Brandable RSS Toolbars

Lately I’ve been struggling with some issues. Do I want to give up my email list for RSS subscription? Although my advise to many businesses is to do both but surely you and I understand the angst of relinquishing the privilege to contact people and push our messages to them at any time. Yes, it’s not really an easy thing to give up isn’t it after all, the list is everything… or is it? So… is there any middle ground?

At this point in time, not in the same manner as email but this might be just as good if not better. Check out EffectiveBrand. It lets you create your own Internet Explorer toolbar online for free and the toolbar comes with RSS support. This isn’t really something brand new. A similar tool, ToolButton also allows you to put your RSS feeds onto customer’s browsers and is updated automatically each time you update your RSS feed.

After trying out both, I’d have to say EffectiveBrand is the better solution. Here’s why:

  • The Effective brand doesn’t require a lot of information to set up nor does it require your users to tell them their whole life story. This is key. ToolButton while understandably wants to justify their free service with some form of consumer data but it’s too much. As a marketer, I will put up with and answer all their questions to get the RSS enabled toolbar but asking my customers to give them a bunch of data just to install my toolbar is unacceptable, not to mention not too many people will be downloading it now
  • It was easy and simple, all in 4 (5 steps if you count the legal agreement) although documentation could be just a tad clearer
  • Downloaded toolbar was easy to install comes with an uninstaller although on the flip side, ToolButton does have it’s advantages also because it isn’t tied to one computer but the logging in process is a pain
  • I don’t have to share my toolbar space with other companies or messages if I don’t want to

Take my EffectiveBrand toolbar for a test drive and see for yourself. There are a few gripes here and there such as the ability to control the positioning of buttons and feeds would be nice but not too bad for free.

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