Do you think that it’s a good idea to place ads in your RSS feed? Have you been waiting for Google to implement Adsense ads inside of Feedburner feeds since they’re owned Feedburner for a while now? It has been reported recently that Google has started testing with inserting Adsense ads into Feedburner RSS feeds. However, I don’t see this as being very effective simply because feed readers are unlikely to click ads because of 3 basic reasons.
1. Internet Savvy
First, the more Internet savvy a person is the more likely it is that they will both subscribe to RSS feeds as well as ignore or block ads.
Think about it, especially if you’re a fellow blogger. How often do you click ads on other blogs? Probably not very often, if at all. Why is that? Well, there are several common reasons ranging from wanting to earn a commission on a sale for yourself to something you already bought from an A-Listers site to not having an interest in the offer.
Likewise, how often do you subscribe to RSS feeds from blogs you like? I’d guess you do this rather often. Do you simply skim headlines and first paragraphs and ignore the rest. Do you click through to the site if an article grabs your interest? Do you ignore footers attached by Feedburner to the feed? Would you ignore Adsense ads that had the same old ‘make money online‘ or ‘blogging about blogging‘ ad presented every day?
2. Buying Mood
Secondly, Adsense is strongly geared toward people who are in a buying mood. The best converting offers send a person through to a landing page (aka squeeze page) where they can start the buying process immediately. However, feed readers are generally not in a buying mood. They subscribed to a feed because they want information or entertainment delivered to them. They’re not intending to buy something when they subscribe to a feed or read a feed in their feed reader.
A good article might just put the reader in a buying mood. However, because you have very little control over what Adsense displays, it is quite difficult to target your article to pre-sell the offer. This is much easier to do with an affiliate offer where you can lead the visitor toward the offer with your article.
3. Answering the Question
Lastly, Adsense is at its most effective when the advertisement offers a potential answer to a question that was not answered in the accompanying article. For example, (borrowing an example from one of Vic’s live broadcasts) if someone is looking for cheap mortgage loan rates don’t give them the answer in the article. Instead, your article beats around the bush, never finding an answer. The answer to their need will be found in the Adsense ads displayed on the page.
If you have good articles in a feed, the kind of feed that people will want to subscribe to and read regularly, there will be little or no need for feed readers to click your ads. If they do, most likely out of ‘kindness’, they’re likely to cost you money due to smart pricing your Adsense account. We don’t know how these ads will work in this regard yet, but you can bet that Google Adwords buyers aren’t going to want to pay for ad clicks where the conversion rate is very low.
Hard Sell vs. Soft Sell
Basically, Adsense is a hard sell; a forceful and overt sales pitch to spark a click through that converts for the advertiser. Adwords gurus will tell you that you want your ad to avoid costly casual clicks, use a call to action and to stay focused and on target with your pitch. That’s how they design their ads and feed based ads will go against the grain.
A soft sell method geared around a single affiliate will work better in feeds, at least in my opinion. It would work like many of the better email newsletter offers work. For example, if I wanted you to sign up for the SaltyJelly advertising network I’d write a series of articles touting the advantages of signing up, maybe some how-tos and the like and some other stuff that would lead you to buy or, in this case, sign up for the program. You might get good information but you would be convinced that you still had a gap to fill in with what was being offered.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you see having Adsense Ads in RSS feeds from FeedBurner to be a good idea or bad idea?