Retrieve Your Subscriber Data
From Google Friend Connect!
Most bloggers don’t realize that the newsletter subscriber data from Google Friend Connect can be exported… though it’s not a pretty process!
With Google closing Friend Connect for those that are not on blogspot.com (yes, WordPress users, your Friend Connect widget is dead) it’s time to deal with preventing potential data loss.
Often, we want to take our existing subscribers and try to do SOMETHING with them… which isn’t going to happen if they just vanish into the blue with the closure of this project.
Log into and go to the section for your site, and open it up and click on Community Data.
Once you’re in Community Data, click on the “Export Community” tab and here you will find export options.
Looks great right? So what’s the problem?
The problem is that all the export options suck.
The best you can do, in Exporting the Google Friend Connect subscribers, is to FIRST download the “all interest” CSV…. so that you have the names in a nice clear Excel sheet. (You can delete the ID column)…. Then, export the XML file….
And then… open the XML file and start one by one copy-pasting the emails out and matching them up to the names in the excel spreadsheet (based on the names in the XML file that are simply in a poor layout).
This is “easy” but it is also tedious and time consuming if you have a lot of names in there.
Once you have the CSV rebuilt, you are are now ready to puzzle out WHAT to do with these names. Keep in mind that autoresponder companies that have good deliverability are NOT going to let you point-blank opt these people in (though they can be added and chose to confirm their subscription).
If the list is small, the best thing to do might be to send them a real email, touch base, mention what’s going on, and give them a link to an optin form.
Even in the event that you are using an AR service that lets you add them directly, your spam complaints and optouts are going to be high because these people rarely consider themselves “subscribers” to anything (and many have already forgotten you exist).
It is unfortunate that the newsletter feature seems to be fully disabled already or utilizing it to send the first message to these folks would be best.
Even in the event you can not opt them in at all anywhere else… at least you now have names and addresses and can easily send a real email and nurture a fragile relationship that would otherwise have been lost.
Please keep in mind that this will be a very fragile list and require some care to “warm up” and will be unlikely to handle regular contact well until you’ve had a chance to rebuild the relationship.
Well, it’s not pretty, but that’s how you export the newsletter subscribers out of your now defunct Google Friend Connect widget!
What do you think about the loss of this service? Has it impacted your blog?
~ Kim ~
Simple Tech Tips for Marketing