Yesterday I wrote a tip on increasing subscriber numbers to your blog that focussed upon those doing it via Feedburner’s RSS to Email feature emailing unverified subscribers to remind them to confirm their subscription.
The post generated quite a few questions via comments and email – to the point that I thought I’d write the answers as a new post. At the end of this post I’ll include a copy of what I emailed to unverified subscribers.
Does feedburner allow it – doesn’t this break their terms of service?
No – I checked this before doing it with feedburner. Actually, to be more accurate, when I emailed Feedburner’s support team with the problem of over 800 unverified subscribers they actually suggested that one solution would be to email them after exporting the subscriber list. I guess that’s an indication that they don’t mind.
Will Feedburner develop a feature that reminds subscribers instead of having to do it manually?
I’ve asked Feedburner this a couple of times now and on both occasions they said that it’s something they are interested in developing. I’m not sure if this is just a standard reply to keep us users happy, or whether it’s something they’re serious about developing but I do think that it would be something that bloggers would appreciate.
Is there a risk of being labeled a spammer?
Sending out so many emails to subscribers might carry some risks with it. My hope is that I wrote the email in such a way as to be perceived as doing my readers a favor. I won’t be emailing unverified subscribers every week and hope that the occasional reminder won’t be looked upon as an unfavorable practice.
How many reminders would you send?
I’ve not really thought this one through in specifics, however I won’t be doing it too regularly.
Is there a verification URL that one can put in the message?
No, I don’t think Feedburner has the ability to do this yet. What I asked readers to do was either find the old email (and suggested looking in their junk mail as it may have been filtered) or to resubscribe.
Where in the feedburner control panel is a list of all the unverified/verified email addresses?
This was a common question – Feedburner has so many options and pages in their control panel that I’m not surprised that quite a few readers didn’t even know that the list existed. Here’s how to find it.
• Sign in to Feedburner and hit your ‘My Feeds’ tab on the top left hand corner of the screen (if you’re not already there).
• Click the Feed that you want to see the subscriber list for
• Click the ‘Publicize’ Tab at the top of the screen
• Click the ‘Email Subscriptions’ Link halfway down the left hand menu
• Scroll to the bottom of that page and you’ll see a ‘Total Subscribers’ counter which will tell you how many you have using the email subscription service
• Under the counter there is a drop down link titled ‘View Subscriber Details’ – click it
• Your Subscriber list will open up. You’ll see email addresses of every subscriber, the date of their subscription, their ‘status’ (which will tell you if they are verified or not) and the ability to delete and deactivate delivery
• Also you should see an ‘export’ option and can export the list as either an Excel or CSV file
What did you write in your email?
Here’s what I sent to unverified subscribers. I attempted to keep it simple, polite, non intrusive and helpful. I had emails back from quite a few recipients of it thanking me for it and saw quite a few people re-subscribe so I suspect it must have worked to some extent. Feel free to use a version of it.
Hi there – At some point in the last few months you (or someone else) signed up to receive daily email updates from the Digital Photography School website – http://www.digital-photography-school.com/blog
We’ve just been checking our subscriber records and notice that you did not complete the subscription process.
Your email address was added to the subscriber list but for some reason you did not confirm your subscription when we sent a follow up email asking you to do so. Unfortunately as our system requires this confirmation we’ve not been able to send updates.
Do you still want to get daily digital photography tips from Digital Photography School?
If not – no problem. We are not into pressuring anyone into joining – but wanted to make sure. Simply ignore this email.
If you do wish to receive the updates we suggest you do one of two things:
1. Find the confirmation email and click the link confirming your subscription
2. If you can’t find it (and we understand how these things get lost) simply resubscribe via our subscription page at:
Once you’ve added your email and then confirmed it with the email that will come minutes afterwards you’ll be set to go. You’re free to unsubscribe at any point.
Thanks for your interest in Digital Photography School.
I hope that this post helps to clarify how I used this tactic to hook in hundreds of readers who’d had problems connecting into my blog’s community. Let us know how you go with it if you give it a go!