Scott Monty

 

I just finished participating in a hosted conference call with Phil Hollows, CEO of FeedBlitz. I've been using FeedBlitz on my blogs since April 2006 and have had remarkable success.

FeedBlitz is an email-based system that notifies subscribers that your blog has been updated. Blogging makes it easy to build a dynamic presence on the Web and email is a natural way to get the word out. Not everyone knows or wants to know RSS - figuring it out, downloading/choosing a reader and setting it up and be time consuming and complicated. But people understand newsletters and email.

The major benefit of FeedBlitz is that it's easy to understand - it's an email-based blog update tool. On these pages, I've mentioned that the Achilles heel of "new marketing" is RSS. It's just not that easy to use. Feedburner has made it easier with their interface by instituting SmartFeed (go ahead, try subscribing to my RSS feed with the big orange button and see what happens). Now try it with FeedBlitz.

But the bottom line is that email is ubiquitous and universal. It's how you reach customers. And offering them a daily (or however frequently you update your blog) newsletter is extremely valuable. In fact, blog subscriptions grow 20% more with an email notification option over an RSS feed alone.

In just over a year of operation, FeedBlitz already has over 70,000 publications (blogs, news feeds, Web sites, etc.) on its roster, with a collective 800,000 readers. And FeedBlitz is known for its tremendous customer service; Hollows said that as first-time CEO, his first hire was a customer service veteran.

Here's a preview of some of the improvements on the burner at FeedBlitz:
  • Will make the site/tool easier to use
  • Will work cooperatively with other vendors and blog-based professions (such as allowing your feed to work with ad networks of your blog)
  • Will continually add services to premium users and will filter down to free users
  • Will gear service toward larger businesses in addition to small businesses that FeedBlitz serves today
  • FeedBlitz "2.0" ready toward the end of September 2006
During Q&A time, I asked Hollows "if I decide to leave FeedBlitz, who owns the email addresses, me or FeedBlitz?" To his credit, Hollows said that your subscribers are yours. You can download their information at any time and can manage them online at all times. And if you walk away, they're yours to keep. The reason: FeedBlitz believes that open data and open standards will result in building better service.

Here's a Web 2.0 company worth keeping your eye on.

Bonus: Check out an interview with Phil Hollows at Online Marketing.

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