means 3 years or so, during which time I’m sure something will come out that we all will enjoy that’s still free. If not… well, we’ll figure it all out when we have to.

  23. says

    Thanks for making sense out of all this Amy. I didn’t even know about this till recently and its nice to see the other options out there. I have to admit, I love anything Free, but seeing now that having a program where a fee is involved comes with better options, features and service. Thanks for giving us a great description of the many options we can all check out. I signed up with Feedblitz.

  24. says

    Just thought I’d mention that MadMimi’s RSS to email feature ONLY sends post excerpts. So readers would have to click through to read an entire post or even to click on any links in the post – as the post’s html doesn’t seem to get fed through their service.

    Essentially, that makes it pretty much unusable for me. Wanted to to mention it here to save others the hassle.

    Thanks for all this great info! Makes decision simple for me. I plan to do a Aweber – Feedburner hybrid. Start new folks on Aweber and keep old ones on Feedburner. Haven’t tried it, but I *think* it will work. Moving everyone over would just be way to pricey for me at this point.

    Thanks!

  25. Hans Williams says

    Just thought I’d share, we evaluated Feedity – http://feedity.com for our library and really liked their service and support. Been using Feedity for all our internal and external feeds, including a podcast feed that goes to iTunes, for the past few weeks and liking it. Highly recommended!

  26. says

    Since I use mailchimp, and I was considering using them for RSS, I decided to contact them directly, this is what they had to say:

    “Thanks for reaching out to us!

    As long as the content being sent out is relevant to your usual blog posts, and isn’t just a bunch of links to different sites, it should be perfectly fine. :)”

    I also received another email from them that confirmed the same.

  27. says

    I totally agree with your stand.
    no need to panic and wait for google to respond
    and at the same time take backup of the feedburner email stats.

  28. says

    Hi Amy,
    I receive your feed, but I also come to your website when I need to know something, so I would remain a loyal reader either way. :-)
    My blog is small right now, so if I looked at the feedburner subscribers # only, I’d be discouraged. But, my blog continues to grow with increased comments, interaction so that makes me happy. I think I’ll wait this one out.
    As always, thank you for your helpful and timely post.

  29. says

    Wow, love this post, Amy. I read but have never commented. Who has time these days? : ) I think MadMimi may be perfect for me. Feedblitz seems confusing and expensive to me and it doesn’t really help with my situation. I use feedburner now for emailed blog posts and RSS and then I have Mailchimp’s free plan. However, I am close to capping out on the free plan and so I’ll have to start paying. It sounds like I can move everything over to MadMimi and the price is right. I’m not a huge fan of Mailchimp but it has served me well. I’ll check out MadMimi. I’d love to see an example of the newsletter designs.

    • Amy says

      Yes, check it out. I guess what I’m learning is that there are no perfect services, but I do love MadMimi (aff) for many reasons. (By the way, look for the “Gallery” tab for examples of newsletters.) Thanks, Shawn!

  30. says

    I am with you on the whole don’t read e-mail subscription thing. I use to sign up for blogs that way but I found I never got around to reading them as they just made my inbox look like too much work when they were mixed in with e-mails for other things. Now I am addicted to google reader. Love how streamlined it is. Just blogs and none of them demanding I deal with them right away or face an inbox explosion. I do hope if feedburner goes away that their will be free options for newbie bloggers, it takes a while to build up a readership that could recoup the costs, yet you can’t have a successful blog to build up numbers with if you don’t have an e-mail service to offer.

    • says

      We must all keep in mind that we do not know what others prefer – and there is no consistency to it. I know bloggers who read every post – full posts only – in Google Reader – and others who NEVER read posts in an RSS reader.

      I know bloggers who open emails – and others who filter them until they’re “not busy” – and “not busy” never happens so they almost NEVER read any newsletter email from AWeber or FeedBlitz or whatever.

      Some hang out in Facebook all day long – others only on G+ and many not on any social network. So my point is what WE do is not necessarily what our READERS ARE DOING and there is no easy way to reach them all.

