Why Is an Encrypted RSS Feed So Important?

One of the most used extra features of the Magic Members plugin could be the encrypted RSS feed, however some wonder why having an encrypted RSS Feed is so important. To some people this seems like a question that doesn’t need an answer, however other people are genuinely curious as to how useful an encrypted RSS feed really is. In order to understand why some people question the importance of an encrypted RSS feed, it is important to understand some of their concerns and compare them to benefits that this type of technology provides, especially in the case of membership sites.

The Purpose of an Encrypted RSS Feed

Fundamentally, the purpose of an encrypted RSS feed is to allow only a certain group of people to view your blog posts, while still not allowing public access. It is most commonly used by membership sites and private/commercial online newsletters.

The Big Concern

The big concern of most people is that it is fairly easy to circumvent an encrypted RSS feed. As long as one person is a member of your website and can get the encrypted RSS feed, then they can email the articles from the feed to anyone that they want. So the question is, if it is so easy to circumvent an encrypted RSS feed, then why should you use one at all.

The Answer

The answer is fairly straightforward. Yes, an encrypted RSS feed can be circumvented, but so can a membership site. If someone joins your membership site, they can easily copy all of the content and email it to their friends, but does that stop membership sites from be profitable or useful? Of course not. There will always be people to try and get something for nothing and in the end there isn’t much that you can do about.

Two Unique Benefits

However, just because there might be a few bad apples, that doesn’t mean that you should ruin it for everyone (including yourself). The first benefit of an encrypted RSS feed is that you can choose what content you want encrypted and what content you do not. This allows you to have a premium RSS feed for your members as well as a feed for visitors all from the same feed.

Another benefit is member retention. One of the primary reasons that someone will cancel their membership is because they did find enough value in the content or tools that was provided by the membership site. However, several studies have noted that this is rarely because the content was not satisfactory, but simply the member didn’t know what was there. By giving members an encrypted RSS feed, they will always see when new content is added, which means that they will visit your site more than they otherwise would have. The more they visit, the more value your membership will have to them.


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