How the Death of Google Reader Opens the Door to Email Marketing

Friday - August 9th, 2013

Written by: Rob Ruscher

How the Death of Google Reader Opens the Door to Email Marketing

When Google announced that it would shut down Google Reader on July 1, 2013, the entire content marketing world panicked. Now that the date has passed, the dust is beginning to settle – and not everything is doom and gloom for content marketing. While Reader was certainly the largest RSS feed that helped businesses like yours grow their content strategy, its closure has opened the door to email marketing. You see, former Reader subscribers are now looking for other ways to stay in touch with your brand. Why not get them hooked on your email marketing campaign?


If your brand doesn’t take advantage of the death of Google Reader, one of 3 things will happen to your former Reader subscribers:


  1. Readers will stop reading your content altogether, since it’s not being syndicated and presented to them effortlessly.
  2. Readers will visit your site whenever it crosses their mind, assuming it ever does.
  3. Readers will subscribe to your emails or social media pages to stay updated on your latest content.


Now that Google Reader has closed, it will be difficult to harness the Reader base by issuing a general CTA, but you’ll want to encourage users to subscribe to email or social media updates. Here are a few ways that you can invite former Reader subscribers to stay in touch with your brand.


First, make your social media and email subscription options easily visible and available on your website. One of the biggest mistakes a business can make is to hide buttons that link to their social sites or subscription lists. These buttons should be obvious, not obnoxious, and truly target the attention of users. After all, now that you have a customer on your website, the best way you can ensure that they’ll return is to encourage them to subscribe.


Second, consider writing a blog post targeting former Reader subscribers. Any of your dedicated Readers who stayed in touch with your content through the Google RSS are likely to continue reading your postings on their own. Take advantage of this fact, and use targeted blog content to encourage them to subscribe to your emails or social media sites. Remember, a strategic CTA goes a long way in driving consumer action. You can even offer or suggest alternate RSS readers that your audience can use. However, email subscription should be the ultimate goal, as this allows you to effectively engage in strategic email marketing.


Third, make sure that you have an email marketing plan in place! Now that you’re trying to harness former Google Reader users for your email subscription list, you want to ensure that you have a plan in place that will keep them enticed by your content. Consider sending a “Welcome” email, thanking the user for subscribing to your list. Also have a set schedule of how often to send a newsletter or notifications about your recent posts. Remember, no one likes spam, so you’ll have to balance how often you can promote content without annoying email subscribers. This is one area where social media “likes” and “follows” have an advantage over email, as you can update social sites on a daily basis.

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