Create a MailChimp RSS Campaign

Please note: This article assumes you have a MailChimp account. If you haven’t created a MailChimp account yet, please go to http://mailchimp.com/ and click on the Sign Up Free button before proceeding.

Campaigns are what MailChimps calls email newsletters.

An RSS Campaign is set up to send email automatically when you post new content to your blog.

Create a MailChimp RSS Campaign

► Login to MailChimp if you aren’t already.

► Click on the Create Campaign button or the Campaign menu option from the Dashboard.

This will take you the ‘Select a Type of Campaign to Send’ page.

► Click on the Select button to the right of the RSS Campaign option.

This will take you to the ‘RSS feed and send timing’ page.

► Type in the URL for your website in the RSS feed URL text box.

► Choose the frequency and time you would like MailChimp to send the emails by clicking on the drop down menus below ‘When should we send?’.

What you choose depends on how frequently you add new blog posts and how often you think your readers will want to see them. If you’re not sure, I recommend choosing ‘Every week’ for the frequency, ‘Sunday’ for the day and ‘6am’ for the time.

If you’re not sure, I recommend choosing ‘Every week’ for the frequency, ‘Sunday’ for the day and ‘6am’ for the time.

► Check the ‘Resize RSS feed images to fit template’ box.

► Click on the ‘Next step: Recipients >’ link in the bottom right corner of the page.

This will take you to the ‘To which list shall we send’ page.

► Click on the option you prefer.

I recommend leaving it on the default option of ‘Send to entire list.’

► Click on the ‘Next step: Setup >’ link in the bottom right corner of the page.

This will take you to the ‘Campaign info’ page.

► Enter a name in the ‘Campaign name’ text box.

This name will only be seen by you and anyone you give access to your MailChimp account, so use something that makes sense for you.

► Make any changes you would like to the headline MailChimp has entered in the ‘Email subject’ box.

I recommend leaving it at the default for now until you have time to figure out a catchy headline that works for all of your blog posts.

► Change the ‘From name’ if what appears there is not what you want.

I recommend using your name or your company name so that people can instantly recognize it.

► Change the ‘From email address’ if what appears there is not what you want.

► Read through the Tracking options and leave the default settings.

If you check any of these options, it will require additional work which is likely to distract you from completing this campaign. So for now, leave things as they are. You can always come back and update it. 🙂

► Click on the ‘Auto-tweet campaign as [name]’ box if you would like MailChimp to automatically send out a tweet when the RSS email is sent.

I recommend doing this if you have a Twitter account.

MailChimp will give you the option of changing the tweet text. I recommend doing that but keep in mind that it will be used for ALL emails that are sent so it should be appropriate regardless of the date or topic.

► Click on the ‘Auto-post to Facebook after sending’ box if you would like MailChimp to automatically add a post when the RSS email is sent.

I recommend doing this if you have a Facebook account.

MailChimp will give you the option of changing the post text. I recommend doing that but keep in mind that it will be used for ALL emails that are sent so it should be appropriate regardless of the date or topic.

► Click on the ‘Auto-convert video’ box.

► Click on the ‘Next step: Template >’ link in the bottom right corner.

This will take you to the ‘Select a template’ page.

You’ll notice a large selection of templates as well as a menu underneath the title but above the template images.

Go ahead and click on each menu option so you can see what they offer then go back to Basic.

► Scroll down to the bottom and click on the Select button next to the ‘Basic RSS’ template.

This will open the template.

Each of the section will give you menu options as you hover over them.

Let’s start from the top and work our way down.

► Hover over the top set of text and click on the pencil icon (it says, ‘Edit Block’ as you hover it).

This will bring up a Text Editing Panel to the right.

It’s very similar to MS Word or any other word-processing software so the options should look familiar.

If they don’t, hover over the icons and help text will appear.

► Highlight the default text in the Text Editing Panel and replace it will a short description of the email’s content.

For example, “Thank you for subscribing! The latest posts from my blog are below. Enjoy!

► Click the Save & Close button.

You should see the changes reflected in the template.

► Hover over the image placeholder section and click on the pencil icon.

This will bring up a Text Editing Panel to the right.

► Click on the Browse link.

This will take you the File Manager page.

► If you don’t see any choices you like, click on the ‘Import from URL’ drop down menu or the Upload button and choose an image you like.

This will take you back to the template which should show the image you selected.

► Click the Save & Close button.

You should see the changes reflected in the template.

► Hover over the next section and click on the pencil icon.

► Select ‘Custom’ from the drop down menu under ‘RSS Header Style’ in the ‘RSS Header’ Editing Panel

► Highlight the following and delete it

Updates from *|RSSFEED:URL|*

*|RSSFEED:TITLE|*

*|RSSFEED:DESCRIPTION|*

► Click Save & Close.

The rest of the sections can be left as they are. You’ll see why once you preview it. 🙂

► Click on Preview and Test > Enter Preview Mode from the top menu options.

This will show you what the email will look like to your subscribers.

If anything looks odd, click on the X in the top right corner and make edits to your template until it looks how you would like it to.

► Click on Preview and Test > Send a test email from the top menu options (after you have exited the preview mode window).

This will open a ‘Send a test’ box.

► If the email address is correct, click on the ‘Send Test’ button. If the email address is incorrect, change it and then click on the ‘Send Test’ button.

► Click OK.

► Check your email to see what it looks like.

► If everything looks fine, go back to the MailChimp window and click on the ‘Next step: Confirm >’ link in the bottom right corner.

This will open the ‘You’re all set to send!’ page.

Each option should have a green check next to it as your scroll down the page.

► Review each section. If anything looks odd, click on the Edit button to the right and fix it.

► Once everything looks good, click on the ‘Start RSS’ button in the bottom right corner.

MailChimp will open a ‘Confirm RSS Start’ box. 

Don’t worry. Nothing is going to be sent yet. MailChimp will wait until you have new blog posts and the date/time you set. 

► Click the ‘Start Campaign’ button.

MailChimp will open a confirmation page that includes when the first RSS email will go out. 

Congratulations!

Your blog posts will now go out automatically any time you publish new content.