RSS Feed is a great tool to implement on your site, it helps readers stay up-to-date with what is new on your site. And integrating your RSS Feed with Mailchimp is an even greater tool. As it will automatically send out updates to your subscribers. Email update which you can customize according to the subscribers interests, theme of your site and even personalize the email. In addition, you can also customize how frequent the emails are sent out. Which promote and improve additional site traffic. It is a super easy setup, but I’ll still walk you through it in the case you are having difficulty.
If you haven’t setup Mailchimp, see my post Mailchimp & WordPress. And if you have yet to setup your RSS Feed, see my post RSS Feed & WordPress. But, if you have all that setup already, let’s begin setting up our RSS Feed email automation with Mailchimp.
Sign into Mailchimp, go to campaigns and start a new campaign. You will find the button at the corner labelled ‘Create Campaign’. An additional screen will pop up, select ‘Email’, from there select ‘Automated’, then ‘Share blog updates’. You can choose to change the campaign name or leave it as it. And should you have multiple lists select the list you would like the campaign to be directed toward, then hit ‘Begin’.
The next screen that appears will ask for your RSS Feed URL, if you can’t know it, you can type in your site and Mailchimp will figure it out for you. But, in the case that doesn’t work and Mailchimp isn’t available to find it, your RSS Feed URL is yourdomain/feed. From there select when you would like your emails sent, daily, weekly, etc. along with the time. I suggest weekly updates sent out on a Monday. In addition, as a tip click ‘Resize RSS feed images to fit template’. This will allow Mailchimp to adjust your blog images accordingly, better organizing the appearance of the email. Once that is done hit ‘Next’.
Select the subscribers you would like the email to be tailored toward, whether it be the entire list or a customized segment. From there hit ‘Next’ and fill in the campaign information. I recommend changing the ’email subject’ to something more intriguing, attention grabbing. This will help boost the likelihood of your subscribers opening the email. I also recommend keeping the *|RSSFEED:TITLE|* for *|RSSFEED:DATE|*. As it helps subscribers better organize their email updates from your site. But, definitely add some personality to the subject line. As for ‘From name’ I suggest using your personal name as it is more personable, rather than your site name. As for the tracking, definitely leave as is. You could also add the campaign to social media, such as Twitter, Facebook and whatever additional social media accounts you have set up on Mailchimp. As this will also boost site traffic. From there click ‘next’ and begin customizing the email. You can select a layout and adjust it accordingly or apply a basic template.
Now it is a matter of customizing the email, dragging the widgets you would like to appear in the email. I will give you my suggestions:
Social Share (I don’t use it, but it might be a good tool to add)
Add an image as a header or your logo, whichever you choose. I wouldn’t bother with the RSS Header as it is pointless. Once your widgets are setup and placed where you would like. It is time to customize them according to your blog theme, changing the fonts and colours, making them consistent with your brand. Changing the colour of the links can be tricky. It took me a while to figure out, so have a look at the next step for a breakdown on how to do it.
Click out of the widget, so that you are not in the customization of that widget. Then go to ‘Design’ which is beside ‘Content’ (this is located at the top bar of the widgets). Go to ‘Body’ and scroll down to ‘Body Link’, from there you can adjust the font colours for the links, so they match your theme. You could also adjust your header image as well. Once you are done you could preview your email. Here is a preview of mine as an example:
Once you are happy with the look, then you can begin the automation and you are done. Mailchimp will do the rest of the work for you and you don’t have to worry!
Ps. You can adjust the layout and setting at any moment. And doing so, you must put the campaign on hold and edit from there. Just don’t forget to start the campaign again once your adjustments have been made!
Hope this was helpful and should you have any questions or concerns, leave a comment below. Or email me directly and I will help you to the best of my ability.