Reward Your RSS Subscribers with a Gift

What do readers get when they subscribe to your RSS feed?  A bouquet of beautiful flowers?  Okay, that can’t be easily delivered digitally, but you can give them a gift.

A freebie offer can encourage readers to subscribe by RSS, or you can use it as a nice unannounced gift for your readers.

Here’s how to make it happen in a few easy steps.

Last week I put together a new ebook & mp3 to offer to visitors who subscribe to the RSS feed at  I use the free FeedBurner service to deliver my RSS feed to readers and by email, and here’s how I set it up so my readers get their freebie delivered:

1. Setup Your RSS Feed

Setup your RSS feed opt in with FeedBurner (or the service of your choice).  I also use the plugin FD FeedBurner Redirect on my blog.

2. Make it Easy to Subscribe

Put the RSS subscribe box on your website.  Here’s a video of how to do that, step by step: add a subscribe by email widget to your WordPress blog.

3. Setup Your Free Gift Download

Upload your free gift and add it to a hidden page on your site (the way to do this depends on your particular website’s setup – might be with PageMash plugin, or just by not adding this page to your menus).

Here’s what part of my download page looks like:

4. Install the RSS Feed Layout Plugin

On WordPress, install and activate the RSS Feed Layout plugin.  If you’re on another platform, find out how to add a footer to your RSS feed.

5.  Customize Your RSS Footer

Add your gift information to the footer of your feed.  Don’t add it to the header space or the link will show up anywhere an excerpt of your blog post shows up (oops! I did that…).

Here’s what mine looks like if you want a model:

That’s it!

Now when someone new subscribes to your feed by email, the first email they receive will include your customized footer with their download link.  For those who subscribe to your feed in their readers, they’ll see the link when they read to the bottom of your post.

Photo credit: julierocks from

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  1. This is the best idea ever!!I have to apply it too…
    Cher Shives recently posted… There Can’T Be One Forex Best IndicatorMy Profile

    1. Hi Cher, it’s a nice way to share something extra with our RSS subscribers. :) Glad it was helpful for you.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Creating Space for InspirationMy Profile

  2. Hi…I really need this Michelle and I thank you for sharing it in this post…
    Michael recently posted… How to Choose a Computer When Buying a New PCMy Profile

  3. […] 8. Incentives for Your Opt-In – I think this tip is pretty much standard procedure these days. Those that sign up for my emails get my Guide to Starting an Online Service Business. Another Cool Opt-In Tip – You can also give your RSS subscribers presents. […]

  4. Hi Michelle, I am a regular subscriber to your feed but I don’t think I’ve ever commented before. This post is just incredible! Easy to follow and I was desperate for this advice. Thank you! Thank you!!
    Sharon Fiberesima recently posted… Comment on Have You Used Twitter to Increase Traffic and Sales? by SharonMy Profile

  5. But then they have to wait until you create a post to send out? Don’t subscribers want their free gift right after verification?

    I’m trying to figure out how to add a link to the actual feedburner “thanks for verifying page.” That would work but how?
    Ben Racicot recently posted… Your Web Presence.My Profile

    1. Not a big problem if you’re blogging daily since the next rss email is only ever a few hours away. :)

      I don’t know of a way to modify that Feedburner page. If you use the paid AWeber service to send out your RSS feed you can get more control over it.

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