Offers Often-Overlooked Benefits for Advertisers
By Ellen Keohane, reporter for DM
Although research indicates that more Internet users
are subscribing to really simple syndication (RSS)
feeds, many companies still overlook this effec¬tive
Only about 13% of online advertisers have advertised
within third-party RSS feeds, according to Emily
Riley, senior analyst at JupiterResearch. “But about
23% plan to in the next 12 months, which is pretty
decent growth,” she added.
RSS feeds are a way for news sites, blogs and online
publishers to syndi¬cate their content. Users who
subscribe to these feeds can automatically track
changes to their favorite Web sites. By using
feed-reader software or setting up a personalized
home page, subscribers can display all their feeds
in one place.
RSS provides very good targeting, Riley said: “You
have a high-quality audience that you can put your
ad in front of.”
In addition, RSS feeds allow companies to connect
with their customers in the way they prefer, said
Mark Carlson, CEO of SimpleFeed.
Expedia.com visitors, for example, can sign up for
RSS feeds on the company's Web site. Using a
drop-down menu, users can select whether they want
to receive information on flights, hotels and/or
cruise deals. The company also uses RSS feeds to
power one of its Google gadgets, according to
Michael Eggerling, an Expedia spokesperson.
At first, RSS marketing was seen as a way around
e-mail. “And that's still a value proposition,”
Still, RSS hasn't replaced e-mail marketing,
according to David Berkowitz, director of emerging
media and client strategy at 360i. RSS can be used
as an alternative to e-mail or in conjunction with
it, he said. For example, some RSS service companies
like Feedburner offer e-mail versions of their
“It's been one of those active but quiet areas in
the online marketing world,” he explained.
Carlson credits the growth of RSS adoption to social
networking sites like Facebook, where people
subscribe to RSS feeds without even knowing it.
RSS marketing is still a relatively small part of
the social marketing sphere, most probably because
it gets much less hype than MySpace, Facebook and
YouTube, Riley speculated.
According to a Universal McCann sur¬vey published
in March, 33.7% of active Internet users subscribe
to an RSS feed. The survey polled 17,000 Internet
users in 29 countries. However, according to the
survey, only 18.6% of active users in the US
subscribe to RSS feeds.
“The US is often behind other markets, because
the US market is so big,” explained Tom Smith,
research manager at Univer¬sal McCann. However, he
added that the number of people in the US who
subscribe to RSS feeds has grown since Universal
McCann started publishing its social media study in
September of 2006.
---Source: DM News July 21, 2008
newsletter (www.dmnews.com). Ellen Keohane is a
reporter for DM News. Reach her at Ellen.Keohane@dmnews.com.