Marketers still don't get RSS

A survey of email marketers concludes that they still don't understand the potential of RSS as a marketing tool.

Reported at WebProNews, a WordBiz report claims that although 74% of email marketers are 'familiar' with the term 'RSS', only about 37% had downloaded an RSS feed reader (I use FeedDemon) or subscribed to a web-based reader, and a mere 23% read blogs via an RSS subscription.

From the WebProNews article:

""Despite the recent attention to RSS in the mainstream press, we're still at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding and adoption of RSS as a business communications channel," said Debbie Weil, Publisher of WordBiz Report. "With RSS feeds, you can reach a willing and waiting audience -- without worrying about spam filters or inbox clutter. With the simplicity of My Yahoo!'s RSS feeds, I predict that 2005 will be the year of RSS adoption." More...

There are plenty more reasons why online marketers need to get onto the RSS train, but on the train they will get.

Personally, I have unsubscribed to every email newsletter, practically stopped entirely the practice of visiting sites on a regular basis through bookmarking/memory/habit, and consume near to 100% of my online content via RSS. Sites I do happen to 'visit' now are due to a search term result, a click-throughs from RSS articles, or shopping.

So my 'browsing' days are over. The question is when, not if, RSS reading will become the online content consumption behaviour of the masses. I think 2005 is too soon for the consumer: RSS is still at early adopter phase, but by 2006 the consumer trend may well become significant enough to the see the numbers of email marketers take RSS seriously.