Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Customising Feedburner's email subscription messages

You can control the email-messages that Feedburner sends to people who have signed up for your blog's "subscribe by email" option.

Previously I've described how to make a Feedburner feed and how to add the subscribe by email option to your blog.

If you have added a subscribe-by-email feature, and a reader (who's not already subscribed to the email feed) enters their email address, then Feedburner will show a catpcha-text screen (to check that you're not a computer, maliciously submitting other people's addresses), and sent an email to the address, asking the recipient to confirm that they really do want to subscribe to your blog.

The 2nd email stops other people from signing you up as a subscriber to blogs that you're not interested in.

But it means that some people who are interested in subscribing to your feed don't actually complete the process, because they don't understand what's going on, or miss the email (eg it goes to their spam folder).

You can deal with this by
  • Telling new subscribers that they are going to get an email, and what to do with it
    (see the "subscribe by email" option on this site for one way to do this), AND
  • Configuring the details of the email that is sent:  sender-address and message-text are both important for maintaining your blog's image, and ensuring that people click the link and complete their subscription.
The rest of this article is about the configuration options that are available.

Customising the subscription-link email message

Log in to Feedburner, using the Google account that owns the feed you want to customise (remember, may not be the same Google account that owns the blog, especially if you are using AdSense to monetize your feed.)

Choose the Publicize tab

Choose Email Subscriptions from the menu on the left.

Choose the Communication Preferences option.   This opens options in the main window where you can edit:

The sender-address
  • The default value is the email address associated with the Google account that owns the feed.  But you can change it to any valid email address (and I suspect an invalid one too, if you like - I haven't tested this). 
  • It may be tricky to choose what email address to use:  the same one is used for both the subscription-activation email and for every other post-notification email that is sent by your feed.   An address that looks like a real person (eg mary@gmail.com) is less likely to end up in your potential subscribers junk folder.   But you may not want your personal email address to appear to your email-subscribers every time you post, especially if the blog is written by a team or belongs to a club or business.
  • If you change the sender-address sometime after your email-feed is set up, then some of your subscribers may stop getting messages because they only have the previous address, not the new one, on their friends list (whitelist).  If you're going to do this, be certain that the benefit of changing is worth losing a few subscribers over.
The text for the confirmation email.   
  • Google (or perhaps Feedburners original owners) have provided some standard text, which is used unless you change it.   
  • The tone of this is very informal, eg starting with"hello there" and (IMHO) irritating "we can't wait to send you updates".  You may want to change it to match the style and tone of your blog.
Press Save in the bottom left corner of the screen to save your changes.

Important:  Don't forget to press Save.   Currently you are not warned that changes will be lost if you navigate away (even just to the email branding sub-option) - but they are.

fyi, the Email Branding and Delivery Options links lead to other controls, which control the email messages that Feedburner sends when you send an items to your blog's feed.  They will be discussed in another article, because they're too complicated to go into here.

Related Articles

Understanding your Google account

Getting a list of your Feedburner email subscribers

How to make feed using Feedburner

Using the Feedcount widget to encourage new subscribers with social proof

Putting email-links into your blog

Share this Article


HTML link code:

BB (forum) link code:

Subscribe to Blogger-hints-and-tips

FeedBurner will send a confirmation message. Click the verify link in it to start your subscription.

Follow Me on Pinterest Subscribe to Blogger-HAT on Google + RSS subscription icon Follow BloggerHAT on Twitter


  1. This was great! I customized my email confirmation message with ease.
    What I need now, is to find a way, after they have subscribed, to automatically send an AUTOMATIC private link the the pdf they get when the subscribe. What would you recommend?

  2. Thank you for this article. Is it possible to change the From name in addition to the From email address? My email address is "tony@example.com", and email come from "tony" I'd like them to come from "Tony Fleming".

  3. thank you for your article - I am currently trying to trouble-shoot how to locate where the OLD default email address is, to change the top line email notification from one of my feeds. After reading your articlel, it obviiously eminates from some old Google account in hiding somewhere. How do I locate the source of the invalid email to change it over to that of my current Google account please.

  4. Thank you so much! You saved my day. I was wishing to know how to give my subscribers a gift when they subscribe, and now I can perhaps place a link for their gift in the confirmation email.