Marketing quick tip – my stealth email marketing secret for any small business with a blog

by on March 13, 2012

Free email marketing

Update May 22, 2013
There are rumours and rumblings that Google’s Feedburner will be going the way of the dodo, much like the recently axed Google Reader (officially shutting down July 1st, 2013) or the free business email options in their business suite of products. Changes, changes.

With that said, if you haven’t set up your blog to automatically email out with Feedburner (as per the post below), I don’t recommend you do so at this time. If you’ve already followed my advice, I would recommend that you start thinking about an alternative…

Some options:

– I personally use AWeber and am a big fan. Here’s a great step by step post for shifting your subscribers over to this platform if you’re already on Feedburner.
– With Feedblitz you get a free trial to start (for a month) and then after that you’re looking at monthly fees. It’s all based on number of subscribers. If you still dealing with a very small list, it’s a cheaper alternative, but as soon as the list numbers rise, their prices are actually more than other providers.
Mailchimp does offer a free plan for up to 2,000 subscribers which would allow you to do the blog to email thing. This could be another option if you’re looking for simple to start. Otherwise, once you get into the paid options and the proper email newsletter thing (with features such as an autoresponder that sends a welcome message when someone signs up) I still stand by AWeber.

So yes, Feedburner is still running (for now), but many have reported problems with it, such as my friend Sarah, who shares her experience in her post on switching to Feedblitz. It seems that Google is no longer updating this product. They have shut down the Feedburner blog. All signs point to bye, bye, free email marketing via your blog.

I will be keeping my eyes peeled for the official word on Feedburner. If you’d like to make sure that you don’t miss out on the update, sign up for my emails. Or comment on this post and let me know you’d like to stay informed.

Before we get into this post, some qualifying questions to make sure this is the right post for you…

Do you have a blog for your small business? (If no, he’s a great resource to answer the question of should I blog?)

If yes, do you send out an email newsletter?

If you blog, and you’re NOT doing email marketing yet, then this is the post for you!

(For the rest of you, I’ll catch ya in the next post 🙂 And if you need some inspiration for what to write about in your email newsletters, have a read over here).

Starting an email newsletter strategy is a pretty daunting undertaking. You have to be committed. You have to devote the time to creating the content, designing a template, setting up an autoresponder, managing your subscribers etc… Perhaps you’re not quite ready for this step yet? (And if you’re thinking, well I’ll just set up my email capture form now, and then think about sending e-newsletters when I’m ready, I’m going to stop you in your tracks and send you here!)

Just because you’re not ready for a full-on email newsletter doesn’t mean that you can’t start building your email database yet. You can start today… for free! And without any extra legwork on your part once everything is set up.

How to use Google FeedBurner for free email marketing

Google FeedBurner will automatically email your latest blog post to anyone that signs up for email updates.  Subscribers will receive content in their inbox, just like an e-newsletter.  Simple as pie.

How to get set up within FeedBurner:

  1. Go to and login in with your Google account.
  2. Type in your blog’s feed address – your blog URL + /feed (eg.  Click “next” and follow the prompts to get things set up.
  3. Navigate to the “Publicize” tab and select “Email Subscription”.
  4. Click to “Activate” the service.
  5. Go through the options available to customize things to your liking (design, delivery options, and other bits and bobs).
  • To add FeedBurner Email to your WordPress blog click here. Feedburner itself can’t create an email signup form for WordPress (just a text link to sign up for email updates) but of course, there’s a plugin for that. Get it here.
  • To add FeedBurner Email to your TypePad or Blogger blog click here.

The emails look just like an e-newsletter sent personally from the publisher (aka you!).  There’s only a light “delivered by FeedBurner” note at the footer.  Subscription management makes it very easy to view/sort/delete emails, and you can even opt to get an email notification when someone unsubscribes.  You can personalize your email branding by customizing subject lines and adding custom logos, and you can choose your delivery options for when emails will be delivered. Poke around – there’s lots to play with!

Aweber (affiliate link), my favourite email marketing system, does allow you to do the same thing, but it’s a paid service. If you’re in the boat of I will do email marketing at some point, but I’m not ready yet, I find Feedburner a great first step. When you’re set to go, you can move your email signups into the email system of your choice.

If you blog, it absolutely makes sense to start capturing those email addresses. There ain’t nothing more valuable than an email database. Even if you only get a couple of subscriptions trickling through, you’re already ahead of where you started.

Google FeedBurner will make getting your new content out to your subscribers effortless! And isn’t that what all us small business owners dream about 😉

Comments, likes and tweets are always appreciated! Did I mention that I LOVE your feedback?

Image source: Stuart Miles /

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Seth Resler March 21, 2012 at 10:53 am


This is a great tip for people looking to just get started with email marketing. If you’re creating content, like a blog, you definitely want to use email to get the most mileage out of it. This is a great first step. Eventually, small business who have a longer sales cycle will want to use their content in lead nurturing campaigns as a way to keep potential customers engaged even if they are not ready to buy just yet. We’ve got an introduction to lead nurturing here if your readers are interested:

Thanks for the insight!

Seth Resler
Content Manager


Martina March 22, 2012 at 8:39 am

Thanks for that sharing that resource! Appreciate the comment Seth 🙂


Steve Hippel May 5, 2012 at 1:49 am

Hi Martina.
I only stumbled accross your blog the other day but I can already see myself spending a lot of time here.
Like you, I work with small businesses but I’m more geared towards helping them with SEO. The great thing about moving around blogs in your own niche is that there is always something new to learn and to share.
I will definately add a link to this post in my new members site. Really detailed and informative. Great for people just finding their feet online.


Martina May 7, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Awesome! I really appreciate that Steve 🙂 And am really glad to have connected with you!


Yele October 30, 2012 at 1:36 am

Thanks for this post. Just the information I need to start email marketing for my new blog
Yele recently posted..Look Inside of You


Martina October 30, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Glad it was useful!


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