Allowing people to automatically receive your latest WordPress blog posts via email is a great way to build a following. Some people just like to read the latest articles from your website using good old-fashioned email.
Step 1 – Prepare your WordPress blog
You need to find your your RSS feed URL because you will be asked to enter it into your mailchimp campaign.
http://example.com/?feed=rss http://example.com/?feed=rss2 http://example.com/?feed=rdf http://example.com/?feed=atom
By default, any images that you insert into the main content area of your WordPress posts will appear in your MailChimp emails. However featured images will not, because WordPress doesn’t output them into the RSS feed. There’s a handy plugin called Featured Images in RSS w/ Size and Position. This outputs the featured images into your RSS feed so that they are pulled through into your MailChimp emails.
Simply install and activate the plugin, go to Settings > Featured Images in RSS Feeds in the WordPress Admin, and configure the 2 settings.
Step 2 – In Mailchimp set up a Campaign
I am just going to assume that you are already on mailchimp and manage your lists and campaigns. A ‘Campaign’ is basically any email that is sent by MailChimp to your subscribers. The next step is to create an RSS-Driven Campaign which will automatically send your new blog posts to your subscribers.
- Go to the Campaigns section of your MailChimp account
- Click the little arrow next to Create Campaign and choose RSS-Driven Campaign
- Add the RSS feed URL which you copied in Step 1 – e.g. http://your-domain.com/feed
- Choose how often the emails will be sent and click Next
- Select the list you created in Step 2 and click Next
- On the Campaign info screen, fill in all the information (email subject, From name etc.) and click Next
- On the Basic tab of the Select Template screen, select one of the built-in MailChimp templates with ‘RSS’ in the title – for example ‘Basic RSS’ or ‘Right Sidebar RSS’
Now you get to design the email that will be sent to your subscribers whenever you add a new blog post. Once you have finished designing your email, click Preview and Test at the top of the screen. Enter Preview Mode lets you view how the email will look on mobiles and full-sized screens. Send a Test Email lets you send a test email to yourself. It’s important to test your email in both of these ways before sending anything to your subscribers. Once you’re completely happy with your email, click Next at the bottom right of the screen
Now your email is set up and will start being sent to your subscribers at the frequency you have selected. The email will only be sent when you have added new blog posts to your website, otherwise nothing will be sent.
Step 3 – Add a MailChimp signup form to your WordPress blog
Now everything is in place, you need to create a signup form so that readers can subscribe to your blog by email. The best way to do this is usually to add a signup form on your wordpress site. You can read about how to do it from another one of my blog posts.
Step 4 – Start blogging!
Everything is now in place. Regularly add new posts to your WordPress website and MailChimp will take care of the rest.