Apr 8, 2013

Using MailChimp Integrations to Create and Curate Great Content

One of the hardest parts of sending a newsletter out regularly is coming up with content that’s both interesting and relevant to your subscribers. Many of you are already creating great content for other sites you manage, like a blog or e-commerce store. Featuring new and notable products can make for compelling (and potentially profitable) content. Wouldn’t you love to just click a button and send the content you’ve already created into MailChimp automatically?

Or maybe you aren’t creating a lot of content yourself, but you do have an interesting point of view or area of expertise and would like to share that information with others. You could send out articles, videos, or blog posts you’ve found on the topics that matter to you and your readers. Writer Dave Pell publishes a daily curated newsletter with all sorts of cool stuff he’s found on the web (he calls himself the internet’s managing editor.) And Maria Popova’s describes her weekly Brain Pickings newsletter as a “human-powered discovery engine for interestingness.”

MailChimp has several integrations designed to make adding content to your newsletters super easy, whether you’re curating it or creating it yourself.

Share Content You Created

Our RSS-to-email feature automatically sends your blog content to your subscribers daily, weekly, or monthly. You’re already publishing to your blog, so why not share with folks who may not check the blog that often? If you haven’t tried it yet, now would be a great time—especially since Google Reader is shutting down on July 1.

E-commerce senders might be interested in integrations like Chimpified for Shopify, Yogento for Magento, and Craftmonkey for Etsy sellers. All three integrations automate the work of formatting your product images and designing a template (among other cool features).

For example: If you wanted to create a campaign featuring new products in your Magento store, you could use Yogento to connect the store with MailChimp, then simply drag and drop to add your store items to a MailChimp template. Search store items based on keywords to make finding your next featured product fast and easy.

Etsy sellers should check out Craftmonkey for Etsy. It connects your Etsy store to your MailChimp account, so you can easily drag and drop listings of your handmade creations and vintage finds into a custom template. Craftmonkey also automatically pulls in your Etsy store header, so your newsletter has the look and feel your fans and followers are used to.

Taken any vintage-filtered Instagram photos of your sandwich or your cat lately? Share them with your subscribers using InstaChimp. InstaChimp connects MailChimp with your Instagram account so you can share your photos with newsletter subscribers who might not follow you on Instagram. It’s a great option for bands, restaurants, or anyone with visual content to share.

Curate Content You Love

If you want to find awesome content from around the web and share it in a newsletter for your subscribers, we have a couple of great tools that can help. Scoop.it is a content-curation platform that makes it easy to hand-pick content, add your thoughts, and publish it.

Just enter the topics and keywords you’re interested in, and Scoop.it aggregates articles, videos, tweets, and blog posts that match those keywords.  You can then select the best content, add your own perspective, and you’re ready to go.

For example: Let’s say I want to send out a newsletter with some of my favorite articles on email marketing and technology this week. I enter the keywords, and Scoop.it will show me a feed of suggested content. All I have to do is select the content pieces I’m interested in, and click Scoop.it! to add them to my board.

Scoop.it offers a number of ways to share the content you’ve discovered, including sending it as an email through MailChimp. Just click the Manage tab and choose Create a Newsletter to bring up a list of available options.

In the left column, click the big, blue Connect button.

Because Scoop.it uses MailChimp’s OAuth2 option, letting you authorize a connection between the two applications by logging in with your username and password, only account users with the “Admin” or “Manager” role will be able to create campaigns in the account using this integration.

Once you’re connected, just enter some basic info about your campaign, including subject line, campaign title, and the list to send it to. The finished product shows up in your MailChimp account as draft, ready to be reviewed and sent.

Connect with Scoop.it

Flash Issue

Another option for creating a “social newsletter digest” is Flash Issue. Flash Issue allows you to pull in content from specific RSS feeds, as well as search the web. Then, drag and drop your chosen posts into the Flash Issue editor, customize with a header image and an introduction, and send the campaign to MailChimp.

Just click Account in the top-right to bring up your account’s settings and integrations.

From there, Flash Issue will give you the option to connect your MailChimp account.

After connecting, you can click Send with MailChimp to create and send a campaign.

Flash Issue allows you to either leave the campaign in your account as a draft (in case someone else needs to review it) or send it directly from their interface without having to log in to your MailChimp account at all. Click Send With MailChimp to present a list of MailChimp-specific options, including list, subject line, and from name.

If you choose Save In MailChimp, you can log in to your MailChimp account and make any final adjustments (like segmenting your list or sending tests).

Connect with Flash Issue

More Options

We love our integration partners, and we’re building more neat stuff with them all the time. Keep an eye on our Integrations Directory, as our partners continue to roll out news ways to connect MailChimp to the other tools you use to run your business.