Setting up an email subscription form with Google FeedBurner for your site or blog

email subscribe Setting up an email subscription form with Google FeedBurner for your site or blogI thought I would take the time today to elaborate on an easy way to set up an email opt in form for your blog. The advantages of having an email subscription feature on your blog are tremendous.

With an email subscription program, you can:

  • Automatically send followers updates of your blog which will of course create more traffic
  • Let your followers know about major site changes
  • Send your followers special offers (if they opt in)

A huge mistake Internet marketers make after creating their first successful website is to not have an email subscription form. In the world of Internet marketing, email contacts are everything. They are your lifeline into a world of opportunities. You need a way to get in contact with your base; and it doesn’t matter how excellent you believe your site is, sometimes people just lose interest, forget your address or lose your site bookmark. Sometimes, they just need a prod — email notifications are an ideal way to do that.

Setting up an email subscription form with FeedBurner

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds are the industry standard for XML based web feeds. There isn’t a blog in Alexa’s top 1 million that does not have an RSS feed. If you are using WordPress, Blogger, TypePad or pretty much any other blogging platform — you will most likely have an RSS feed built-in to your blog.

 Setting up an email subscription form with Google FeedBurner for your site or blogFeedBurner is a free (optionally paid) feed management service, provided by Google, that allows you to send your RSS feed entries directly to subscribers through email. Users can sign up to begin receiving feeds via email by simply entering their email into the subscription form that you place on your blog. As you can see, there is a FeedBurner email subscription form on this blog in the right hand sidebar.

To create a subscription form (like the one on this blog), follow these simple steps:

  1. Create a FeedBurner account with Google.
  2. In your FeedBurner account’s frontpage, enter your blog’s feed address in the field for “burning” feeds.
  3. At this point it may be wise to redirect the current feed address on your blog to your new FeedBurner URL. You can do this with a simple 301 redirect (in that care, you will need to modify your .htacess file) or by installing a plugin. This blog (powered by WordPress) uses the FD FeedBurner plugin. With the FD FeedBurner plugin, you only need to enter the URL of the new feed address (the FeedBurner address provided by Google) into a specified field within the plugin settings (under the plugins tab). Once that is completed, any browser or feed reader that tries to detect a feed on your blog will automatically detect your new FeedBurner feed rather than the old feed that was built-in to your site.
  4. Now it’s time to get the code for your email subscription form. After clicking on your feed in your FeedBurner account page, you will see a page that has 5 tabs: Analyze, Optimize, Publicize, Monetize and Troubleshootize. Click on the Publicize tab and then click on Email Subscriptions in the left-hand sidebar. You will need to click ‘activate’ near the bottom and then you will be given a code for your email subscription form. FeedBurner has an option to retrieve code for WordPress, TypePad or Blogger. You can also customize your form and choose to display a feed count.
  5. Placing the code for your subscription form is as simple as pie if you are using WordPress. Just copy and past the code into a plain HTML widget (Appearance –> Widgets) and then drag and drop the widget into the appropriate sidebar. You may need to edit a few styles in your style.css (for WordPress) if your form does not appear correctly or how you want it to.

Once you have completed the above steps, people will be able to subscribe to begin receiving emails through any page and, if you choose the option to display a feed count, view the number of subscribers you have. Should your blog be updated, Google FeedBurner will send an email containing the new posts every day. You can choose which time of day you would like the email to be delivered in the Delivery Options tab.

You can view your subscription list in the Publicize –> Email Subscriptions page by clicking on the “View Subscriber Details” link near the bottom.

There are of course TONS of other things you can do with FeedBurner. Using the email subscriptions feature is only the icing on the cake but you will have to take a look around your FeedBurner account to determine exactly everything that you can do. One notably good feature is the ability to track your Feed’s reach stats. Your reach is an important number because it give you an idea of how many subscribers are actively reading your feed.

