New Dwellicious e-mail notifications

Feed Me!

Feed Me!

I was wrong about RSS/Atom feeds.

One of the features users like most about Dwellicious is the fact that their bookmarks are updated several times a day.  Anything changes with a home listing – the price changes, more photos are added, the house goes off market, comments are added, etc – on any of the search portals that Dwellicious works with and you’ll see it right there on your personal bookmarks page.  This is especially useful if you subscribe to the feed for your page – all your bookmark changes come right into your feed reader.  Even other people interested in your bookmarks – your husband, wife, friends, parents, Realtor – can subscribe to your feed.  I love feeds in general – I read Google Reader every night like a magazine, all the stories I’m interested in from around the web coming right to me in one organized list.

In the beginning, I specifically made the decision to not use e-mail to send these notifications to customers.  People are already overwhelmed with too much e-mail, spam filters mean deliverability cannot be assured, you have to create a method for people to unsubscribe – there’s many more of these.  This all gets even worse if people see the e-mail and click on “Mark as spam” without really reading the content – enough of these mean these messages could go right to the spam folder and no one will see their e-mails.  Feeds overcome this by providing a completely voluntary opt-in system with a very simple method for unsubscribing – all standards across all feeds.

The problem: a very small minority of users actually use these feeds.  I’m not sure why.  Is it the funny three letter abbreviation that no one understands?  Is it just too geeky?  Lack of education?  The fact that you need to get and learn another piece of software, despite the fact that they are typically free and easy to use?  I’d love to hear your thoughts about this topic in the comments.

This problem has diluted the usefulness of updating all these bookmarks – users who don’t subscribe don’t know about changes unless they come back to the site every day.  Of course, we want increased usage of Dwellicious, and any method for increasing usage is also good for our Dwellicious Pro customers – they are trying to increase communication and interaction with their buyers during their research phase.

So today we are releasing a new feature in Dwellicious – automatic daily e-mails for bookmark updates.  By default, these are turned ON for every Dwellicious user – you can easily turn them off by unchecking the box in your Profile.  The e-mails come from ‘updates@dwellicious.com’ – check to make sure that you whitelist this address – and have the subject line ‘Dwellicious bookmark updates for <name>’.  Each bookmark that has changed in the past 24 hours is listed, along with what changed, and a link that goes directly to the Cool Tools page for that bookmark.

Tip for Dwellicious Pro users: your Pro biz card will be included in each e-mail to users in your network.  Make sure that your About Me information is fully filled out and accurate, as this daily e-mail will greatly increase the exposure for your contact info.

Bookmark Updates Email

As always, your feedback is welcome and encouraged.

Advertisements

4 Responses to “New Dwellicious e-mail notifications”


  1. 1 David Harris May 13, 2009 at 11:36 am

    I largely think education is the key. RSS is a great open standard that will allow your application content to be viewed and distributed using a variety of tools (like Google Reader).

    Your email alerts are a good solution for people who want an all in one package. It does open you up to whitelist/blacklist management and all the other fun things that go with email.

    There are tons of RSS to email and even an RSS to SMS called Pingie (that I used to get a text when you posted this).

    Maybe you can even alert people via twitter/facebook…

    Keep up the good work my friend.

    David

  2. 2 Bryan Ehrenfreund May 13, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Greg RSS usage or lack thereof is absolutely an education issue in my opinion. Outside those of us who consider ourselves tech/software savvy who even knows what RSS is let alone subscribe and put it to use? I must confess I know what it is and even think the concept is cool and potentially useful but haven’t taken the time to set-up and subscribed to any feeds myself.

    I would venture to say and it wouldn’t surprise me if you did a survey of your existing users who I consider early adopters and tech knowledgeable 5 out of 10 may have heard of RSS and know what the acronym is but that’s about it. Let us all know the results after you conduct the survey. 😉

    So for users like me I look forward and will be on the lookout for your ‘updates@dwellicious.com’ email.

    Thanks for adding the updates email feature for those of us who either don’t have the time (I know it’s just a bad excuse), are too lazy or just plain tired of having to learn something new!

    Bryan

  3. 3 Greg Robertson May 13, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    @Bryan

    Actually it was Dan who wrote this post, not me. I think RSS is stupid. ; )

    gr

  4. 4 Dan Woolley May 13, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    “Et tu, Brute?”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s





%d bloggers like this: