RSS-to-Email is one simple use of RSS feeds and has been around for decades. However, behind the scenes, it has become far more sophisticated and, for a growing number of enlightened email marketers, it is transforming email campaigns and engagement results.
This article concludes with a little known toolkit for WordPress users that will put you streets ahead of your competitors and will delight your subscribers. It takes no maintenance once it is set up and outperforms industry standards for email open rate and engagement rate.
RSS to Email — what is it?
RSS-to-email is the process of taking content from an RSS feed and delivering it as an email to subscribers.
An RSS feed can contain content, such as blog posts, news articles, social content, podcast episodes, property listings, job vacancies, etc. Website content management systems (CMSs) like WordPress create RSS feeds as a default and can be used without any additional configuration.
Why WordPress RSS-to-email — and what are the benefits to you?
Put simply, WordPress is great at RSS output and RSS to Email campaigns can deliver great subscriber engagement. Best of all, they don’t take up any of your time!
If your website is built on the WordPress CMS then RSS feeds are built in as default. You’ll be able to locate feeds for posts, pages, comments, categories, and tags. If you create custom taxonomies, you’ll be able to create feeds for these, so a job board or property site may have an additional taxonomy with its own feed.
This is a huge opportunity for content creators to repurpose content and connect with the audience through an automated newsletter. Subscribers will receive content published in a timely and convenient way. And this can be fully automated!
Newsletters, when done correctly, are an amazing tool to connect with an audience and build relationships. When delivered consistently and with a focus on subscriber value they can become one of the most engaging channels for a business. They can also be hugely time-consuming if you have to pull them together manually. I know from raw experience the commitment and time required for this. However, with RSS-to-email, the curation is taken care of for you. You set up the campaign, set the schedule and it runs automatically.
The high percentage of sites built on the WordPress platform creates a huge opportunity for content producers. Making your WordPress RSS to email newsletter stand out is easier than you might think as well.
Benefits of WordPress RSS-to-Email
- WordPress creates RSS feeds by default
- It’s a great way to repurpose your content
- RSS to Email automates delivery, reducing resource requirements
- Engaging newsletters are a great way to grow subscribers
Limitations of RSS-to-email
The limitations very much depend on the service you use to deliver your content and what you want to achieve. For the basic automated delivery of content when it is published to your subscribers, RSS to Email is perfect.
When you want to style RSS content within your newsletter, you need to make sure the service you choose gives you the flexibility you need. Most ESPs will provide the ability to style RSS elements within your newsletter.
However, most services only enable you to automate a single RSS feed in any one newsletter. This gives you three options if you want to automate more than one feed in a single newsletter:
- Combine the content into a single feed and give your subscribers all of your content from all sources whether it’s relevant or not.
- Create multiple newsletters — so if a subscriber has multiple interests, they’ll receive multiple newsletters. Not ideal for anyone’s inbox zero attempts.
- Use a service like FlipRSS which is optimised for the delivery of multiple RSS feeds.
The majority of smaller newsletters use the first method, many newsletters opt for the second (See Kickstarter as an example) but a growing number are seeing the value in multi-RSS to Email newsletters.
Automating multiple RSS feeds in email campaigns
If you want to automate multiple RSS feeds in your newsletters there are ways to do this, and the little effort required will be returned 10x.
You can either use a feed aggregator like RSS Mix that mashes multiple sources together into a single feed, or you can use a service that allows multiple individual RSS feeds within your email campaigns like FlipRSS.
The first option gets around bombarding subscribers with multiple emails and delivers all of the content in a single email. But, it doesn’t enable the subscriber to select the content they are interested in and doesn’t give you any flexibility on how you style or separate your content within your newsletter.
A service like FlipRSS on the other hand, will allow you to include and automate multiple RSS feeds in a single email based on individual subscriber preferences. For RSS power users this can make a significant difference to the results you are getting from your email campaigns.
Automated doesn’t mean impersonal
There are two elements of personalising email content:
- including the personal details of subscribers within email content
- personalising the content within the newsletter based on subscriber preferences.
Both of these are possible in automated RSS to Email campaigns and prevent them from feeling cold or impersonal.
Automating multiple RSS feeds based on subscriber preferences requires little to no human resource and delivers a personalised subscriber experience. Doing this without automation is a non-starter. If you have a number of feeds, the number of potential combinations grows quickly and becomes totally unmanageable. For example, if you have 7 feeds there are 127 potential newsletter combinations.
The ultimate RSS-to-email toolkit
The combination of FlipRSS, Mailchimp and WordPress is an RSS-to-email marketers dream. This toolkit will help you empower subscribers, increase engagement and deliver results from your email campaigns that will be the envy of your competitors.
If you’re serious about delivering subscriber value, or you’re looking at ways to increase the performance of your email marketing campaigns, this is a winning formula.
FlipRSS enables you to give your subscribers the option of which content they receive from you — which content interests them the most. This could be a category on your blog; industry on a job board; social feed; website feeds; podcast feed or any other way you’ve segmented your content.
FlipRSS the integrates with popular ESPs like Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor to deliver the email campaigns. If you already have a Mailchimp account you can use your existing lists and templates.
Not only is this great information for you, but you can deliver newsletters tailored for each individual subscriber on your list, and it is 100% automated. Imagine this from a subscribers perspective — a single email containing only the content you’ve requested and are interested in. This is what excites us — we see the results this combination delivers for your clients.
Useful tools for RSS to Email Marketers
- Mailchimp — email service provider with automated RSS to Email feature
- WordPress — CRM with great default RSS handling
- FlipRSS — automate and personalise multiple RSS Feed email campaigns
- RSS Mix — RSS aggregator for merging multiple RSS feeds into a single
- Fetch RSS — RSS Feed Generator
- W3C Feed Validation — RSS feed validation tool
- Feedburner — RSS Feed tracking and syndication
- Feedly — RSS feed reader
How can FlipRSS help you?
FlipRSS integrates with Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor to automate multiple RSS feeds in email newsletters. Using advanced segmentation, FlipRSS enables your subscribers to select the content they wish to receive enabling the automated delivery of personalised content. FlipRSS clients are seeing big immediate increases in open rate, click-through-rate, and subscriber satisfaction.
Once set up, newsletters are created, customised and scheduled automatically. Sit back, watch your email stats outperform your competitors and focus on creating great content.
We’ll help you get set up, so get in touch.
Try FlipRSS here (30 days free, no credit card required).