      That said, there is evidence that for ordinary humans who aren’t as busy as many of us that email is still the strongest way to build a base of fans who will buy what you offer – so if you want to increase income you definitely want to encourage email subscriptions.

      For now I suspect most will use that option when they see a FeedBlitz subscription offer – but over time more may choose to use social networks or other methods. No matter what they use, though, remember that social networks change over time and censor some things you share – and Facebook now only shows what you do if you are highly engaged OR willing to pay BIG BUCKS to show your fans what you post – so what YOU CONTROL is ALWAYS best.

  31. says

    Amy, I think you are on the right track about worrying too much about the numbers!
    I am new to blogging and am just getting into all of this about email subscriptions. I am still somewhat clueless about all of it, but know I have to have it. I’m so glad you did this article because it will help me decide what service to use. Thanks!

    • Amy says

      You’re welcome, Sheila. I have to remind myself that in the big scheme of things this is all very minor. I need to think about it, but not obsess. Thanks!

  32. says

    This is my understanding of mail chimp though. When people sign up to get your posts through email, that is considered separate from the direct emails you send your subscribers (they call it campaigns). If I send an email to mu subscribers and my email has affiliate links, they consider that “spamming” your subscribers. But what I post on my website, and because people subscribed to my posts, is fair game. Just for fun, let’s assume I am right in how this works, mail chimp would be great to use for RSS to email with the bonus that I can send emails to my subscribers at other times. Mail chimp then becomes a great option. I just started using them just for the email lists (not RSS) and I really do like mail chimp, I was about to start using them for RSS too. Now I will ask :)

    • says

      I know two bloggers who were using it for RSS who lost their lists and their ability to use their service, so I would be careful.

  33. says

    As a person with 4 blogs, aweber is $30 x 4 for me. (unless you can put everything on one account which I couldn’t see that you could). Feedblitz allowed me to put everything into one account. I did have some hiccups but I think those were feedburners fault. And their support on twitter was almost instant.

    • says

      Hi Lisa,

      It is my understanding that if a person subscribes to all four of your blogs that is you use FeedBlitz you only pay for them once but on AWeber you would pay for them four times. That could make a difference for some bloggers regarding how much each of those options costs.

  34. Elizabeth Yin says

    Great post, Amy! Super thorough in spelling out different options. One more option that people might be interested in is a new Feedburner-esque product that my co-founder and I are developing. Will allow you to manage your email subscribers and auto-send new posts to them. Best of all, it’s free compared to many other email service provider solutions. In private beta, but people can sign up here: https://launchbit.wufoo.com/forms/r7x2s9/

  35. says

    I just switched my blog over to feedblitz a couple of weeks ago. I figure if it’s generating a (small right now) amount of income I should probably use services that are reliable. Plus their support is quick. I emailed them this morning and had an answer within 20 minutes.

  36. says

    I’d love a future post on email subscribers vs newsletter subscribers, and I’d also be really curious to hear the number of reads folks are getting through emails.

    I admit to really overemphasizing my Facebook page, which means I now have around 2,000 fb likers, but only a couple of hundred email subscribers. On the other hand, I get hundreds of daily referrals from fb, and it’s a rare day when I get more than one reader coming from an email! I’ve been thinking about quitting offering the daily email all together, since it’s just a digest of what I posted that day, and offering something different entirely-like a weekly or monthly newsletter that would have some content not included at the site.

    I’d love to know your thoughts on this, Amy, and also if you recommend any of these same services for newsletter production.

  37. says

    Amy, I am in the midst of trying out Mad Mimi for RSS to email {for a few days behind the scenes now} and have run into 2 problems. One-it won’t pull a full feed, but does the “read more” thing with RSS to email. I like that Feedburner allows the full content to be pulled into the email so they don’t have to click to the blog. Although I love readers coming to the blog, i don’t want them to HAVE to, you know? I personally hate partial RSS feeds {I read all my blogs via RSS, no email}, so I wouldn’t want to do partial to someone else. 2-the RSS to email feed didn’t pull in photos correctly and it just looks a bit whacky. I REALLY wanted to love it, I still do, but I don’t think there is a way around these issues. :( I think I am in the wait and see boat, praying Feedburner will work out in the end. Feedblitz has been the only other option I have been considering.

