Many online media companies find RSS (define) useful for driving traffic, extending their brands, and creating new ad vehicles. As RSS continues to gain traction, marketers are testing new ways to use it to promote e-commerce. It can be used to drive sales and build relationships when your content is adapted to meet users' needs.

Some e-commerce leaders have been investing in RSS-based marketing for a while now. So far, there are four primary ways e-commerce companies use RSS:

- Alternative content distribution

- Feed advertising

- Relationship extension/lead generation

- Brand-building vehicle

As RSS adoption grows, marketers must test this new channel for driving sales and retaining customers. As more browsers begin to include a new generation of RSS, notably Internet Explorer 7, mass-market use of RSS will increase. As a marketer, you want to be ahead of the curve by learning how to best deploy this useful customer communications tool now.

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