BACKRSS to Email using MailChimp or Google Feedburner
Published on Thursday, April 26, 2012 Comment(s): 0
RSS is a powerful feature, especially if you run a blog. Read our article to find out what RSS is, plus how you can adapt a RSS feed to provide an email subscription service.
Before we begin tell you about RSS, let me tell you about Geonet Solutions! Before you look to drive visitors to a website, you need to make sure the website itself has been properly designed and developed to meet your requirements. Our UK web design agency have the experience and skills to produce a website that is right for you.
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RSS stands for 'Really Simple Syndication' and it can be used in all sorts of geeky fun ways. RSS feeds are not exclusive to blogs, but in the world of blogging a RSS feed is used to provide a list of your blog posts and related data. For most people they take a RSS feed and use it to subscribe to a blog. Then in a RSS feed reader such as Google Reader, they can easily follow a selection of blogs, which have their latest blog posts gathered thanks to the RSS feed data.
However a RSS feed can be used in a number of other ways as well:
- Third party services checking the feed and updating social networks.
- Using services such as Yahoo pipes to adapt or merge feeds to produce a new RSS feed.
- and more!
However what we are going to look at in this article, is passing the RSS feed to a third party to service, to provide a 'subscribe via email' service. The reality is some people won't follow your social network feed, bookmark your blog or use a RSS reader, but some will want to receive blog posts via email! Providing a RSS to email service can easily be accomplished, and we are going to look at two methods below.
RSS to email using MailChimp
You can use MailChimp to manage a list of up to 2000 subscribers free of charge, then after that you need to pay. MailChimp has a rich range of services, not just RSS to email. It is the next step beyond Google's Feedburner RSS to email service (which we will cover further down in the post), but also more complex to use. However if setup correctly, you can run campaigns via MailChimp that look stunning.
- You can be informed when people subscribe or unsubscribe.
- You can add or remove people from the subscriber list.
Some of the statistics you can view:
- Subscriber locations.
- Open rate.
- Email clients used.
- Subscriber count.
How to create a basic RSS to email campaign:
- Select 'RSS driven campaign' from the 'Create Campaign' drop-down menu.
- Paste in your RSS feed and set the distribution period, then select 'Next'.
- Select either 'Create a List' or 'Send to Yourself', and then select 'Next'.
- Then you can select the 'Form' code for to sign-up or unsubscribe, to embed into your website.
RSS to email using Google FeedBurner
Many years ago Google brought the Feedburner service and Feedburner provides a decent selection of services all related to your RSS feed. It can take a feed and produce a HTML list to embed in a website. You can also use the Feedburner service to take one type of RSS feed and output a good selection of different types of RSS feed types. So the RSS to email feature is just one of many RSS services you can use for free via Feedburner.
How to create a basic RSS to email service:
- Add your RSS feed to the Google Feedburner service.
- From the 'Publicize' tab you can grab the HTML code to embed into your website.
You can export your subscriber list, as well as remove people from the list. There are some options to configure the emails, such as adding a logo. However this is a basic RSS to email service, but for many, especially personal blogs, it is suitable. You won't be able to manually add new subscribers to your subscriber list, which you can with MailChimp (though never add anyone to a list without permission).
Setting up a RSS to email service really isn't just about finding the easiest solution to use, but the right solution for your requirement. If you are business you want to address branding, styling and probably have other requirements, such as migrating a subscriber base between services. So don't just pick the quickest option, but one that meets your requirements today, as well as making life easier tomorrow if you require more functionality.
Hire Geonet Solutions
A RSS to email service should be part of a larger marketing push, but before you start offering new subscription services you need to make sure your brand, website design, development and content are all working together to maximise your website's objectives.
Hire our UK web development agency to produce a website that meets your requirements.