Every business wants to increase traffic to their website. One way that businesses and organizations can increase website visits and readership of their blog posts is by encouraging visitors who do come to the site to subscribe to get alerts of new posts via email. The method to do this is called RSS-to-Email. It works because it makes it simple. People may not visit your website regularly, but they check their email regularly. So, if you can offer this tool and get visitors to sign-up, you have created an effective means to reach them on “their turf,” not relying on the hope that they return to yours.
The “RSS” in RSS-to-Email stands for Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication. In basic terms, a blog is programmed to have a feed of the posts, based on the topical categories created within the blog. This feed is the syndication, or distribution, method for the blog posts and RSS is a foundational piece of nearly every blog on the web.
The setup of a RSS-to-Email feature on your website requires a third-party-tool. Typically this is a email marketing tool like MailChimp or Aweber. There are quite a few services to choose from if you Google, “RSS-to-Email Services.” The basics of the setup are that you need to know your blog RSS feed URL. For example, our Digital Hill blog is at http://digitalhill.com/blog and the RSS feed is: http://digitalhill.com/blog/feed/. We use MailChimp to automate the email sending to those who sign-up to get our blog posts in their inbox.
In MailChimp, we created an email list called “blog subscribers” and used their tools to create a website form that captures name and email address. This is what we have on our blog at the bottom of each blog post. We then formatted the email that goes out each time. The email has a welcome, the blog title, the first few sentences of the blog post, a link to read the full post, and closing from us.