    • Amy says

      Thank you Carisa. So helpful! I agree with you about the partial vs. full feed and clearly wonky photos are not cool at all. Oh man, such a bummer. :( Did MadMimi give you any help on those issues?

      I’m with you, hoping Google steps up to the plate for us!

      • says

        They replied to my email within minutes {literally} and the email was super friendly, but no solution for me. here’s the part with the “answers”

        1. {about the “read more” thing} There’s no way to do this. The way that the RSS to Email feature is set up is to simply show previews of the latest posts on your blog, and then give the recipient the ability to click to read further by visiting your actual blog posts.

        2. {about images not showing up and things looking weird} So…Mimi basically pulls images from your blog itself. They have to be tagged as part of the post in order to pull. Otherwise, Mimi only shows the image you’ve selected as your banner image within the email itself. I’ve looked at your feed and you don’t seem to have tagged images within the blog posts themselves. That is why they’re not showing up in Mimi…Mimi simply pulls from the RSS feed you give her. So if the images aren’t importing, it’s likely an issue with the feed itself.

        My feed pulls just fine through Feedburner, images and all. So, I am not sure what he meant in #2. Unfortunately Mad Mimi is not my answer, I so wish it was cuz they are super helpful and nice!

    • says

      This is really good to know! Thanks, Carisa. I really wanted to love it too, but that’s a no for me. At a blogging conference, they recommended summaries instead of full feeds to increase pageviews and get readers to click over, but I lost so many reader so quickly after trying it out, I would never try that again. I get it though. When I subscribe and get a summary, I unsubscribe. I get too many emails and follow too many blogs to click over to see if an article is really something I want to read fully or not. I click over to comment on good articles, but that’s it. Bloggers probably hate subscribers like me now that I think about it, LOL.

    • says

      This was the dealbreaker for Mad Mimi for me (over a year ago I brought a lot of RSS-to-Email problems to their attention, and still no fixes). Not only does their RSS-to-Email service cost an additional monthly fee, but the RSS emails are just terrible looking (and sometimes don’t even send out at the proper time) and you can’t customize them. Their customer service is great, but unfortunately customer service can’t fix a product a with flaws.

  38. says

    Have you ever used just the direct feed to your blog without going through Feedburner (or any feed service) for RSS? I currently use MailChimp for Email, but am looking at alternatives for RSS and have recently just used my feed for my WP blog directly from WP – without going through Feedburner (I’ve had major issues with Feedburner in the past so I’ve been trying to get away from them regardless of whether they shut down or not). Just wondering if there’s a catch to doing it this way. I can’t access any stats for number of RSS subscribers, at least not that I can find. In my testing though, everything seems to work this way. Any thoughts Amy?

  39. says

    Amy,

    I’ve been using Aweber now for a year and this summer took a long look at how I might save some money. After looking at all of the various options out there, it came down to Aweber for me. If I use auto-responders a lot as a way to drip out information. If I used Mail Chimp and paid for the auto-responder service I would have saved a couple of dollars. So it came down to the affiliate sales issue.

    I decided to stay with Aweber and continue to take advantage of all of their services. If I wasn’t trying to do some passive / affiliate selling it might be different.

    Just my two cents…. and can I tell you how much I’m really enjoying all of your great sharing. Thanks for all of the information and down to earth, not too geeky, approach on blogging. You rock, lady!

    Susan

  40. says

    Hi Amy!

    I have Aweber (since last december) and i am reaching my first 500 subscribers. I love it. You have the autoresponder, you could sell (or free) automated courses, memberships, etc. You can segment your audience, and also integrate the rss feed, for example, once you subscribe to my lists, you will receive 5 or 6 automated follow up every 4 or 5 days.
    And on sundays its my blog broadcast, which is connected to my feed and you receive a summary of all my entries. Also you can configure to send it once you reach xx published posts..
    There are ilimited integrations (eg. membership plugins, affiliate platforms, etc.).

