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RSS Marketing Feed Frenzy

More e-tailers are marketing with RSS--and finding success.

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This story appears in the March 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

RSS feeds, which automatically deliver updated digital content to subscribers, are gaining popularity with e-tailers. They're particularly well-suited for marketing activities that involve loyal customers checking for updates in fares, prices, availability and new items, says Charlene Li, a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts. "Feeds allow customers to simply subscribe to an alert that notifies them when information that meets their criteria is available--and [they] do so without cluttering the inbox," she says.

Marketers have become more interested in RSS since the release of Internet Explorer 7. "IE7 makes it easy to bookmark the page and voil�--updates automatically appear next to the bookmark without making the user return to the website," says Li. Previously, she says, users had to right-click on the RSS link and copy the URL, go to their aggregator and start a new feed, paste the URL, and return to the aggregator every time they wanted to read their feeds.

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