We’ve known for some time that Google wasn’t intending to support FeedBurner, an RSS tool to capture blog subscribers. After years of stalling Google has finally reached a decision to keep FeedBurner burning and plans to modernize it. The big remodel will cut out frothy features like email. If you have email subscriber data in FeedBurner you’ll need to grab it before the June 2021 transition and find a new RSS email service. View Announcement
What do I use for email instead of FeedBurner?
There are several email service providers that will automatically send emails out triggered by your RSS feed. We are big fans of Mailchimp as a service because it is modern and easy to use. If value is top priority, Sendinblue will do the job at a lower cost. If you’re scaling up your enterprise ActiveCampaign is definetely worth a look.
Top RSS email services:
Mailchimp | very easy, modern, feature rich
Priced by list size with a free level. Large subscriber lists can drive costs up even if you don’t send an email that month. If ease of use is important to you, the price tag will be worth it. It provides enterprise features and integrates well with other systems.
Sendinblue | easy, value priced, no frills
Priced by emails you send with a free level. This modern no frills alternative is value priced so that your large list will not cost you. It also has nice templates.
ActiveCampaign | feature rich automation platform
Priced by list size and no free entry. This robust platform is good for enterprise businesses. It integrates with Salesforce.com and and other systems to automate sophisticated email triggers.
Steps for moving FeedBurner email.
Ready to move to a new email system? Here’s what to do.
1. Export your FeedBurner email subscribers to a CSV
Once you have activated FeedBurner’s Email Subscriptions service for your feed, you can easily export a list of your email subscribers.
- Click Analyze, and select Subscribers.
- Click FeedBurner Email Subscriptions, then click Manage Your Email Subscriber List.
This opens a new page.
- Under View Subscriber Details, click CSV (next to “Export”).
2. Discontinue FeedBurner email on your side
You’ll want to turn off the feature to collect email subscribers in your FeedBurner options. Then go through your website to make sure there is no mention of it. Finally, discontinue redirecting your RSS URL to FeedBurner completely. Read more on why below.
3. Add images to RSS
By default WordPress does not include featured images in the feed. You’ll want images in your new email campaign. That’s where our plugin Featured Images In RSS comes in. You can use the free version. Login to your WordPress website then search for “Featured Images” to add our plugin. Once installed and activated images will be included in your RSS feed. Plugin Installation Guide
The plugin only works with WordPress. If you are using another platform you’ll want to check their knowledge base about this topic.
4. Set-up a new email service
Choose a new email service (see suggestions above) and start a free or trial account. Then import your FeedBurner CSV into a new list. Follow the services instructions to start a new RSS email campaign. It will ask you to design a new template specifically for RSS. It will have more design options and opportunities for branding than the old FeedBurner email. Remember to use your real RSS URL not the FeedBurner URL in the configuration.
4. Test your RSS email campaign
You can preview your RSS email to see that images are being fed in from RSS (and our plugin). If you don’t see images it could be due to a few reasons which are easy to troubleshoot using our knowledge base. If you do see images it worked! Now you can play around with the plugin settings to set the image size and more. Finally, send yourself a test email to make sure everything is displaying well in desktop and mobile. Once everything is perfect launch your RSS campaign. Most services are triggered by updates from the RSS feed. When a new blog is published a new email will send out, depending on your schedule settings.
Should I continue using the new FeedBurner?
Over the years FeedBurner has caused issues with our own plugin Featured Images In RSS. Sites using it redirect their actual RSS URL (yourwebsite.com/feed) to a FeedBurner URL which breaks the image feed. Redirects tend to complicate things and there is not a ton of value in using FeedBurner or any tool that does what it does. You can get stats from your email service and Google Analytics. Since they aren’t providing email or other features outside of “core feed management” it’s hard to justify adding yet another service to your list (long list for many!) of marketing tools.