    I had Mad mimi, i liked it. But i cancel for 2 reasons: you had to pay for the autoresponder, and my subscribers didn´t received my emails or they went to the spam folder (without any “suspicious” word inside)… so…
    I´ll recommend Aweber :D

  41. says

    AWeber is about the same cost at Feedblitz and MailChimp, though that’s what I’m highly considering. It’s $194/year + $30/month for 2,501-5,000, so that’s $46 a month. I didn’t get the impression that the yearly service fee was optional or avoidable. Am I reading that wrong? Though you can pay monthly or quarterly I saw.

    I read an old article that they had issue keeping up with deal blogs who post 10+ posts a day. Many couldn’t get all of their posts to show up in their emails, so this is my main concern and I’m doing some research. Has anyone heard anything about this?

    Mad Mimi also looked like a great option, but I read in their FAQ that they rewrite links in your promotions for click tracking and you have to pay an additional $29 /month to get it to be your own domain. I’d want to know how that worked a bit more. If affiliate links are rewritten, would they still work properly or would it be the same as redirecting with Ninja Affiliate or similar programs? That concerned me. Plus, if if wasn’t my domain, I wouldn’t get pingbacks when sites use my feed without permission. Maybe I’m overthinking this or reading it wrong.

    • Amy says

      Beth, thank you! You are absolutely right about the cost of AWeber. It wasn’t you reading it wrong, it was me. I did not see that little blue “+” on their sales page indicating it was the monthly/quarterly/yearly fee plus the monthly fee. It’s not very clear as far as I’m concerned. Anyway, I live chatted with them to make sure, and you are right–it would cost me just about $50 a month too. Bummer. Thanks for pointing that out (I updated the post too).

      Regarding Mad Mimi, I specifically chatted with them the other day about affiliate links in posts and their response was that there wouldn’t be any problem for a blogger like me. There was no mention of my affiliate links being rewritten, although I didn’t ask specifically. Another thing for me to investigate I guess. I really appreciate your input–we gotta work together here!

      • says

        Darn, Amy, I was really hoping that I had read it wrong, because $30 vs. $50 really would have made the decision a whole lot easier! Let me know what you find out about Mad Mimi. I have a friend who uses it and loves it. Plus, the emails look so much more creative than others I’ve seen.

      • says

        Amy, I just went to Mad Mimi and chatted about this issue (after reading this thread). The guy said this:

        “The custom domain feature would make it so that all links that are currently redirected through go.madmimi.com (only for a moment, to capture click stats) would go through your own custom domain
        so the reader has a very seamless experience. Most users don’t actually need this option, but some love it, so it’s up to you. The custom domain wouldn’t impact your affiliate link use, so you can go either way.”

        Thanks so much for mentioning Mad Mimi. Their service looks promising. I was able to import my Feedburner CSV file without having people reconfirm their subscription. I’m going to give it a try. Also, for small blogs, it’s free up to 100 subscribers.

        • Amy says

          Thanks, Erin! I was also told affiliate links shouldn’t be impacted. I’d love to hear your thoughts once you give it a whirl.

  42. says

    I am subscribed to your blog via email and you just saved me some major time and effort. So thank you so much. For me just starting out I will def be holding out for google. I mean come on its google!! Thanks so much for you posts and updates you have been beyond helpful!

  43. says

    I’ve been concerned about Oct 20 as well and considering Feedburner just randomly stopped sending out my email updates, I switched to Mail Chimp for now. I don’t have nearly 2000 subscribers so it’s still in my price range (free). I’ll hang out here until Google gets the Feedburner issue worked out.

    Oddly enough, my count jumped up when I switched. :)

    One thing to consider is that if there are any landing pages out there for guest posts (great idea BTW), you have to go back an update ALL your links that lead you to subscribe. Otherwise people will still be signing up for your old service even after its been deactivated.

