Tomorrow, one of the top choices for email and RSS subscription might not be here. According to Google, Feedburner's API is going to be shut down on October 20-this doesn't mean that your Feedburner subscription tools will be definitely discontinued, but it's possible that their days are numbered.
To make sure you're not caught in a jam if Feedburner's tools are suddenly unavailable, here are the top options you should consider for your email and RSS subscription services.
Email and RSS in One Tool
One of the best aspects of Feedburner is that you can keep track of your RSS and email readers all in one place. It's also easy for your readers to subscribe to your blog whichever way they prefer--making the subscription process as easy as possible is crucial to turning new visitors into your biggest fans. Having both ways of subscribing available in one tool is optimal for most bloggers.
Feedblitz is really the only option available that offers both RSS and email subscription in one tool. While you do have to pay for this tool based on the number of email subscribers you have (not RSS), it's definitely the easiest-to-use alternative to Feedburner. It has great social sharing and related content integration as well, which is key to growing and engaging your audience. If you choose Feedblitz, they have a handy migration guide available.
Email Tool and Native RSS
The rest of these tools available are designed only to handle your email list, so you'll need to find a separate RSS service or use your blog's natural RSS feed for subscriptions. The native RSS feeds don't offer analytics by themselves, but they are the easiest to use.
Almost every browser has built in prompts to subscribe via RSS when presented with a feed-all your readers have to do is visit the following links on the top three platforms:
- Wordpress - http://YOURWEBSITE.com/feed
- Blogger - http://YOURWEBSITE.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default
- Tumblr - http://YOURWEBSITE.tumblr.com/rss
Having a "native" RSS feed is a fine solution if you're not looking to get insights into your readers. If you have WordPress, you can get RSS insights through a plugin called Feedstats. While having all of these different tools for your site still works, some people prefer to pay a little extra for the all-in-one above. In addition to your RSS tool(s), you'll need to get an email subscription provider. Here are the three best options for you:
MailChimp is a great option if you're not blogging that often-it has a free plan that allows you to have up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails a month. If you're looking for easy-to-customize emails for fairly cheap, MailChimp seems like the way to go. They also have a Feedburner migration guide available.
AWeber is about the same cost as MailChimp's paid levels, but it doesn't offer a free level-at the lowest level, you pay $1 for the first month, then $19 each month after. If you're basing your decision solely on price, MailChimp seems like the better choice because you get double the subscribers for almost the same price as AWeber. That being said, if you're looking for more robust analytics and support (email and phone at AWeber vs. just email at MailChimp), AWeber is the way to go. They don't have a Feedburner migration guide, but they do have some more information on sending out blog subscriptions.
Mad Mimi should be the go-to if you're considering paid services and want very customized designs. (Check out their gallery of emails sent with their services to see what I mean.) Mad Mimi is actually cheaper than MailChimp and AWeber, but offers less metrics. If you're mainly concerned with the design of your blog newsletter, this is the tool to use.
Ultimately, each blog's subscription needs is different, so choose your RSS and email subscription tools to align with what will work best for your content marketing plan-not necessarily what is most popular with other bloggers. I'm still hoping that Feedburner won't go away, but you should know the next best options in case it does.
Have you already switched away from Feedburner? Which tool did you decide to go with? Share your thoughts with me in the comments.