Want to grow your email marketing list and provide a stylish, modern mobile look to your website or blog? You’re literally just a few clicks away. Last year, Google pushed out a quiet product called Google Currents, a mobile reading app that takes blog RSS feeds and other content and places them inside your Android or iOS devices. What’s even better is that becoming a publisher is free, fast, and relatively easy.
Let’s showcase how you might get started. First, head to the Google Currents Producer site. If you aren’t signed in with your Google account, you will need to be. You will also need your website’s RSS feed address (blog feed). If you don’t have that, contact your IT department to get it.
Step 1: Set up the basics. Give your publication a name and fill in your blog feed.
Step 2: Set up an appealing description in the Basic Information section.
Step 3: Add images and include your Google Analytics tag if you want to track mobile stats.
Step 4. Now it’s time to move onto sections. Unlike a standard blog feed, you can include many more types of content in your mobile application. For example, you can include your Google+ page or updates from your Facebook page.
You can do the same with Twitter feeds as well:
Step 5. You can get really advanced if you have some additional publishing channels, such as eBooks. Google Currents Publisher will let you import an entire eBook, so you could give away samples or full texts.
Step 6. Once you’ve got all your content and feeds imported and the previews look like how you want them to look, it’s time to Distribute. You’ll need to verify the ownership of any non-social media feeds you’ve put in (like your blog).
Step 7. Once you’re satisfied, hit Publish and release the app into the world. It becomes immediately available in the Currents search options.
Then on a regular basis, check and collect for email addresses. If you’ve disclosed and told people you’ll be adding them to your email list, then import this file to your email service provider’s lists.
One note: there have been some reported bugs with Producer that may sometimes not offer the Email Collection option. If that happens to you, either start a new edition or report it with the Send Feedback link at the bottom of Google’s page.
Step 9. As with all things digital, it’s not a question of “build it and they will come”. That’s rarely the case. Instead, offer your Google Currents mobile edition prominently on your website, in your existing newsletters, and anywhere that your mobile readers might expect to search for mobile editions of your content.
Google even provides you with some handy graphics templates you can customize to promote on your website and other digital properties.
Currents is just one of the many ways you can grow your email marketing list, but it’s ideally targeted for mobile users. Try it out today and see if it works for you.
Christopher S. Penn