    It’s also smart to go back every few days to the old service or so to collect any stragglers that somehow found the old subscription link. Don’t want to lose anyone in the shuffle!

  44. says

    Sorry if that last comment didn’t make sense. What I am wondering is—where can we get the addresses of anyone who subscribed since FB stopped showing counts? My subscriber list in FB is waaaay down – It was 3,000+ when the counts stopped showing (email subscribers)and now, going back to the same date, it shows only 500. This is really disconcerting. Meanwhile, I am sure folks are subscribing so I am really wondering who they are and how I can find out should I switch to another service.

    Should we just write a post and ask folks to send us their emails / reply to the email that comes out?

    What a mess -thanks for any tips, Amy!!!

  45. says

    I appreciate you being so unbiased and level-headed in your posts. It makes me pay attention to what you say! I have 6,000 subscribers on my education blog and while I don’t care about the number, I care about not losing them. I’m staying with Feedburner for now, trusting Google will give warning as they did with Google Friends.

    I’d like to have a custom newsletter option, so I’ve looked at newsletter services, but $50/month is a very big deal to me. And for many years, Feedburner has been nothing but great for me.

  46. says

    My experience is that the email subs list is no longer available.
    As I understand it, there are two types of feed subscribers: 1 via email — with those subs I wonder (since I checked them b4 they disappeared) I couldn’t send them the posts via email myself.
    But the subscribers thru Google reader/homepage – that I don’t get. I though that the reader says they want to subscribe via RSS or Atom and see it in their reader and that the reader goes out an looks for the feed. If the service is down there’s no feed to see. However, I have been able to see a current feed (via validate or ping), but do not receive it updated on my reader. From this I infer that my assumption is wrong about how it works.
    So, if I were to migrate/move or jump to another service all those subscribers are lost, invisible, or what?
    Since this is confusing it is hard to make sense.

  47. says

    Thank you for this post! I was a bit worried, so thank you for your alternatives. I really, really don’t want to pay though! Since I don’t have a lot of email subscribers, I can’t justify paying a monthly fee…I would rather email my links out myself! LOL.

    • Amy says

      Check out my last post. I explained how to grab your email subscribers. RSS subscribers are not accessible FeedBurner, but the email subs are the more valuable ones anyway.

      • says

        I did that the other day, but as I explained in my comment below, there must be no way to grab the emails of those who subscribed since FB started having these issues. Furthermore, now my list is down to 1/8 of what it was when I downloaded it so this is really strange…>???

  48. says

    Hi Amy,

    I Was considering MailChimp, but now I’m not because of the affiliate issue. Might have to fork over the $ for FeedBlitz. Seems my best option. For me, I like the simplicity to publish posts and not have to make a separate newsletter.

    I will wait a few more weeks before I make any moves. But this is at the forefront of my to-do list.

    Waxing hopeful… Perhaps there will be a new development from Google, that will be free. :)

    • says

      I’ve been doing a lot of looking at Subscribe2 and it looks like the free version is just an unformatted email with a link to the new blog post–but it’s better than nothing, I suppose!

  49. says

    Well Amy, you can count me as one of your subscribers who actually READ your posts. But yes, most of the blogs I subscribe to get a quick once over. For me, I won’t pay for anything related to my blog because I have so few subscribers it is laughable, but I suppose a large blog should look at all the possibilities. Great informative post as always!

  50. says

    “I have heard nothing but good things about FeedBlitz ” I’ve actually heard the opposite, from many people. Enough so that I would look at other alternatives at this point. Glitchy service and a little “better than you” unless you’re of a select group of people is the word on the street. Again, I don’t know from experience because I’m unwilling to pay $50/month if I don’t have to, but just wanted folks to know that FeedBlitz apparently isn’t all sunshine and roses.

    • Amy says

      Amy, thank you for your input! My goal is definitely to figure out the best option for myself and others so I appreciated having varying perspectives. This is good to know and helps round out my own perspective. Thanks!

