Long have I been proclaiming the effectiveness of RSS as a communications channel for non personal communications over that of email. The protection and anonymity that RSS can offer over email means that it is fast becoming the preferred medium for many users. It seems visitors to your site now put more trust in RSS as they are five times more likely to subscribe to an RSS feed as they are to the equivalent information via email.
A recent article from Rok Hrastnik at Marketing Studies shows that there is greater trust in RSS over email as well as RSS being more effective at attracting visitors back to your site. Over a 48 hour period it was shown that the average CTR from feed to site was 23 percent. That means that nearly a quarter of the readers of your RSS message click through back to your main site.
Rok's report also shows that there is a 6.8 percent average CTR from a content item in your feed to the web page that the content item points to. Better still is the results that show a 150 percent CTR from your feed to the site within a 30 day period. That means on average each subscriber of your RSS feed clicks through to your site one and a half times each month.
The report also points from data obtained from Lockergnome where it is shown that RSS subscribers out number email subscribers by 5 to 1. This clearly shows the increased take up of RSS, particularly among the more tech savvy internet audience.
At http://newsniche.com/ I have often argued that one of the major benefits of RSS over email is that it does not have the flaws that makes it susceptible to spam and control over the subscription to the information you provide is totally in the hands of the subscriber. This makes RSS subscribers more confident than email subscribers that they can unsubscribe knowing they will no longer receive communications from that source.
I have seen numbers banded about that show there are as few as 5 percent of the browsing public use RSS. The reason for this is that it is not yet as ubiquitous as email, but email has had a lot longer to be established. I truly believe that these results will encourage more webmasters to offer RSS feeds to their readers and help educate the browsing public to the benefits of this form of communication.
Allan is the webmaster at http://www.newsniche.com/ an RSS resource for webmasters. Learn how to use RSS to attract and retain visitors to your site.