When you create an RSS-Driven campaign in MailChimp, you can use our automagically formatted merge tags to pull in RSS (Real Simple Syndication) content from your blog quickly and easily. RSS-Driven campaigns in MailChimp are driven by blog posts and automatically triggered when your RSS feed is updated with new information. You can even control how frequently you send out content as you're setting up your campaign. Below we walk you through how to create an RSS-Driven campaign using our Campaign Builder.
- Create an RSS-Driven Campaign
- First RSS send
- Set RSS send time
- Adding multiple feeds
- Control RSS feed content
- Viewing RSS campaign overviews
- Navigate to the Campaigns page in your account.
- Click the drop-down menu next to the Create Campaign button and select RSS-Driven Campaign.
- On the RSS Feed step, enter your feed's URL in the RSS Feed URL box and set the send settings for your RSS-Driven campaign.
You can send RSS-Driven campaigns at a specific time every day, every week, or every month. If you choose to send your RSS-Driven campaign every day, you can also select specific days for the campaign to send. For example, you may not want your daily RSS campaign to send on weekends, so you'd uncheck Sat and Sun from the day of the week options.
After you've set the send settings click the Recipients step in the progress bar or the Next button in the bottom right-hand corner.
- On the Recipients step, select the list you want to send to.
- To send to your entire list and proceed to the next step, click the Setup step in the progress bar or the Next button in the bottom right-hand corner.
To send to a segment of your list, click the name of the list and select Send to a saved segment to choose an existing segment or Send to a new segment to add new segmenting conditions. Then click the Setup step in the progress bar or the Next button in the bottom right-hand corner.
- On the Setup step, add your Email subject, From name, and Reply-To email address. Use the options below to select tracking, connect Social Media options, and set advanced options. When you're finished, click the Template step in the progress bar or the Next button in the bottom right-hand corner.
We've seen some users have success adding the *|RSSITEM:TITLE|* merge tag to the subject line of their RSS-Driven campaigns to pull in the title of their most recent blog post. However, we suggest testing your campaign thoroughly before sending as we can't guarantee that the title of the most recent post will always be display.
- Navigate to the Templates step and choose a template from the available options. You can use any of our Basic layouts or predesigned Themes for your campaign, but we recommend choosing one of the 2 RSS layouts if you'd like a template that already contains RSS content blocks.
- Move to the Design step using the progress bar or the Next button in the bottom right-hand corner.
- Drag and drop the RSS content blocks into your layout to customize the look and feel of your campaign. The RSS content blocks are pre-loaded with our RSS merge tags to pull in content from your feed.
RSS merge tags are special tags that pull information from your feed into your email campaigns. These tags are essential to RSS campaigns since these tags tell us what to look for when we are checking the feed. If these tags are missing, the emails deliver without any content.
- Once you're satisfied with your design, click the Confirm step in the progress bar or the Next button in the bottom right-hand corner.
- Review the pre-delivery checklist presented on the Confirm step.
Any errors or missing info are noted on this screen, click Resolve to navigate directly to the step to fix the error. If you'd like to make any additional changes, click the Edit button to return to a step.
- Use the Preview & Test drop down at the top of the page to Open Popup Preview, Send a Test Email, Run Inbox Inspection, or Test with Delivery Doctor. For additional campaign testing tips, click here.
- Click the Send Now & Start RSS Campaign button to immediately send a campaign to your list before the RSS email settles into the designated send schedule. The Start RSS Campaign button activates your RSS-Driven campaign.
When the button is clicked we display a confirmation message on the page to let you know when your first RSS email will send.
When you first set up an RSS campaign we show the last post that was added to your feed as an example. For daily sends, we won't send an email to your list until you post something new. Likewise for the weekly sends; if you've not posted for over a week, we won't send a weekly post until you make a new post. And similarly for monthly scheduled RSS campaigns in that if you've not posted for over a month, we won't send a monthly email until you make a new post.
If this is your first send, we only send the posts from 24 hours before your campaign was activated for daily, from the last 7 days for weekly, and the past 30 days for monthly.
You can schedule the time your RSS-Driven campaign sends on the RSS Feed step of the Campaign Builder. There are several options for scheduling your RSS campaigns:
- Daily Select the hour to send.
- Weekly Select the day and hour to send.
- Monthly Select the day and hour to send.
The one exception with the monthly scheduling is you cannot schedule on the 29, 30 or 31 specifically, but you can choose to send on the last day of the month instead.
There are a few different ways for you to add multiple RSS feeds to a single email campaign. Here are a few examples:
- You can add multiple RSS feeds in one campaign with our FEED merge tag. The FEED tag allow you to place as many separate feeds or posts in your campaign from as many sources as you need. The FEED tag works in any campaign type, including RSS-Driven campaigns.
- You can combine multiple RSS feeds into a single feed using a feed aggregator like Yahoo Pipes. Take a look at this blog post for more information.
When you use the Email Designer RSS content blocks we take care of formatting for you. However, you can add or remove the RSS Items to create a customized look. Just make sure to keep the *|RSSITEMS:|* and *|END:RSSITEMS|* options as your opening and closing tags. This tells the system what elements from your feed you want to include in your campaign.
RSS-Driven campaigns function differently than other types of MailChimp campaigns. When you create an RSS-Driven campaign we generate the parent copy of the campaign that is referenced for each individual send. When the RSS-Driven campaign sends to your list at it's scheduled time, each sent copy is referred to as the child of the parent campaign. All child RSS campaigns each have a campaign overview just like regular campaigns. To view the campaign overview for each child campaign, follow the steps below:
- Navigate to the Campaigns page.
- Click the Filter menu to expand the campaign filtering options.
- Click Type and choose RSS-Driven Campaign.
- Click the Apply button.
- Click the title or the Sent Campaigns button for the RSS-Driven campaign.
Under the Sent Campaigns heading, MailChimp displays every child campaign that's been sent for this RSS campaign. You can click the title of the campaign to view the campaign overview or click the View Report for a campaign to see how well each child campaign performed.
This feature is available to users with Author level or higher permissions. Take a look at this article to learn more about the different access levels for a MailChimp account.
- If you're seeing an error message when entering your RSS feed address on the RSS Feed step, we suggest running it through a feed validator as well as checking out the details in this article for specific information about the error.
- Unfortunately, you cannot control the RSS content via the MailChimp builder. It simply pulls directly what is listed in your feed into the campaign. So, if you would like to have line breaks between your paragraphs, you'll need to add them into the feed via your RSS source.