    • says

      I had a glitch just trying to sign up to be an affiliate of theirs so I wasn’t thrilled w/ my first experience.

      I haven’t heard good things about Constant Contact. I have heard GREAT things about Mail dog but they are just an email newsletter service.

    • says

      Yeah, me too. I’ve heard whenever there is an issue, it’s not their fault, it’s your problem. And, this is silly, but it drives me crazy that & become & in most Feedblitz feeds. I have an & in my site tagline, so it looked so odd on the top of the browser. I know a few people have this issue with Feedblitz feeds.

    • says

      I’ve been with feedblitz for a couple of years now and overall am happy with their service. Phil is great and any issue I’ve had is usually resolved within a day, if not hours. I have had a couple of issues with people not being able to sign up and then later having an old signature line that wouldn’t seem to go away, but both were fixed.

      But oh how I hate paying $50 a month for it!

      The one and only reason I switched was because my feed got screwed up when I went from blogger to wordpress a few years back and no one could seem to get it working right. Most people couldn’t sign up for updates and I ran it for a year, first trying to get a hold of SOMEONE at feedburner to help, then ignoring it hoping it’d fix itself, then asking a computer guy to fix it. None panned out and so I had to switch to something that worked so I chose Feedblitz.

      So I don’t think Feedblitz is all “sunshine and roses” :-) but compared to what I had been dealing with, it was a welcome change. Cause people can now subscribe via RSS! :-)

      I have also used aWeber and I really liked that they had ready to use templates. Without knowing how to code much, I can’t do to much in feedblitz. Both cost me about the same amount and to keep things simple, I just moved it to feedblitz.

  51. says

    Oh Yikes, this makes my stomach hurt. For every one of these, I would be paying more than $100-150 PER MONTH for the number of subscribers I currently have. Ouch. I’m thinking I might just hold out and see what happens!

    • Amy says

      That’s where I’m at too. But in a cloudy situation, the bright side is that you have so many subscribers!!! That is AWESOME! :)

  52. Jessica says

    Great tips- it is wonderful to see what our options are. Until my blogs start bringing in more money, I will be crossing my fingers that Feedburner works out. However, once I can afford it, I love the customized newsletter options and think that would be perfect for marketing more effectively.

  53. says

    Amy,
    I am going to sit and wait to see what happens.It is not in my budget at all to pay 50.00 or even 20.00 a month.If it comes to paying I don’t know what I will do.I am a really small blog.Just started out in January and still building.Thank you for all of this information!
    xx
    Anne

  54. says

    This is the most helpful piece I’ve read on this topic to-date, and will be bookmarking it! Thank you too for your completely authentic & honest feedback on Feedblitz! It seems everyone raves about it, but I appreciate you being honest about the cost & set up. I don’t know that I can do $50/mo right now either.

    I’ve been wondering about Mad Mimi and may look more seriously into that.

    In regards to Feedburner showing “0″ subscribers, I wanted to mention something I discovered the other day…. click on “Publicize” in Feedburner, and then “Email Subscribers.” Scroll towards the bottom….I see a “total subscriber” number for my blog, and it’s NOT 0. I’m not sure if it’s current, but for what it’s worth – I thought I’d share that in case it helps someone.

    Thanks, Amy.

    • Amy says

      Thanks Angela. And thanks for mentioning the way to pull up your subs. (I wrote a tutorial with pics here for anyone who wants to see that. Unfortunately, this is the post that not everyone received from FeedBlitz so not everyone knows it’s there.)

  55. says

    I think the stats have their place (and are a necessary evil for some of our blogs b/c of our niche) and like you said, should not be considered perfect. Its how we measure what we’re doing. And yes, its an up and down roller coaster of emotions for us… but also an exercise in not allowing them to control us.

    I’ve figured out what makes my blog a success for me and my family vs. how I compare to others. I don’t have the social media following I’d like, yadda yadda yadda, but my family and I have a little extra money, free products and free admission to family fun places and I’m helping other people with my blog. If my numbers grow that will be thicker icing on the cake ;)

    • Amy says

      Great perspective, Tracy, and I totally agree that we all have to figure out what’s “success” for ourselves–it’ll vary for all of us! Thanks Tracy!

