Email Newsletter – Set and Forget

A macro shot of a tablet displaying an email newsletter sign-up

This article is about automating the sending of newsletters to your subscribers in a way that will make your work life easier!

The Issue

It won’t be earth shattering to anyone to say that sending news articles to an email list is a great way to reach out to your audience and drive traffic to your site. There are lots of ways to achieve this, but the scenario is always the same: you write articles on your site or blog, then you create an email newsletter in your favorite email service (e.g. MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc), manually copy and paste snippet of text for your articles, add an email, link to your article, and the list goes on.

This process can be time consuming when you are busy (and who isn’t) and have other things to do, but at the same time, driving traffic to your site is just as important. In that case, why not set it up so you never have to worry again about your email template and just focus on writing great content on your site or blog?

The Solution

To accomplish this, you will need MailChimp, specifically their RSS-to-Email feature. RSS is not a new technology, it is a standardized format that’s been around for a while now. They are typically used to share your website’s posts (article, news, etc) to anyone who wants to keep up with you. They can set up this RSS feed on their phone, newsfeed and even some TVs now are supporting this format, but MailChimp has made a clever use of it.

Basically, you create a mail template on MailChimp that it will use to send your newsletter to your subscribers. You set the header, footer and how you want your articles to be displayed. Then you input your article’s RSS Feed and the frequency at which you want to send your emails to your list. This should depend on how often you will have new posts to share with your audience, but the nice thing is that MailChimp won’t send anything if there’s nothing new to send from the last time. Then the last piece is to add a subscription feature to your site to get new subscribers and have their emails added automatically to your subscriber list on MailChimp.

This is what I meant by “set and forget”! Once in place, you can just focus on writing great content and don’t have to worry and stress about adding it to your email template and struggle to format it nicely, the chimps at MailChimp will happily take care of that for you.


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