MailChimp 101 Creating an RSS Driven Campaign

Create an RSS-Driven campaign with the Email Designer

  1. Navigate to the Campaigns page in your account.
  2. Click the drop down menu next to the Create Campaign button and select RSS-Driven Campaign.
    Select RSS-Driven Campaign
  3. 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.
    Feed and Send Timing

    After you’ve set the send settings click the Recipients step in the progress bar or the Next button in the bottom right-hard corner.

  4. On the Recipients step, select the list that you’d like to send your campaign to.
  5. 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-hard corner. 

    To send to a segment of your list, click the name of the list and select the Send to a segment option to add your segmenting conditions. Then click the Setup step in the progress bar or the Next button in the bottom right-hard corner.

  6. On the Setup step, add your Email subjectFrom 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 Design step in the progress bar or the Next button in the bottom right-hard 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 displayed.
  7. Move to the Design step using the progress bar or the Next button in the bottom right-hard corner. On this step select the Email Designer and choose a template to begin adding your content. You can use any of the basic layouts or select one of the 2 RSS layouts if you’d like a template that already contains RSS content blocks.
    RSS layouts
  8. 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 content blocksRSS 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.
  9. Once you’re satisfied with your design, click the Plain-Text step in the progress bar or the Next button in the bottom right-hard corner to move forward. Use the Copy Text From HTML button to automatically generate the plain-text portion of your campaign. Use the Preview & Test drop down at the top of the page to preview the plain-text section.
  10. Once you’ve finalized the Plain-Text step, click the Confirm step in the progress bar or the Next button in the bottom right-hard corner.
  11. Review the pre-delivery checklist presented on the Confirm step.
    Any errors or missing info will be 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.
  12. Use the Preview & Test drop down at the top of the page to Open Popup Preview,Send a Test EmailRun Inbox Inspection, or Test with Delivery Doctor. For additional campaign testing tips, click here.
  13. 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’ll display a confirmation message on the page to let you know when your first RSS email will send.
    Send Now or Start RSS Campaign

If you’d like to use one of our Basic or Predesigned templates, you can select these options on the Design step of the Campaign Builder. We have RSS-ready templates under the Basic and Predesigned options. Don’t worry if you want to use a different template than our RSS layouts! Other MailChimp template options or your custom template can be used for an RSS campaign.

First RSS send

When you first set up an RSS campaign we’ll 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’ll 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.

Set RSS send time

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.
      RSS daily
    • Weekly Select the day and hour to send.
      RSS weekly
    • Monthly Select the day and hour to send.
      RSS monthly

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.

Adding multiple feeds

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 will 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 our ChimpFeedrapplication. Follow the directions on the page to mash multiple feeds together.
  • You can also use Yahoo!Pipes to combine multiple feeds into a single feed for use in MaiLChimp. Take a look at this blog post for more information on that application.

Control RSS feed content

When you use the Email Designer content blocks we’ll 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.

Viewing RSS campaign overviews

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 will be 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 childcampaign, follow the steps below:

  1. Navigate to the Campaigns page.
  2. Click the Filter menu to expand the campaign filtering options. Click Campaign typeand choose RSS-Driven Campaign.
    Filter rss campaign
  3. Click the title of the RSS-Driven campaign.

Under the Sent Campaigns heading, you’ll see 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.
RSS campaign overview