Well, Zookoda is finally out of private beta and accepting signups from the unwashed masses. Exciting because Nick and Yorke are definitely a dynamic duo and this one's got the smell of success about it.
Zookoda essentially emails your blog feed to people who want to subscribe to it. Sounds simple, and Zookoda's competitors figured it was too, and pretty much stopped at that point.
But Nick and Yorke at Zookoda drew on their prior experience building a great email marketing platform to add many more smart features for the blogger looking to attract and hold an audience. The full list is too long to go into here, but the features that really shine for me are:
- Real-time reporting on who's opening your email, which addresses bounced, who clicked on what, and who's subscribed/unsubscribed
- Full control over your email template - it can look just like your blog (and for dummies like me, you can choose a template based on popular Blogger templates)
- Full control over your email scheduling - set up a schedule for any day of the week, at any time, and the email only gets pushed if there's new content. Or, send out a once-off with one, some or all your stories
- No big orange Zookoda branding (Feedblitz, are you listening?) on either your emails or on the email subscription form you add to your blog
- It's free, and intends to stay that way
Free? How? you ask. They think there's a killer media model there, and they may be right. When Zookoda is out of beta, or some time afterwards, they introduce a variety of ad formats to include in your email template and there's ad revenue to share between you and Zookoda.
So far, my experience of Zookoda has been all positive. Nick is a savvy business and marketing head with a number of successful online startups to his credit, and Yorke may be The Hardest Working Man In Codebusiness - always online in Skype when I've got a problem, and so quick he has usually snagged the bug and pushed a fix to production while we talk. Don't know if Yorke scales to tens of thousands of simultaneous users, but there aren't so many bugs anymore, and it is even starting to work OK on Safari, unlike a lot of Web 2.0 stuff.
If you're a blogger who wants to build and retain an audience, I think Zookoda may become the app of choice. You really should check it out.