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Customize your email subscription widget and feed in feedburner

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December 14, 2008

If you are a blogger then you must be using feed management services like Feedburner, Feedblitz etc. In case of Feedburner you get a code to paste on your blog and to let people read your blog via email subscriptions. Subscribing via email is a surefire method for your readers to keep updated to your blog unlike subscribing via Feed readers where they could miss an article or two when if forget to check.  After they subscribe to your blog, they will be sent an email for confirmation. You can customize the way the email subscription widget appears on your blog, or the email that your subscribers receive. Here’s how you do it.

The code provided to you by feedburner for subscription management looks similar to this:

<form style=”border:box_border solid #color;padding:3px;text-align:center;” action=”http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/emailverify” method=”post” target=”popupwindow” onsubmit=”window.open(‘http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/emailverifySubmit?feedId=The_feed_id_of_your_blog‘, ‘popupwindow’, ‘scrollbars=yes,width=widget_width,height=widget_height‘);return true”><p>Enter your email address:</p><p><input type=”text” style=”width:input_box_width” name=”email”/></p><input type=”hidden” value=http://feeds.feedburner.com/~e?ffid=The_feed_id_of_your_blog name=”url”/><input type=”hidden” value=”Your_blog’s_name” name=”title”/><input type=”hidden” name=”loc” value=”en_US”/><input type=”submit” value=”Subscribe” /><p>Delivered by <a href=”http://www.feedburner.com” target=”_blank”>FeedBurner</a></p></form>

(The text in bold and italics both suggest the parameters to be changed)

●The width of the input box for entering email address in the email subscriptions widget can be altered. To do this enter a value you like replacing the text saying  input_box_width above. By default it is 140 px. Similarly you can change the border size and color by editing box_border and #color above.

●To increase the height of the email input field, add the following:

;height: 250px just after style=”width:140px; (you can enter any number instead of 250).

●To add a background image to the widget, add the following line of code just after text-align:center; above:

background: url(The URL of the image);

●Similarly to change the background color add this code just after text-align:center;

background: #00aabb (You can place any color code here)

You can customize the way the email is delivered to your feed readers. Sign in to your Feedburner account. Enter your feed and click on Publicize Tab. Under it you can see Email Subscriptions link at the left. Click on it and then click on the dropdown that appears which says, “Communication Preferences”. There you can edit the email address from which your readers will receive the email, the subject of the email and the confirmation email body. You can change them and at last save the changes.

In the confirmation Email Body you can change the text but do not remove this line: ${confirmlink}. You can increase the subscribers to your blog by giving them a free ebook after they subscribe via email. If you think of doing so, just add the link to the e-book or any other downloadable stuff in the body.

Now if you click on Email Branding just below the Communication Preferences, you will see a page for customizing the appearance of the email. You can change the Title of the email, fonts, headline and body fonts, body color and so on. You can also add the logo of your website by giving the link to the favicon of your blog.

So, with these tips you can simply customize your email subscriptions widget and feed to match the template of your blog and give your blog a better look.

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