It’s not you. It’s your RSS Feed.
You see, my inbox is a special place. Or…it used to be. Full of meaningful conversations, unicorns, rainbows, and kittens. Now only five emails a day are actually from a person I know. The rest are a cocktail of big company promos, sales pitches, and…email newsletters.
Here’s the thing: I actually LIKE email newsletters. I’m kind of a weird hoard-y nerd about them, actually. I love signing up. I like the whole song and dance of looking at how forms are set up, seeing what kind of freebie comes to my inbox, and then getting the first email.
(Do I sound crazy yet?)
It takes a lot for me to unsubscribe. I even stay through sales pitches! But when you sent me that email this morning—you know the one—my finger was twitching over that little unsubscribe link.
Because the one email that gets me off the list is a truncated RSS.
I like YOU. I like your blog or I wouldn’t have signed up. I like your writing, your content, your photos. I gave you something more than a Facebook like or a Twitter follow: I gave you my email and permission to use it.
So when I got your email, I was excited! I anticipated something awesome. Instead I got a tease. Actually, worse than a tease, because I love a good teaser email. The kind that sounds like it’s from my friend. My friend gets me excited about the post and then gives me a personal invitation. Come on over! You don’t want to miss this! he says. (Ramsay from Blog Tyrant is pretty beast about this.)
A truncated RSS is NOT an email from someone who wants a relationship with me. It’s not from someone who wants readers.
Your truncated RSS emails tell me that you want one thing from me: clicks to your site.
And I get it: pageviews are super important. Especially if your biggest revenue stream is from your ads. I’m sure you didn’t think about the fact that giving me an automated email with no actual content of value devalues ME, your reader. You just want me to read somewhere else.
Let me ask you this: what’s your click-through rate? Are you actually GETTING page views from these shortened RSS emails?
I can tell you what you’re NOT getting when you send a shortened RSS. You are not getting me as a reader. If you had sent me almost any kind of email, I would have read it. Remember: you’re a great writer with great content! You impressed me enough to sign up. I would probably have loved your email, even a full RSS. After all, I signed up to read what you had to say.
Maybe I wouldn’t have clicked through to your site if you sent me the whole post. Maybe you would have lost that one page view. If your list is large, this may have been a lot of pageviews lost. I get it. I do.
But I think there is something more important than pageviews, likes, and follows. It’s harder to measure in ROI sometimes because it’s not measured in the same way.
When I give you my email and you send me awesome content, you build trust. You cement our relationship with each email. You remind me why I liked you in the first place. You continue to woo me and tell me I’m pretty, even after the honeymoon period and all the special things you did to get me on the list.
And when you send an email with your new book or course or project or tell me something you’re really excited about, I’m THERE. Because I’m a fan. I’m more than a fan. I’m a LOYAL fan. I may not buy every single product (contrary to popular belief, I’m not made of money), but I can tell you that the every single last product, course, or ebook I bought was through an email list.
Something else to consider: When Facebook changes its algorithm (again) and Pinterest updates the smart feed (again) and your traffic takes a big hit, you know what stays steady? Your subscribers.
Those other platforms are fickle, yet we court and woo them and we chase pageviews. A truncated RSS tells me that email is not your number one priority. It lets me know where I stand in terms of importance to you.
I really don’t want to break up with your email. (Because I like YOU.) But if you are going to add to the noise of my inbox without actually delivering great content, it’s time to see other people.
A person, not a pageview
PS- I know for some of you, the truncated RSS is because you use a lot of Amazon affiliate links, which are a big no-no in email. That’s a nice, intentional reason to truncate your links.
PPS- I’m still unsubscribing.