Create and Automate a Smarter RSS-to-Email Newsletter with dlvr.it and MailChimp

Time to Read: 2 minutes

dlvrit_rss-to-email_smart_feed_creationThe RSS-to-Email feature on MailChimp is a true time saver. It allows me to quickly automate the newsletter creation process with content I am already writing on our blog. I love the idea of creating content once and automating the sharing in a systematic way.

Regardless of the RSS-to-Email service provider you use, this dlvr.it recipe improves any RSS-to-Email service by adding more controls and flexibility. Plus, it will save time and money. You can’t beat that.

  1. Choose specific content moving from your blog feed to your newsletter
  2. Specify a delivery schedule(s)
  3. Combine several RSS feeds into one newsletter
  4. Add a back-up feed if you need more content
  5. Limit the number of articles shared within each newsletter delivery cycle
  6. Create newsletters by category, author, subject matter and more for precise targeting
  7. Track the performance data of both social and email channels in one dashboard

The tutorial below walks you through the process of creating a “smart” RSS feed that will be used to power your RSS-to-Email newsletter on MailChimp or any email service provider that provides similar functionality.

Step 1. Create a dlvr.it route

If you are not a dlvr.it user, sign-up for dlvr.it and we’ll walk you through your first route set-up. If you already have a dlvr.it account, sign-in and click “+ Add Route” on the home screen.

add dlvrit route

Step 2. Name the new route and add an RSS feed

This can be your blog’s RSS feed or any RSS feed you want. You can add multiple RSS feeds if needed.

Name your dlvrit route

Step 3. Choose an update cycle

Click the “Feed Update” tab and choose a Feed Update Period. This depends upon how much content you write, how many blog posts you want to appear in your newsletter and how often you send out a newsletter. You’ll need to determine the right ratio. Unless you are sending out content multiple times per day, choose “Once a day” for the Feed Update Period.

dlvrit_feed_update_cycle

Step 4. Finely tune the content you share in your newsletter

Skip this step if you want your email subscribers to see everything you write on your blog. Click the “Filters” tab. If you prefer to create multiple newsletters or only share select content, fill in the appropriate boxes. For example, you could create unique newsletters by blog category or specific authors or when you write about <fill in the blank> only. NOTE: If you are creating multiple newsletters, you’ll need to follow these steps for each unique RSS-to-Email newsletter you are creating.

dlvrit filter content

Step 5. Set-up a delivery schedule

Click the “Scheduling” tab and when done click “save source” (bottom right). Maybe you want to send a newsletter out at a specific time(s) and day(s). dlvr.it holds the content in the RSS feed and alerts your Email-to-Newsletter provider that there is content available at the specified time(s) and day(s) you select.

dlvrit_content sharing schedule

Step 6. Click “+ add” to create a smart RSS feed

dlvrit_add destination

Step 7. Choose the RSS icon

dlvrit_choose_rss_output

Step 8. Name your new RSS feed

Name your feed, copy the Feed URL, select the number of items you want to appear in the feed and click “save” (bottom right). The number of items to choose depends upon how many you write between each newsletter delivery cycle and how many items you want to appear in the newsletter. This new Feed URL is what you will use to power your RSS-to-Email newsletter in MailChimp.

dlvrit_choose_rssfeed_name

Step 9. Click “route settings”

dlvrit_route_settings

Step 10. Set-up Tracking via Google analytics or any third party service

Click “Tracking” tab. Choose from Google analytics or Omniture one-click options or add any custom tracking code. All your blog content in the newsletter will include the tracking links you enter here. I chose Google analytics and replaced [desttype] with ‘newsletter.’ Now all your social and email newsletter tracking will be consolidated within dlvr.it. You can easily compare the performance of your social and email channels in the dlvr.it dashboard.

dlvrit_one-click_analytics_tracking

Final Step. Set-up an RSS-to-Email Newsletter.

Take the smart RSS feed we created in step 8 and follow the instructions in setting up an RSS-to-Email newsletter with your email service provider. Listed below are a few RSS-to-Email tutorials provided by the email service provider:

  1. MailChimp
  2. Aweber
  3. Campaign Monitor

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