Web Marketing Experts: RSS Ads Resemble E-Mail, But Without The Spam
"Think about RSS like the new, not-polluted e-mail," said panelist Josh Stylman, a managing partner with Reprise Media. Panelist Chris Redlitz, Feedster's vice president for sales and marketing, agreed. "It has a direct connection; it's 100 percent opt-in; it can't be spammed; and it's very contextual. It has some of the promise that e-mail had, but couldn't deliver."
Given the potential of RSS to deliver the benefits of e-mail marketing without the specter of spam, Redlitz said that the advertising and publishing community had to be careful not to make RSS ads too invasive or obstructing. "We don't want to make some of the mistakes that have been made in the past," he said. "It's really easy to subscribe, but it's very easy to unsubscribe, too."
Thus far, the growth in the RSS advertising market hasn't been especially fast, the panelists said. "The money is growing slowly because adoption is growing," said panelist Stuart Watson, CEO and founder of Syndicate IQ. Watson allowed that the ad dollars involved in the medium were not yet substantial.
Faster adoption, however, would drive growth in the space, and several online players are working to make RSS more accessible to the general Web-going public. "We're working very closely with the launch of AOL.com to demystify this technology," said Redlitz. He also noted that the release of Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7 could spur more adoption, since its technology is integrated into the browser.