Send Automatic MailChimp Emails of New Blog Posts

Social media has become a great way for content creators to inform their followers of new publications to their website. Email, however, is still the best method of communication for engaging your followers. Did you know that emails receive 50 to 100 times the click rates of Facebook or Twitter? (source)

But while email is a great tool to use for keeping your followers engaged, it takes time to create and distribute them individually.

To better utilize your time, I recommend configuring automated emails for your website. Once setup, your subscribers will be alerted in their inbox when you’ve published a new post on your WordPress site.

Below, I’ll outline the steps that you can take to configure these automated emails.

Step 1: Log into MailChimp

Head over to the MailChimp login page and enter your account credentials.

mailchimp-login

Step 2: Create a Campaign

In the MailChimp navigation menu, select Campaigns, then use the drop-down arrow and select RSS campaign.

mailchimp-create-campaign

Enter your site’s RSS feed URL. If you’re unsure of the RSS URL of your site, it’s probably yoursite.com/feed. Also enter the frequency that you want your emails to be sent then click Next.  Be careful when selecting the delivery frequency as lists that send emails too frequently may experience a higher rate of unsubscribes.

mailchimp-enter-rss-url

On the next screen, select the list you want your alerts to be sent. We’re going to select the entire list in this example.

mailchimp-select-list

On the next screen, enter your desired Campaign info details. Be sure to enter something relevant in the Email subject field. If you want to use a static subject line, enter that. If you would like to use the title of the post, for example, you’re going to want to use a Merge tag. When used, a merge tag will pull information from a specified source and present it in that location. In the example we’re doing, we want the email subject to be the title of the post on the website, so we’re going to use the title merge tag which is *|RSSITEM:TITLE|*.

campaign-info-screen-mailchimp

Step 3: Compose & Style Your Campaign

By this point, the technical work for your campaign is all done. Now, we just need to work on the visual aspect of the email. The next screen in MailChimp will present to you various layouts from which to choose. We’ll be using the basic 1 column in our example to keep things simple, but you can use whatever you wish. When you’ve chosen your layout, click Select.

email-templates-mailchimp

Now is when we get to the fun part. After you’ve selected your email layout template, you’ll be taken to a WYSIWYG editor where you can enter your email’s content and tweak its appearance. I won’t go into the details of how to style your email as you’ll want to do that on your own to match your website and overall brand image. If you want some suggestions, leave a note in the comments and I’ll take a look at your site and help you style it.

wysiwyg-email-design-mailchimp

Be sure to include a link to view your article somewhere in the email. I recommend using a CTA (Call to Action) button at the top or bottom of the message. To specify this URL, click on the button, then select Web Address (URL) in the panel on the right side of the screen. Paste the URL merge tag in this field. The tag is: *|RSSITEM:URL|*.

email-url-merge-tag-mailchimp

Step 4: Test & Save

Your automated email is now created and ready to go, but as a final step, I would send a test email to yourself just to be certain. To do this, just hit the Preview and Test button in the top right portion of the screen then enter the email address you want to use.

preview-test-email-campaign-mailchimp

If everything looks good in the test email, go ahead and click Start RSS in the bottom right corner of your screen to launch the campaign.

start-rss-campaign-mailchimp

Congratulations! You now have a process in place to automatically send notifications of new posts to your email subscribers. If you have any questions, be sure to ask them in the comments below!

Resources:

About the Author

My professional experience with the web reaches back more than 8 years. During this time, I've been developing sites for individuals and businesses, working on a team of digital experience analysts as well as providing qualitative and quantitative research surrounding web and mobile technology.

Jonathan

Web Strategist

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