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Saturday, 13 October 2012

Using MailChimp to Send Email Updates of Your Blog

Item in original English Web Training Wheels then see a Spanish version of how we can use MailChimp to send e-mail updates of my blog, or indeed of any website that has RSS.

First we need to create an account with MailChimp which is free. If you have a small website with less than 1000 subscribers then we should not pay anything. For larger sites already exist then special plans depending on the amount of emails sent or the number of subscribers per month, etc..
Import contacts into MailChimp

The first task we must do is to import existing contacts or emails that we list. Obviously we forget to be spam and we get contacts with their consent. Contacts should be chosen to join the newsletter, otherwise if MailChimp learns that we intend to spam, can bannearnos inmediantamente account.

To import the contacts there are many options, but perhaps the best known are:

    Import contacts from a CSV file
    Import contacts from Excel spreadsheet
    Use a WordPress plugin for allowing import contacts MailChimp
    Transferring contacts from other media

Organizing blog subscribers

Once you create your account and validate it, and we have imported some contacts we are able to organize blog subscribers in the contact list of MailChimp.

What we suggest is to have a single list in MailChimp and then use groups to define target segments. For example if we want to send a group of people a blog update email each week we can create a group that meets these conditions.

You can create different groups with different values, for example if we send updates about products or events, and allow users to subscribe to each of them.
Create a new campaign in MailChimp
Then we have organized subscribers can create a new campaign with blog updates.

Once you create RSS driven campaign campaign we will have to specify the URL of the RSS feed. Here we can choose to indicate a single RSS feed or use ChompFeed, which is nothing more and nothing less than bringing MailChimp option to combine multiple feeds. This we can do it with Yahoo Pipes but certainly using MailChimp in the same service might be a good idea to combine multiple feeds into one. Ideal for example if we have several blogs and news we want to send them all at the same time and the same subscribers.

Finally we choose the group of recipients who had previously created. For that reason we chose to send a segment and then choose the combo box the group in question.

Once we click on Use Segment must complete other options using the following pages we will. Everything seems very intuitive from here on, until we come to the selection of layout where we select a newsletter format that suits our needs.
In order to include the last ten entries of RSS in email content must specify the following in any part of the contents
But besides these tags, we can also specify other merge tags for feeds, as specified in the documentation of MailChimp. For example if we want to give to each entry format may use the tags RSSITEMS merge as follows.
This allows us to format the newsletter to make it look better, rather than a list of titles of entries only.
Other considerations to take into account

It is important to properly set the day and time that updates are sent. What is the best time will depend on your business or niche you're particularly focused, since for example we can send an update in the morning and many people read their emails before going to work, when in fact many others prefer to do it in the day or at night. For some topics is better to send the start of the week, but for others it may be better to send midweek and on a schedule unconventional.
In addition, you may configure a dialog sign up for your blog. In fact it is important that you do as this will add new subscribers.
For this there is a WordPress plugin called MailChimp List Subscribe Form that can be used. But you need to get your API Key MailChimp account first.
This plugin adds a new widget to your WordPress and configuring it from the WordPress admin interface then you can add a signup form on your site.
 Finally it's time for glory (as stated in MailChimp), where we will have to click on the red button to start the campaign RSS.