May 30, 2012

RSS-to-Email Overview for Bloggers

If you’re a blogger, you probably feel like there’s barely enough time in the day to update your blog, let alone think about sending an email newsletter. But some of your readers might prefer to get your posts in their inbox instead of visiting your site every day or subscribing to your feed. MailChimp’s RSS-to-Email tool simplifies that process, so you can publish your content once on the blog, and we’ll automatically send it to your newsletter subscribers as often as you’d like.

RSS-to-Email was tailor-made for busy bloggers. It fills in the holes left by just including a "follow by RSS" option and puts you in more frequent contact with your readers. You don’t even have to write new content for your newsletters, it all comes directly from the carefully crafted blog updates you’re already posting. Plus, you get a ton of customization options built right in. All you need is an RSS URL and a MailChimp account. Want to include more than one RSS feed? Read this article before you set up your campaign.

You don’t have to send your loyal followers a barrage of emails. You have the power to decide how often the RSS campaigns go out–daily, weekly, or monthly. And a campaign will only go out if there’s a new post on your blog. You can choose what time you prefer to send your newsletters, too. So if you write a weekend city guide, you might want to send your campaigns on Fridays at 8am, when readers are daydreaming about their weekend plans. Or maybe you post one recipe a day to your cooking blog, so daily at noon might be more logical.

You could also give your subscribers a choice on how often they receive your blog updates in their inbox with our groups feature. You can even allow them to select what topics they want to get newsletters about by segmenting based on their interests.

As a MailChimp user, you get access to detailed reports, which are a pret-ty sweet added bonus, and the feedback can help you improve your content going forward. Just tell us what you want to track, so we can create your custom reports. Click a box to track opens and clicks in the campaign builder. Come back later, and click the Reports tab to view your results.

You can also auto-tweet your newsletters and integrate them with your blog’s Facebook page. It’s nice to reach your readers where they’re already active. While you’re setting up your campaign, click to connect to Twitter and/or Facebook. We’ll prompt you to authorize the connection, and you’ll be ready to auto-post.

You’ve probably put a lot of thought into your blog design, from layout to color scheme, and it would be a shame to lose that personality in your email newsletters. Even if you have no coding knowledge, you can match your emails to your blog by using one of our start-from-scratch or predesigned templates, which can be found in our free template gallery.

There’s also a whole set of RSS-to-email specific templates. These are pre-loaded with some default merge tags that will pull in basic elements of your latest blog posts. Check out our RSS to Email Merge Tag Cheat Sheet if you want to customize these elements even more. You can include Twitter and Facebook tags for readers who want to follow you on those networks.

Once you select the perfect template, you can customize away– fonts, colors, logos– using the editor at the top of the page.

Click Popup Preview to see out how your customized template will look once it’s populated with your blog posts, pulled from your latest RSS feed.

Don’t like the way it looks? Play around with it as much as you want to make sure your newsletter is, well, YOU.

RSS-to-email is an automatic, one-and-done solution for newsletters generated from your latest blog content. The steps above outline the built-in customization options if you’re setting up a basic RSS campaign, but personalization capabilities are endless if you have a little more time to dedicate to your email newsletters. If you’ve got a loyal following on Instagram or Pinterest, we’ve got RSS-to-email integrations for thosetoo. And as a MailChimp customer, you always have the option of sending regular and A/B Split campaigns.

For a more in-depth look at some of our other features that bloggers may like, check out our MailChimp for Bloggers guide.