10 Reasons Why RSS Beats Email

Cool RSS Image

  1. Privacy. You don’t have to give out your email address, name or anything else to subscribe to an RSS feed.
  2. Control. You can subscribe or unsubscribe whenever you want – instantly and without having to trust an email newsletter “unsubscribe” feature.
  3. You can keep all your news and blogs (which are for information) separate from your email (which is for communicating with other people).
  4. Your email inbox and filtering rules won’t be taken over by hundreds of email newsletters that need managing.
  5. RSS feeds don’t get filtered out as spam by mistake.
  6. RSS feeds are much easier to manage. Entries from each feed are automatically grouped together in chronological order showing which are new.
  7. You can publish RSS feeds on a web page without doing anything to them, giving you a zero maintenance automatically updated information feed on your website.
  8. RSS feeds can be used to provide you with a personalized news feed based on post categories or tags. Email subscriptions cannot be customized so easily.
  9. Your feed reader will present every RSS feed in a consistent and highly readable way. Unlike emails, which are all individually formatted and don’t always display very well.
  10. RSS feeds are an integral and automated part of most blogs or content management systems, interacting seamlessly with both posting and feedback mechanisms. Emails are neither.

Emory Rowland

I'm editor and keeper of the flame at Clickfire, fanatical social media blogger and builder of Internet things from way back. My love for social media and success with organic search led me to start my own consulting company. Apart from the Internet, I could be considered pretty worthless. More...


  1. Bill Zint

    Is RSS right for every Web site or should I consider holding off until I have something of value to say?

  2. Emory Rowland

    You can still use RSS to promote your site, but it seems kind of pointless if you don’t have content that you really want to expose readers to. If you use WordPress or one of the popular blogging platforms, a RSS feed is built in.

  3. Jefferson Otwell

    Excellent points! I wondered when I read the title exactly why you would compare the two, but you certainly make a very strong case for simply abandoning the email subscription biz.

    On the other hand, you can always save an email if you wish.

  4. Emory Rowland

    The fact that you can save an email is an advantage I hadn’t thought of. Once that feed entry is gone from your reader, it’s gone. I suppose the near equivalent would be to visit the actual feed destination page and bookmark it.

  5. Bruce Smith

    Isn’t that like saying “Top 10 reasons apples beat oranges”. Email and RSS aren’t even related.

  6. Gecko Tales

    They are related if you are talking about ways to promote your site or share your info with interested readers. For years now we have been blasting emails to subscribers that often end up in the spam folder or are ignored. RSS is simply another way to get your info out to subscribers without email. This article is stating why it’s better than email.
    I do see the comparisions from an Internet marketing perspective. It’s not apples and oranges. They are related and in the same pool of marketing techniques.

  7. Barry Welford

    A really great post. I believe that RSS news feeds may well go to the movers and shakers in any field. So you have privileged access to some important people.

    In fact I liked this so much I Sphunn it. :)

  8. Emory Rowland

    Thanks, Barry, for the encouraging remarks and for introducing this on Sphinn! This is my first Sphunn post ever and I’ve been enjoying the community interaction and excellent search marketing posts there. I hope this post will encourage some fence sitters to dive into RSS and setup up their readers with subscriptions.

  9. Jason Stillwell

    Bruce is just trying to sound smart. In fact, he doesn’t seem to get it at all. Dweeb

  10. Paul Bradish

    The power of RSS is undeniable. Excellent post! That being said – I think that email campaigns have their uses as well (especially in e-commerce).

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