Facebook Pixel
Join our Facebook Community

Zookoda – New Email Newsletter System

Posted By Darren Rowse 22nd of March 2006 Blogging Tools and Services 0 Comments

Logo-1Regular readers will notice that my email subscription submission form at the top of my left hand menu has changed. This is because I’m beta testing a new email newsletter service called Zookoda which is designed specifically for bloggers wanting to offer their readers a way to subscribe to their blog via email.

I’ve just swapped my subscription list over and so it’s too early to give comment on how the service works but my first impressions are quite positive and I can see it has some great applications for a number of the blogs that I operate.

If you’re not already subscribed to my newsletter you can do so by simply adding your email address. If you do it in the next 20 minutes you’ll be included in this week’s newsletter. Otherwise there will be another one next week.

If you’re a subscriber I’d love to hear your feedback on the new format. Keep in mind it’s a beta test – but any suggestions you have as a subscriber will be appreciated by both me and the team at Zookoda I’m sure.

update: one glitch I’ve found with the first newsletter that just went out is that the reply address is actually wrong. When my account was set up by the Zookoda team they put their own email instead of mine as the sender. So if you reply to the email it will not go to me but to them. Please don’t inundate them with email meant for me.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Hi Darren,

    Thanks for the newsletter. One thing is that although most of the links in the e-mail worked, a couple didn’t. Both “A New Look ProBlogger Email” and “Tip of the Week – Newsletters” headings gave an invalid syntax error message.

    I’ll be keeping an eye on how this works longer term as I’m needing a new newsletter tool with a sidebar signup box.

  2. Thanks Dave – actually that was my fault. I should have made those headings link to my home page. Zookoda allows you to pull in previous posts as newsletter items and also create new posts. The ones you pull in link back to the posts on your blog but the new ones need a manual link added which I didn’t do.

    Will do it next time though. Good feedback.

  3. I liked the look of it Darren – it had the ‘corporate’ look of Problogger and I think that’s important.

    It certainly has me going to have a look at Zookoda.

  4. Signed my self up to your newsletter and also giving the service a try my self, thanks for letting us know about it, I look forward to the emails.

    Seems like they have a lot of useful features and takes a lot of work out of it for sure which is nice, simple, good themes they have to start with also.


  5. Darren:

    It looks great. It almost feels like a visit to your blog – which is perfect. Especially helpful if readers are not RSS savvy.

    As one of your loyal subsribers I give it two thumbs up.

  6. Zookoda looks set to compete well with FeedBlitz.

    FeedBlitz weak point to me is their analytics. I can’t track how many emails were delivered, opened and how many readers unsubscribed. It looks like Zookoda is set to track those stats which is a good thing.

    On the other hand, Zookoda’s weak point seems to be the lack of an automatic RSS polling and sending feature. I won’t like to login and send an email manually each time I need to publish my latest RSS content to my subscribers.

  7. Kingsley – you can set it to go off automatically once a day, week, month, every X number of posts with Zookoda.

  8. Darren:

    I didn’t notice that. Thanks for pointing it out.

  9. It does look very promising.

    How do these folks intend to make their money back?

  10. Hi Darren .. A few comments about the newsletter…
    – um … isn’t it .. discerned ? (not deserned) but I like the new tagline
    – I do like the frontpage look of the topics as you scroll down. You are my first Zookoda – do all newsletters look like that?
    – The newsletter counted 6.0 out of 10 in my Spamnix and was classified as spam … perhaps a warning to watch for this by your readers?
    – I can think of about twenty more positive and negative nitpicks but, that’s not what newsletters should be about, right? I got it. It had content. Now I’m here! Pure Success :) Now .. did those kooky URL links tell you what my IP was and which links I clicked? :D

  11. If you’re using AWeber (aff link) as you mailing list provider, they have a neat “Feed Broadcaster” feature that converts RSS entries into individual emails that then get broadcast to the subscribers. Very neat and useful. Not that I’d subscribe to AWeber just for that, but if you’re already running a newsletter or something….

