What is flipRSS

flipRSS enables you to supercharge your RSS email campaigns with either Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor.

You can now automate multi-RSS email campaigns based on your subscribers content preferences. For example, if you have a blog with a number of different post categories, you could let your subscribers choose which they are interested in when they sign up. You can now schedule a daily, weekly or monthly email to your subscribers that only includes content from the categories they have shown interest in. It brings a new level of personalization to automated RSS-to-email campaigns that hasn’t been available until now.

How does flipRSS work?

flipRSS integrates with your existing platform and allows you to set up and schedule your campaigns and manage your RSS feeds. It uses your templates and lists from your chosen email service provider and sends through your account as normal. You can access all your email campaign reports as normal through either Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor.

What do I need to get started?

All you need is an account with either Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor. You can set up multiple campaigns within flipRSS so you could have campaigns with both if you manage different lists in different systems.

You’ll add your account credentials within flipRSS and include an API key, which can be generated from within Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor. We use this to integrate with your campaigns, templates and lists.

You’ll need a newsletter template within your account to which you’ll need to add a small line of code (don’t worry we show you exactly what to do in Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor).

Your list will need a way of segmenting your users based on their subscription preferences. There are a couple ways of doing this, which we will run through in more detail. The easiest way is through Groups in Mailchimp or Segments in Campaign Monitor.

Finding your API Key in Mailchimp

To find your API key in Mailchimp:

  • Click your profile name in the top right and select Account
  • Click the Extras option and choose API keys
  • Copy an existing API key or click the Create A Key button
  • Name your key FlipRSS, so you know what you are using it for
  • Paste this key into your FlipRSS account

For more information see Mailchimp's guide to API keys.

Finding your API Key in Campaign Monitor

In Campaign Monitor, finding your API Key depends on the version of the tool you are using. For detailed help on finding your API key, see Campaign Monitor's guide.

Finding your Admin URL in Campaign Monitor

For Campaign Monitor we also need your Admin URL - this is basically the URL you see when you first login. This will look something like https://fliprss.createsend.com.

What if I don't have a Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor account?

We currently only provide support for integration with Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor. If you use another email service provider and would like to use flipRSS to automate your RSS campaigns please get in touch and let us know who you currently use. We are looking to grow flipRSS and need feedback to help choose the best partners to integrate with.

How to set up your Mailchimp template

You'll need to design your newsletter and add a custom tag where you'd like your feeds to appear. If you've already uploaded your template into Mailchimp (here's help if you need it) find and click to edit your template and just add the following attribute, mc:edit="fliprss_content", to the element you want the content to appear within.

  • If you want your content to appear within a div tag it will look something like:

    <div mc:edit="fliprss_content"><div>
  • If you want your content to appear within a td tag it will look something like:

    <td mc:edit="fliprss_content"><div>

How to set up your Campaign Monitor template

Campaign Monitor works differently to Mailchimp. First off - you can't edit your templates within Campaign Monitor so you'll have to either enter the code we need to add before uploading your template, or export your template from Campaign Monitor in order to add what we need.

When you are editing your template you'll just need to add the following tags where you want your RSS feeds to appear: <multiline></multiline>. We'll inject your content between these two tags. Here's a guide to uploading your newsletter as a template in Campaign Monitor.

  • If you want your content to appear within a div tag it will look something like:

    <div><multiline></multiline></div>
  • If you want your content to appear within a td tag it will look something like:

    <td><multiline></multiline></td>

Create your first campaign

When you first sign up to flipRSS you’ll see two options: Connect to Mailchimp and Connect to Campaign Monitor. You can edit the details add these accounts at any point by clicking on ‘Settings’ in the main navigation, but as this is a critical step in creating a campaign we’ve made it compulsory to have at least one connection before you begin.

Once you’ve set up your connection(s) you can click to start a new campaign from within your dashboard.

Adding your campaign settings

This will take you to the campaign creation workflow starting with your “Campaign Settings”. It is worth having your Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor account open in another tab as you’ll need to grab some information to help you complete your settings.

First off you’ll need to give your campaign a name – this is for internal use and will be displayed as the internal campaign name within your chosen email service provider.

‘Email Subject’ is the subject line that your subscribers will see. See Mailchimp's advice for subject lines - See Campaign Monitor's advice for subject lines

From Name

From Name is the name you want your campaign to appear from when it arrives in your subscribers Inbox – i.e. James at flipRSS

From Email Address

Your from email address is the email address the campaign will appear to come from. Make sure this email address has been verified within your chosen email service provider. Instructions for Mailchimp - Instructions for Campaign Monitor

Template URL

If you log into your chosen email service provider and locate the template you will use for sending your newsletter, just copy the URL after you click to edit your template.

In Mailchimp this will look something like https://us9.admin.mailchimp.com/templates/design?tid=123456

In Campaign Monitor it would look something like http://flipRSS.createsend.com/templates/update/e13fr5ea6337e08d

List ID

Finding your list ID is slightly different for Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor - follow the relevant steps below.

Finding your List ID in Mailchimp

  • Login to your Mailchimp account
  • Click Lists in the top navigation
  • Choose the list you want to send your flipRSS newsletter to
  • Select Settings and click on ‘List name and defaults’ from the drop down that appears.
  • At the top of the right hand column it will show you your unique list ID and will look something like def1g8gh67.