  56. says

    I’m considering Nourish. I saw a few recommendations for it online and it seems easy to use. HOwever, it’s strictly email; I am not sure what is available to track other RSS subscriptions or provide easy access to subscribing to different readers. That’s where I get confused! I will check out Aweber and see if it’s affordable for me.

  57. says

    I’ll throw my two-cents in for Feedblitz. I have been with them for a couple years now, and while I pay more than I’d like, it’s also VERY worth it. The customer service is great! Phil is on top of things all the time and anytime I have an issue, he’s there to help.
    The main reason I went with Feedblitz was to be able to customize my newsletters. I offer readers a weekly newsletter with exclusive cupcake recipes, decorating tips and a monthly printable.
    You can also off set the cost of the newsletters by having advertisers within the newsletter, include buttons to your eBooks, etc.
    So my vote…Feedblitz ALL the way!
    Thanks for letting me voice my opinion, Amy!

    • Amy says

      Hi Rebecca, I recommend reading my last post so you can download your email subscribers. Right now, RSS subscriber numbers aren’t available, but the email ones are the more important ones anyway. Hopefully Google will work out the glitch soon. I hope that helps!

  58. says

    Is that why they are having so much trouble getting the stats all straightened out these days? Google’s only had that company for a few years and now they will essentially put them out to pasture. Great.

    I for one will keep my RSS feed with feedburner, because I like being able to see how many people are pulling my blog into their readers on a daily basis — but for actual contact mailings and my weekly newsletter, I use aweber. Have been using their services for several years now for all my mailing list needs and really like their support and service!

  59. says

    I’ll admit that I freaked out a little when my feedburner account dropped to zero :) I’m in the middle of a Blogger to WordPress transfer and I thought all my subscribers had been lost. I really hope Google comes through with another free service. I’m just starting to make a little money from my blog and would have to pay something like $50 (or even $25) dollars each month for my RSS feed and email subscribers.

      • says

        I don’t want to rain on your parade, but Google is really not a benevolent entity that cares about us. The best path is for us to get serious about making more money USING email and social media marketing so we can easily afford to pay for FeedBlitz and AWeber – and are happy to do it because they allow us to make more money faster.

        The challenge is doing email marketing well is COMPLICATED. Setting up autoresponders, adding incentives to encourage subscribers, etc. are all things we can best learn from each other so we can all increase incomes faster.

        • Amy says

          Oh I realize Google doesn’t really care how we feel…but a girl can hope they’ll come through, right? I hear what you’re saying about the importance of building an email list and I agree with you. If there’s one thing everyone and their brother is talking about in the blogging-for-income space, that’s it for sure.

          While you’re right about Google and their pattern of buying things and letting them die, it seems to me they often come up with some sort of alternative (ex. Buzz giving way to Google+ and did MyBlogLog give way to Google Connect which gave way to Google+ too? I don’t know how that all went down). I don’t think it’s totally crazy to think they’ll come up with something that will replace FeedBurner, at least in some form.

          But here’s the thing. The majority of my readers are just starting out. Many have families and are living on one income. Recommending they plop down a chunk of cash each month for their subscription service in addition to their hosting cost is simply not feasible for many. So as I mentioned, I’m trying to come up with a reasonable solution somewhere between free and $50/mo, and preferably closer to free. But I’m stumped. There aren’t a lot of options I’m seeing. That’s why this whole situation is frustrating.

          Thanks Gail for your perspective and input. I agree with you on most points.

          And I know who you are…I subscribe to your blog. ;)

          • says

            Hi Amy,

            I agree with you – there really aren’t a lot of alternatives and especially low cost alternatives – and list building, email marketing, setting up autoresponders – all of these are advanced skills that I readily admit I have yet to fully implement much less master.

            While some manage to get the basics done, they don’t realize how much goes into testing and improving and how many small changes can make huge differences in open rates and conversions.