  12. Hart – the banner was actually one that the Zookoda people came up with on the template they kindly put together for me as a demo. I think they’ve since fixed it up.

    In future editions I’ll probably use the space to highlight a project I’m working on or even to sell an ad spot to a sponsor.

  13. Darren, I just spent an hour yesterday looking for a free newsletter just like this, even reviewing your old “I’ll show you mine” post with the WordPress plugins. This is great and I can’t wait to check it out further, thanks so much for pointing me that direction.

  14. driving readers from a client app to the blog page has got to be a good thing!

  15. Glad you clarified the email confusion, Darren. I wanted to give feedback but figured that probably wasn’t the right address.

    I was very favorably impressed with the newsletter in it’s new form. Although there are many (sometimes rabid) plain text advocates out there I far, far prefer a good looking html product like that and I know I’m not alone. I’ll definetely be looking at them myself … press on

  16. Top tip again, thank you Darren.

  17. Very impressive, like reading Problogger itself … almost. One question though, doesn’t it lose some of the intimacy of the plain text newsletter? Plain text makes the experience different and more “conspiratorial”. Glossy brochure-style publications are often thrown away as junk mail in real life because you expect the hard sell. Plain text enters the consciousness by another door. 2c.

  18. They seem to limit the max number of characters in every post to 750 when importing content from a RSS feed. Not very good, especially when a post has image html at the beginning.

  19. Darren,

    Using Zookoda, can I go about sending out a newsletter-only email that does not include a blog post (or RSS feed)? I’d like blog readers to be able to sign up for additional info that isn’t posted on my blog. And if I’m not importing from an RSS feed, am I still limited to 750 characters?

    Also, any tips on setting up the email template to resemble my blog template? I’m having trouble getting it to look the same, but I want it to look like my blog the way your newsletter looked like your site.

    Thank you!

  20. Jeff – yep you can from my understanding.

    you can choose the ‘new post’ option and write something as long as you like. This can be in addition to the RSS imported posts or completely by itself.

  21. FeedBLitz just introduced a range of new click-through analytics – see http://feedblitz.blogspot.com/2006/03/real-time-click-tracking-charting-and.html They offer detailed looks at *which* links were clicked on, not just N per email. Open rates are subject to all sorts of problems (filters on images, text only readers etc.) And FeedBlitz reports on the number of subscribers you have in real time – and whether they’re good, undeliverable and more.

  22. It seems that Zookoda has not opened for all countries as yet. When I tried to get registered, I got the message to contact them through email.

  23. Kashif – Not sure what happened but Zookoda is alive and well @ http://www.zookoda.com – click on register to sign-up

  24. […] When we set up this blog, one of our main must-haves was a way for people to be able to get updates by email.  There are actually quite a few services that provide a way to do this.  Some were too basic for our needs.  We wanted to find a few services that would meet the needs of a variety of different clients, so we could offer the service that best fit what our client was looking for.  That included us.  We started by reading what others were saying and using, particularly those bloggers we read regularly. […]

  25. […] On a suggestion of Problogger I have signed up with Zookoda. […]

  26. […] I read about Zookoda at problogger. I investigate more about RSS 2 Email services and found this helpful link. I think I would have liked Yutter too, but I already had signed up w/ Zookoda, so I used it for one of my upcoming blogs. […]

  27. Hi,
    I understand that your post and messages are from March 2006 and this is more than a year but I would like to share some experiences with Zookoda.

    I started publishing my monthly newsletter with Zookoda and my experience has been fairly bad. The recurring broadcast scheduler almost never works. The feed is never refreshed automatically and almost all the time I have tried to set a recurring broadcast, I keep getting an error – ‘The broadcast “Astrology Broadcast” scheduled for 01 Jun 2007 12:00 PM was NOT set due to the recurring criteria not being met.”
    I wrote to Zookoda multiple times, but to no avail. Seems like breaking the head against a wall.

A Practical Podcast… to Help You Build a Better Blog

The ProBlogger Podcast

A Practical Podcast…