Email SubscriptionIf you take a quick look at the current blogosphere you will realize that many bloggers rely solely on RSS syndication to get in touch with their fellow readers. While I do believe that RSS is very essential tool for online publishing, I personally also think that offering email subscriptions along with the conventional RSS feed can be very beneficial for a blog. Would you like to know why? Here are the reasons:

1. Email subscriptions can increase the number of subscribers to your blog: The blogs that offers email subscription usually have from 5% to 15% of their readers getting updates via email. This may not sound impressive for small blogs (if you have 100 RSS subscribers you will probably get only 5 or 10 more readers by offering email subscription), but it will certainly make a difference once your blog starts to grow. Imagine if you have 10,000 readers reading your blog via RSS. What is 10% of 10,000? Do your math :)

2. Not everyone is familiar and are actively using RSS: if you are already publishing your blog and distributing the content using RSS you must bear in mind that the vast majority of the population is not so tech-savvy. A lot of studies has been conducted confirming that only 3% of adults and 6% of teens use RSS readers. Email subscriptions come as a natural way to fill this gap.

3. Email subscription gives you an opportunity to interact with your readers: People getting your feed through RSS do not usually reveal anything about themselves (except what kind of RSS reader they are using to read your feeds). Email subscribers, on the other hand, must leave a very valuable asset on your hand: their email address! Now, while you should treat this information with privacy (i.e. don’t just sell it off to others) there are certain situations where having emails from your regular readers can be very useful. For instance, if you wish to send them a quick survey about what topics they would like to read about or what design they prefer for your blog, you can just drop them a short email.

Here is a list of Email subscription providers: