We are moving all our email subscribers on Google Feedburner and Feedblitz email subscriptions to Amazon SES. This was long overdue and we promise our email subscribers an awesome experience going forward. We have finally found a email delivery service that is reliable, spam free and mostly cheap enough to move away.
Why Stop Feedburner / Feedblitz Email
We use Feedburner and Feedblitz email services for last 10 years – which are basically free RSS to Email services which send out email newsletters for every new post posted on this blog. We have around 1500 emails subscribers on Feedblitz and over 10,000 email subscribers on Google Feedburner email service.
Feedburner may be close someday – Google has not been actively developing Feedburner or its email service for so many years since it bought it. Feedburner has a huge base of users and disrupting Feedburner will breaks RSS feeds and email subscriptions of thousands of sites. But Google Reader was closed, but then other options were available. Its always better to have control (like we used Feedburner MyBrand to have our own domain feeds, which will be easy to save if Feedburner goes away some day). Fortunately email list export options are easily available with both.
Free Comes with a Price – We all know running a huge email list on a paid service like Aweber or Mailchimp will cost hundreds of dollars every month! But the free email delivery option offered by these services is attractive. While Feedburner does not post any ads, Feedblitz is ad supported. Moreover, the options are limited.
We preferred Feedblitz over Feedburner for several years as difficult captchas were a problem, but switched back to Feedburner as Feedblitz became a paid service and many ads were overpowering. But as I saw the emails going out last week, I was alarmed to see 3 large untargeted ads per emails and 4 sponsored related articles. We have no control as this is a free ad-supported email services.
Why Amazon SES?
We are taking your email experience to the next level. It was difficult choice, but my experience with using other Amazon services made the decision simpler. I already use several services like Amazon S3 for site database backups and Amazon Cloudfront for amazing CDN services. Now I am getting used to running Amazon SES and Amazon SNS services. SES stands for Simple email services, while SNS means simple notification services.
Amazon has a solid infrastructure and their sheer size allows them to provide reliable and cheap email delivery services. Amazon SES will charge $0.10 per thousand emails. So if I send 10000 emails every week, I will be charged $1 only … Under $5 a month!
Setting up Amazon SES was a breeze with Sendy which I purchased for $59 and the step by step start up guide was awesome. We had Amazon SES integrated with our blogging setup in under an hour. We have upgraded permission now to send 50,000 emails per day! I am right now testing email lists. We will convert the Feedblitz feed first followed by Feedburner next.
Amazon SES has powerful tools to detect and bock spam. They will also remove hard bounces instantly, by collating data across their network. Their complaints / bounce system subscribed through Amazon SNS services will help us keep the active list spam free.
What should Subscribers expect
NO action is needed on part of current subscribers. We will soon pause email delivery from both the services and this is probably the last email they will get from these two services. But they will continue to get email newsletters from us, but now they will be from Amazon SES.
Engaging content – The previous format was a simple RSS to email service, wherein they simply republished our RSS feed’s latest posts. Now we have flexibility to change the email template however we want. Over time we will continue to improve the design with your feedback, criticism and support. The format will be a little different and will have links to archive and other popular content on our site.
Ad-free – We hope to keep the list ad free. No more ad fluff to make you not open that email.
Double optin – This feature will continue for new subscribers as this the safest way to confirm that the user indeed wants to subscribe the list. This helps to prevent unauthorized and unwanted emails from hitting your inbox and unneccesary complaints.
Lesser frequency – Also note that since every email has to be compiled as a html template and sent, we will possibly send it once or twice a week. This will also help to limit costs. Earlier, whenever a new post was updated, the emails used to go out the same day automatically.
Want to get latest posts update instantly? If you want to keep track of our posts instantly as they are posted, then consider following our site on a RSS reader like Feedly. Social media tools will only show popular content and is not the best way to follow all latest posts instantly.
Remove spam emails – since it is a 10 year old list, we are also hired help at Fiverr to clean email lists and remove spam emails. They have removed over 500 emails. If yours was a genuine email and you do not get an email in the next week, please considering resubscribing through the new email subscribe form available soon in our sidebar.
Easily unsubscribe – If you do not wish to get the newsletter, you can always click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email. Its one click away.
Power is in the list.
Most probloggers and email marketing gurus will tell you that email list are very powerful tools for any website. For 10 years we have been hearing this but have not concentrated on nurturing the list. In fact these large email subscriber lists, RSS feed subscriptions and social media followers are what are keeping this site running despite severe Google penalties hitting the site for over 3 years now.
We value our email subscribers and will switch to the Amazon SES system soon. I will share our journey and statistics as we go along this new path. Stay subscribed.
Update: So we sent out the first email, see the email campaign results.