By S. Housley
Last fall we launched FeedForAll
a tool for creating, editing and publishing
RSS feeds. Having recently gone through the
experience of a product launch I thought that
I would take the opportunity to share my experiences
and discuss what worked.
A key to FeedForAll's success
was getting to market quickly, and the marketing
began before the official product launch. We
immediately jumped into creating buzz about
RSS with newsletter mentions. We began blogs
on multiple sites and RSS feeds so that we could
actually measure traffic and interest in RSS.
After a short time it was clear that the daily
fresh content and interest in RSS was significant,
and if we could help educate users to the power
and potential of RSS we could drive significant
During the beta testing phase
we set up a web page inviting beta testers to
email us if they were interested in receiving
a discount on the released version. The e-mail
established communication and a link to testers.
The discount provided the incentive for the
testers to initiate communication and allowed
us to establish a relationship and dialogue
with people who had an interest in the product.
Once the product was released,
we e-mailed the testers, notifying them of the
release and providing a time-limited discount,
encouraging the sale, and thanking them for
their assistance with testing. At the same time,
we reached out to user groups, providing online
discount coupons, product literature, and a
free Power Point presentation that explained
RSS. We encouraged the user groups to use the
Power Point presentation at user group meetings
and distribute the coupons to their members.
Though RSS has been around for
some years, it really hasn't yet taken hold
with non-technical populations. As a result,
our marketing team decided that education would
be critical to a successful launch. We felt
that in order for the RSS technology to succeed
we needed to educate users about the benefits
related to RSS. We took the time to prepare
educational articles for syndication. We published
the series of articles available for web syndication
that explained RSS and its benefits. An archive
of these articles can be found on the bottom
The article syndication increased
links to our website from targeted portals that
provided quality traffic, all resulting in a
successful product launch.
The articles served multiple purposes
increasing page rank and link popularity, as
well as defining NotePage as an industry leader
and expert. As a result of the articles we were
able to form some great industry relationships
with other developers targeting similar markets.
Through a partner program at http://www.feedforall.com/feedforall-partners.htm
we were able to further increase our market
presence. In exchange for promotion on our RSS
portals, partners plugged FeedForAll on their
sites, newsletters, blogs and forums.
In addition to traditional marketing
through a press release, site submissions and
evaluation versions, we launched three content
portals at http://www.rss-specifications.com
, and http://www.rss-syndication.com.
The portals not only educated users, providing
detailed information about RSS feeds and syndication,
they provided quality links back and quickly
became popular industry resources.
The educational material, like
the podcasting tutorial - http://www.feedforall.com/podcasting-tutorial.htm
contained unique keyword phrases that significantly
increased our ranking in search engines in an
area where we did not have a presence. The graphic
tool generated blogger buzz, driving more traffic.
In addition, we created a number
of free items like an RSS to HTML conversion
tool, a free RSS button creator http://www.feedforall.com/public/rss-graphic-tool.htm
, which ultimately increased our keyword exposure
and reputation in the industry.
We also created a white paper
section to better understand how our customers
were using the software. Through this interaction
we were able to target specific industries,
explaining to them how RSS could solve real-world
problems. Another area critical to our success
was providing an evaluation version of FeedForAll
that could be evaluated by the user prior to
We conducted a number of campaigns
with promotional offers. The coupons were time-limited
and our message was changed to cater to the
audience it was addressed to. Sometimes the
message was informative; explaining RSS with
a "By the way - this tool makes feed creation
easy." Sometimes the message was technical,
with graphs clearly depicting how traffic/sales
can increase - pictures often speak volumes.
All aspects of the campaign were successful.
We will continue to see long-term effects from
the article syndication for years to come, with
increased page rank and Internet exposure.
As a result of the linked marketing
efforts we were able to drive significant volumes
of free traffic to the website in a very short
span of time. The following link represents
an Alexa graph of website traffic during that
time frame - http://www.feedforall.com/ice-ffa.htm
. All efforts drove traffic to the website,
encouraging the online sale. All marketing efforts
drove website traffic, which pushed the sale.
As the public becomes more educated, I believe
our sales will continue to increase. Multi-layered
marketing works, and we will continue to see
results from the launch for an extended period
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS
feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages
marketing for NotePage http://www.notepage.net
a wireless text messaging software company.