Thanks to Blogrush, today I came across this post from Gobala Krishnan's Blog:
While I do agree with him on many counts, I would beg to differ with him on a few things, based on my stats.
First of all, let me tell you that Feedburner and Aweber are completely different tools made for different purposes; while Aweber is very good at traditional list management and blog broadcasting, Feedburner provides you and your subscribers with many other options that Aweber doesn't. Don't get me wrong here: Aweber is a nice tool and it does what it does great, but when it comes to blogging, I would not like to ignore Feedburner's tremendous contribution.
MY stats tell me that 70% of my blog visitors subscribe to Feedburner's RSS feed via a feed reader. Most people subscribe either through Firefox or Google Desktop. Only a few people have subscribed to my Nuttieviralizer newsletter (which uses Aweber).
Now, as you know, all Nuttieviralizer newsletter subscribers get the same blog broadcasts as my regular RSS subscribers. On top of that, I giveaway my 7–part info product e-course plus two exclusive bonuses to my Nuttieviralizer newsletter subscribers that are not available to my regular blog readers. But for some reason, people find it easier (or safer) to subscribe to an RSS feed.
This of course is based on my own experience. I am not saying that one thing is better than the other. Okay, now let me tell you something about my click through stats.
Not surprisingly, most of my click-throughs come from Feedburner (only a few people click through my Aweber broadcasts; again this is something that I know from Feedburner's stats). I don’t know any special reason behind this, except guessing that maybe my email subscribers' inboxes are cluttered with junk and spam (I don't mean those Viagra ads or the Nigerian scams :D ; even some of our regular internet marketers promise one thing to their subscribers and deliver something else; that is also a form of spam) so they miss out my messages most of the time. In contrast, my RSS subscribers can see and choose which blogs to subscribe to, and hence their feed readers are not that cluttered.
So, what do I recommend? Well, since both Feedburner and Aweber have their own pros and cons, I would recommend you use both services. Your blog readers will be comprised of different types of individuals: some will prefer email, others will prefer RSS feeds (in fact, if you ask me, I still prefer the good old email to RSS Feeds). While you CAN broadcast your blog with Aweber, Aweber doesn't give you as many options as Feedburner does with regards to blog broadcasting. So, use both. Depending on your list building model, you may actually paste both your Aweber subscription form as well as Feedburner Chicklet on your blog.
And whoever said that you cannot send promotional offers to your RSS subscribers? What stops you from posting a promo or endorsement about a product (affiliate or otherwise) on your blog? If you are like me, you would perhaps post a promotional message regarding one of your product, and at the end of the message, give people a link to a squeeze page where people can opt in for more information about your product (you can then follow-up with them with the help of Aweber). The broadcast message goes out to all your subscribers, regardless of whether they are subscribed by email or RSS.
I don't send out many promos through this blog; in fact, I hardly send out promotions at all. But that is not because I cannot do it; firstly it is my personal blog and I don't want it clustered with marketing ruckus; and secondly, I HATE pitches.
Note that what I have said here is not based on the stats of just one blog. In fact, I have THREE active blogs. I have a blog in IM niche and another one in a medical niche. And the story is the same everywhere :)
Questions? Comments? I would love to hear from you on this topic.