MailChimp's *|FEED|* merge tags allow you to include blog posts from any number of RSS feeds in any of your campaigns. You can even add *|FEED|* tags to an  RSS-driven campaign, allowing you to add additional blog content to your scheduled RSS campaigns. In this article, you'll learn how to use *|FEED|* merge tags in your campaigns as well as how to customize how your blog content appears in your campaign.

In this article:

Add a feed to a campaign

This is the FEED tag shown with a URL and specifications for the content to be pulled from that URL. To enter a blog post into your content, type this tag into your campaign in the  Design step of the Campaign Builder like you would any ol' text. You can add in any other content or images around the tags, as well.

Place the FEED merge tag into your content

  • The URL, in this case: http://www.mailchimp.com/blog/feed/, is the URL for your RSS feed.
  • The variable $count=2 is how many blog posts you want to show in your campaign. Just replace the number 2 with the number of posts you'd like to show.
  • The variable $content=full notes that you want to show the full blog post. You can leave out this variable if you just want to show a short excerpt or summary of your RSS item.
  • The variable $content=titles will show the titles of your RSS items as a link and nothing more.

In this example, we're using the tag *|FEED:http://www.mailchimp.com/blog/feed/ [$count=2]|* with notes, we just want to show excerpts from two blog posts from the MailChimp blog.

With this tag, you can include posts from multiple blogs. Just use a separate *|FEED|* tag for each URL you want to pull in content from.
Example MailChimp blogs included with FEED tag

Customizing your feed

If you want more control over blog content, we let you decide which elements of your RSS feed get included in your campaigns through the use of *|FEEDBLOCK|* merge tags. These work by identifying the section of your content that is going to be pulled in from a feed and then, within that section, identifying the information you want displayed from your posts based on the merge tags you include. Follow the steps below to get started.

  1. Use the *|FEEDBLOCK:URL|* and *|END:FEEDBLOCK|* tags to mark the beginning and end of your feed section. Replace "URL" with your RSS feed's URL.
  2. Between the *|FEEDBLOCK|* tags, enter your opening and closing *|FEEDITEMS:$count=#]|* and *|END:FEEDITEMS|*. Replace the "#" sign with the number of posts you'd like to pull in from your feed. The default number is five.
  3. To specify the content you want displayed for each post, use any available item-specific feed tags in between the beginning and ending *|FEEDITEMS|* tags you set up in step 2. For example, your text might look like this:

The tags within the opening and closing tags tell MailChimp to pull in the title, date, author, and a short summary of the content for each blog post in the feed. Read on to learn about the available feed tags and how to use them in your campaign.

Feed-specific tags and their use

Below are our feed-specific tags followed by a brief description of what they do. You can copy and paste the tags directly into your campaign.

The title of the RSS feed

The publish date of the feed

The URL for the feed as a whole, if provided

The feed description, if provided

Displays the posts on your RSS feed. The default number of posts is 5.

Limits the number of posts on your RSS feed

Item-specific tags and their use

Below are our feed item tags followed by a brief description of what they do. You can copy and paste the tags directly into your campaign.

The title of the RSS item

The URL for the RSS item

The publish date of the RSS item. This tag allows you to include date formatting options, which are available at php.net.

The name of the author for the RSS item, if provided

The URL for comments on your post, if provided

A comma-separated list of the categories (tags and "posted in") for the RSS item.

A short summary of the RSS item content in HTML format

The full content for the RSS item in HTML format, if provided

A short summary of the RSS item content in plain-text format

The full content for the RSS item in plain-text format, if provided

Lets you pull in images from your RSS feed.

A link to any attached file (like a podcast) with an icon, file name, and file size

The URL for any attached file (like a podcast)

A link to the external "source" of this item, if one is provided.

This tag will just type out your URL, it will not automatically create a link. If you want the source to be displayed as a link you'll need to create a link in your campaign. When you set up your link, set your protocol to "other" and place the merge tag in the "URL" field.

The title of your source URL.

Adds a Like button for the particular RSS item.

Adds a Tweet button for the particular RSS item.

Adds a Tumblr Button for a particular feed item.

Adds a Google +1 button for a particular feed item.

Adds a "Read Later" button for a particular feed item which directs subscribers to Instapaper's website to save the URL for the feed item.

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