            This is why I keep beating the drum of collaborating – so those who are highly proficient can trade expertise to those better at other things. There is simply too much to learn and stay current on for any one person to be expert at all of it. If it weren’t for Deborah @SocialWebCafe I still wouldn’t have my FeedBlitz set up!

            Maybe if I were actually GOOD at list building and management I would have known you were one of my subscribers! I honestly don’t know who reads me unless they comment or tweet at me.

  60. says

    Thanks for this informative article. As a small business owner we use Aweber and really like their service for our retail store’s newsletter. We use Feed Burner for our coupon blog email newsletter, and just have not made the switch over to Aweber.

    I am 99% sure I am going to – just have not taken the time to do so. Like Kate says, their autoresponder options are fantastic!

    Thanks again!

  61. says

    The feedburner thing is a big concern for
    many of us. Great alternatives. I’ve been reading your Blogging with Amy since I began blogging and it has been really useful.

  62. says

    Hi Amy!
    I def think you should get Aweber, for a few reasons. Mailchimp will only cancel you if they find out you are doing affiliate links, but why risk it. Also the 2,000 free plan doens’t include an autoresponder, at least with $20pm with Aweber, you’re safe on all accounts. Great analytics too. You should have a nice autoresponder set of emails going out, in fact, you need to take your blogging training to a new level anyway (eg. courses, workshops etc). All on autopilot, wouldn’t that be nice. Why not I say! :)
    Kate

        • says

          Hi! I have Aweber, and yes, you can import subscribers, but they will have to confirmed their subscription.

          You can disable the double-opt in, but i think U.S (i am from Argentina) have some regulations. One way you can legally disable double opt in is with your paid costumers.

          Overall, for me it´s the best option :D i love aweber!

      • says

        I switched mine to MailChimp and no one had to opt in. I simply set up MC, turned off Feedburner and the next day everyone got an email from MC instead of Feedburner. I’ve had no complaints and a ton of compliments from readers who like the new format (because I can add in photos, popular posts, etc). I love it, but will probably switch to Mad Mimi when I’m at the paying point.

    • says

      Google regularly introduces or acquires and then lets die many things. Remember MyBlogLog? Google Buzz? Believing they aren’t going to sunset FeedBurner if it suits them is wishful thinking – and the fact that it is taking them so long to fix the counter proves FeedBurner has few resources and is simply not a Google priority.

      When a blogger I personally know (@Dragonblogger) who was a longtime Mailchimp customer (which I recommend against because of their vague TOS) ran afoul of their policies they not only did not send out his latest newsletter – they intentionally broke the links in every single email he had ever sent out.

      After he blogged about it (I can get you the link if you wish – don’t know your policy on links in comments) they claimed it was because of the Yahoo! mail hack? Maybe – and maybe they just didn’t want the bad PR – but even though they restored his account last I heard he was moving to FeedBlitz.

      I often hear that if you use AWeber you need to stay on top of keeping your subscribers cleaned up and de-duped because they charge you for those. I haven’t personally used them so I can’t speak to details, but you can find many AWeber reviews online to find out more about that. AWeber is probably still #1 for email marketing.

      Feedblitz keeps your subscriber lists cleaned up and doesn’t charge for dups – not even if they are legitimate dups which would occur when someone subscribes to more than one feed on one or more than one blog. They integrate social media and email marketing and are powerful which is why I went with them and have clients moving over to them.

      That said, the learning curve is a little higher because FeedBlitz does more so for me personally I have someone I’m working with who is more technical handling that on my blogs and for clients – and then I’ll have her teach me how and then I’ll blog about it so others can do it themselves.

      Love to see how-to posts on what bloggers need so if anyone has them drop by and leave me the links so I can promote and link to yours – or if you want to do a guest post on GrowMap contact me. (You know me even if you don’t know you do – the “Please check the box to confirm you’re not a spambot” GASP plugin is named after my blog.

      With many migrating to alternatives, posts about those alternatives for new users are going to be in demand – and that will increase your traffic.