How to create an RSS campaign

How to create an RSS campaign

Do you have a blog on your website? Would you like to automatically send a campaign to your subscribers with the posts you publish, so you don't have to do anything?

Since version 2, Mailrelay supports the automatic sending of campaigns from an RSS feed, such as the one generated by WordPress or some web services.

And now, with the Mailrelay V3, we have added more features to this type of email marketing campaign.

Now you can even add an RSS feed from Youtube.

Do you find that interesting?

Let's review this functionality and see the new features available.


Free and automatic email marketing for your Wordpress blog

First, let's look at the basic feature.

If you have a Wordpress website, for example, you can get your RSS feed quite easily.

On our website or blog, we have to right click on : View page source code.

If we click on this option, we will see the source code of our website or blog.

Don't worry, we just have to look for the text that indicates RSS:

When you click on the link, it will take you to another page, which is the RSS feed page, you can copy this URL, which is the one you will use in Mailrelay.

In the case of our blog, for example, it is this one:

NOTE: If your site is in maintenance mode, the feed will not be accessible. Also, some plugins generate problems in the feed, so access it manually to make sure everything is working correctly.

Well, normally, the feed will be updated with every new post you publish, and with Mailrelay you can configure the system to send an email with each new article you publish.

Campaigns - RSS Campaigns

The first thing to do is to go to the menu Campaigns>>RSS Campaigns

In this option, we will add a new RSS campaign in +Add and then click on Create campaign:

Well, now we will see some of the main options for sending RSS campaigns. These are the parameters that will define the campaign, so we need to be clear about them. Take a look at the following image:

Let's look at these parameters one by one:

  1. Subject: The subject line of the campaign, what our contacts will see when the campaign is sent.
  2. Preview text: a preview text that contacts will see when they receive the campaign.
  3. Sender: the sender of the campaign.
  4. Groups or segments: to whom the campaign will be sent.
  5. URL: the url of the RSS feed
  6. Number of entries: the number of entries the system should include in each campaign.
  7. Frequency: how often the campaign will be sent (daily, weekly, even manually).

Let's see what a real example would look like:

With that, we would already have the configuration done, but we have to prepare the campaign, which we will do now.

Important! Showing the post title in the subject line

If you want to show the title of the post directly in the subject line, just write this tag in the subject box:

{{ first_rss_entry.title }}

You can mix the tag with other text, for example:

Last entry: :{{ first_rss_entry.title }}

This way we can display the title of the entry together with some text to further personalize the subject line.

Preparing an RSS newsletter to send an email marketing campaign

To start preparing the campaign, it can be created using this layout:

The text box that is checked is the one we will use to embed the tags needed for the RSS campaign.

We click and select all the text to delete it:

After deleting it, we will use the Variables drop-down menu:

These variables will allow us to incorporate all the elements necessary for our RSS campaign to work properly.

What we mainly need is a Loop for the RSS entries (at least one is required):

This variable will insert the essential basic structure without which RSS emails can't work.

It works more or less like this:

The starting part {% rss_loop %} and the ending part {% endrss_loop %} should never be removed, although you can put them in several text boxes, the important thing is that the rest of the tags are included between these two.

The other tag {{ rss_entry.title }} is the tag that will be replaced by the title of the entry.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Check your RSS settings. The availability of RSS tags depends directly on the RSS settings of your blog or website. So, if your site's RSS feed doesn't have the summary tag, it will not be displayed. Or, if the summary in your feed includes the full article, it is the article that will be displayed instead of the summary.

Check your feed settings first to understand what is available.

We can see that if we insert the URL of the entry in this way:

Using this variable, what we will get at the end is a simple URL, not a link.

What should we do then to create the link correctly?

First, copy or cut the following tag {{ rss_entry.url }}:

After that, type in whatever you want, for example read more, or something like that, and use the link icon:

This will open a pop-up window like the following:

In it, we have to enter two values:

1. Protocol: we will choose the option other.

2. URL: we will write or paste the tag {{ rss_entry.url }}

With that, the text box will look something like this:

Basically, there are three tags.

Although we still have a few things to do, the campaign is already taking shape.

Inserting an image into RSS entries

Inserting an image into the RSS campaign is a very similar process to inserting the link.

In the editor's variable drop-down list, we will choose the URL variable in the Image block.

This will insert the variable {{ rss_entry.image.url }} into the text editor.

As before, cut or copy this tag.

After that, click on the image insertion icon:

In the pop-up window that will be displayed next, we have to insert the {{ rss_entry.image.url }} tag as follows:

IMPORTANT: at this moment, the image will not be displayed in the editor, but we will be able to  see it when the campaign is sent. Also remember that it is necessary that in your blog's RSS feed there are images available; if there are no images, the system will not be able to display them. Sometimes there are no images available in the feed, even if there are images available in the article.

Running a test and sending an RSS campaign

We already have the basic tags ready, now we can, before sending the campaign, send a test to see if everything is working as expected.

In the list of RSS campaigns, we have the following options:

If you click on the magnifying glass icon (the blue icon) you will see a preview of the campaign directly in your Mailrelay control panel.

And if we want to send a test, we can click on the green email icon.

This will take us to the next screen:

If we send a test of this campaign to Gmail, for example, we can see the following result:

As you can see in this example, all the tags have been replaced by the values of the feed.

Always remember to send a test before sending a campaign to a mailing list, to see how the campaign will look like.

Other feed types, e.g. Youtube

Instead of your WordPress website feed, you can include other feeds, such as the YouTube feed, which uses a URL similar to the following:

You can see how to search for your channel ID here.

However, be aware that there are some limitations to this type of feed, for example, it doesn't show the summary or the image.


But you can add the title and link to your videos.

This way you can easily share your videos with your subscribers.

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