That’s all I have to say about FeedBurner today! I will certainly be posting more in the future as FeedBurner is such an important tool for bloggers. Also, be sure to check out great email security software from Vircom.

  • Eric

    Email Subscriptions is under Publicize, not Optimize, at least for me.

    In any case, it doesn’t work for my WordPress blog – it prints the text, but not the actual window for people to use to enter their email. I’ll figure it it out….

  • Chris

    Glad you caught that Eric. I hope I didn’t waste any of your time by causing you to search under the optimize tab for the email subscribe option!

    Where are you inserting it in your WordPress blog? A custom HTML widget? Maybe you have your form element styled in CSS in such a way that it is not visible.

  • Shiva | Web Magazine

    A great article bro, Feedburner is a great free tool which can be optimized to be used as a perfect Internet Marketing tool. I love Feedburner and the way it handles feeds. By the way Chris do you know how to use Feedburner as a Auto Responder and for sending newsletters. If you know please help me ;)

  • Chris

    You can’t send newsletters with FeedBurner but I know you can customize the email that goes out after someone has just subscribed. You can do that in Communication Preferences under ‘Publicize.’ It’s a great way to give subscribers free stuff (like an ebook) as a reward for subscribing. Just include a link to your ebook download.

    As far as free newsletter softare goes, I use ccmail:

    The website doesn’t seem to be up right now but I have found it exceptional free software for sending out newsletters from a list of emails. If you have something like 20K subscribers then, yes, you will need to use a payed-for service like aweber because your typical server will not be able to process all those requests efficiently.

  • Payton Butler

    I also maintain several blogs to earn money online. sometimes it is hard to keep your daily earnings to stable levels..::`

  • gptc

    Very good article. I have been using feedburner for a long time and I wonder how the feedburner detects new feeds automatically! I was cross checking the server logs and found there is a check every hour or depending the frequency of new feeds. But this is wonderful thing if i post a new blog FB crawls it within a few minutes! How?

  • Madison Brown

    Feedburner is really very useful for syndicating feeds from other websites.’.-

  • Tejas patel

    I never used feed burner before. However I am going to use it in my next website and the details you provided here is very useful.

    Thanks a lot

  • Hailey Hall

    i always use feedburner to syndicate my blog posts to other subscribers.;”;

  • Guest

    Every WP have a built in feed in it is it feedburner? I think its very useful having feeds in blogs, it can be pass on to feed submission sites to make your post be on different websites and update your readers.

  • mobility scooter

    Gladly FeedBurner is a free feed management service, provided by Google, thanks!

  • sharon

    I originally set up my website with feedburner and it worked great. Somewhere along the way people who signed up stopped receiving email notifications and since you cannot reach a real person at Google to troubleshoot I’m not sure exactly what to do. Does not appear to be an alternative to feedburner to switch to. I am not overly literate with HTML and such. Thanks for any help

  • adil

    hi i have setup email subscription form. but when i post my subscriber don’t recieve emails. i have activated the service checked all things including delivery option. but i can’t solve the problem. please help

  • FreeNFullDownloads

    We are planning to use RSS for our website. We found this info very useful.

    thanks again

  • Florin

    FeedBurner a must have for every blogger. It is way simple and the fact that you can see if your subscribers are reading the feed makes it so powerful.

    Thanks for the write up and explaining things so good.

  • Victor

    The emails my subscribers recieve shows the full update content, I just need it to display only part of the content then a link to my site and not showing the full contents in the mail. How do I change this setting?

  • Meredith

    I have been using Google FeedBurner for my business site and it has worked so well. I highly recommend it for anyone with a blog or a business website.

  • Jane

    Looking at this for one of our new sites – thanks for the useful information!

  • Aaron Hung @ Discussing Finance

    Thanks for the tip:D I’m starting to use email subscriptions myself

  • Dave

    Yes feedburner is a great free service. If you combine it with a popup script it can be great way to increase your subscribers, there are some great free feedburner plugins on the wordpress extensions website