Finding your List ID in Campaign Monitor

  • Login to your Campaign Monitor account
  • Click Lists & Subscribers in the top navigation
  • Choose the list you want to send your flipRSS newsletter to
  • Alongside the name of your list in the top left of the screen, click change name/type
  • On this page you'll see your API Subscriber List ID which will look something like 3e654287g1d76405b2b2928a38a021ed
  • Copy this and paste this into FlipRSS

What is a Test List ID

You may want to run a test of this campaign to see how your RSS feeds are being displayed and to ensure that users are receiving only what they subscribe to in their preferences.

If you create a new list within your chosen email service provider. Add a number of your own email addresses or team emails, each with their own subscription preferences, you can include this list ID in this field. When you’ve completed your set up you can test your campaign and we’ll send an instant test to this list.

Now Save your ‘Campaign Settings’ and click on the second tab, Add RSS Feeds.

Adding RSS feeds

In this section you can add your RSS Feeds and the conditions for which they’ll be shown.

Name

This is a name that will be used internally to identify your field but may also be used as a header for your field within your newsletter in future. This needs to describe the feed URL you enter below in a way that makes sense to you, and your subscribers.

Feed URL

Here you want to add the RSS feed URL you ant to include. If you don’t know the feed URL, one of the quickest ways is to enter the name of your blog into this Instant RSS tool http://ctrlq.org/rss/ By clicking the preview feed on this tool you can see if this is pulling through the latest posts you are looking for. When you’re happy you’ve found the right one click ‘RSS Feed’ – this will open the feed in a new tab – copy this URL and paste into flipRSS.

If you are looking for the RSS feed for a specific category in a Wordpress blog check out this link https://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Feeds#Categories_and_Tags

One way that might help is to view the source code of your category page. Do a find lookup for the term ‘RSS’ and this should bring you to a section that looks like the below:

<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="flipRSS Feed" href="http://flipRSS.com/feed" />

<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="flipRSS Comments Feed" href="http://flipRSS.com/comments/feed" />

<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="flipRSS inspiration Category Feed" href="http://flipRSS.com/category/inspiration/feed" />

Here the code lists the main blog feed, the comments feed and the category feed for the page you are on. Copy the category feed link highlighted above and add it to your flipRSS settings.

For other platforms you’ll need to check in their documentation what the category feed URL is.

Include this feed for all subscribers?

This is defaulted to being checked – meaning that all subscribers will receive updates from this feed regardless of what their preferences are.

By unchecking this you’ll see the conditional options. This is where you can set which of your subscriber groups receive the RSS Feed.

Conditional RSS sending in Mailchimp

If you're integrating with your Mailchimp account you'll see the option to conditionally show the feed by Merge variables or Group name.

If you use Mailchimp's Group feature to segment your subscriber list and preferences this is the easiest method. You just enter the name of the group you'd like this particular feed to show for in the field that appears under the select button for Groups. Click save and you're done.

If you only want to show the feed to subscribers based on a custom field value in your Mailchimp List - select the Merge variables option and enter the Custom Field Name in the Merge Var field - you can find this if you log in to Mailchimp and go to your list, click Settings > List fields and *|MERGE|* tags. Choose the tag relating to the field you want to segment your list by. In the condition field, set whether you want the variable to be equal to, great than, less than or not equal to, then enter the value of field in the Variable field.

So for example; I might want to send this RSS feed to all users on my list called James (unlikely scenario but as everyone has a first name field in their Mailchimp account by default you'll be able to relate to the values). For this I'd select Use a merge variable and Enter FNAME in the Merge Tag: field, equal to as the condition and James as the Variable.

Conditional RSS sending in Campaign Monitor

If you're integrating with your Campaign Monitor account you'll see slightly different options but offering the same functionality as Mailchimp.

Campaign Monitor's Segment feature is the easiest method to conditionally show your feed based on subscriber preferences. You just enter the name of the segment you'd like this particular feed to show for in the field that appears under the Specify a segment name button. Click save and you're done.

If you only want to show the feed to subscribers based on a custom field value in your Campaign Monitor List - select the Specify a segment name radio button and enter the Custom Field Name in the Merge Var field. You can find this in your Campaign Monitor account. Log in and select the list you are using for this mailing. Go to Settings > List fields > *|MERGE|* tags. Choose the tag relating to the field you want to segment your list by. In the condition field, set whether you want the variable to be equal to, great than, less than or not equal to, then enter the value of field in the Variable field.

So for example; I might want to send this RSS feed to all users on my list called James (unlikely scenario but as everyone has a first name field in their Campaign Monitor account by default you'll be able to relate to the values). For this I'd select Use a merge variable and Enter NAME in the Merge Tag: field, equal to as the condition and James as the Variable.

Once complete, click save and move to the third tab, Organise RSS Feeds.

Organising your RSS feeds

This is where you can re-order how they’ll appear in your newsletter. You can also edit any of the details you entered in the previous section and delete feeds no longer required.

Once finished editing the order of your feeds just click on tab number 4, Design.

Design options

OK, a little misleading as the design is mostly handled by your template however, you can control the layout of your RSS feed. You can choose whether you want images alongside the headline and description or stacked.

We will be looking to add some more customisation here in future and we’d love to hear from you what you’re looking for.

Once done, click save and tab number 5, Schedule and Send.

Schedule and send your newsletter

Your first option here is whether you want this scheduled or manually sent. If you choose manual it will send this one time only. This is useful for standard and one off RSS newsletter. If you choose scheduled, you’ll see options for the frequency of you newsletters.

Choose from daily, weekly or monthly and add the settings that apply to your choice.

Once you’re happy you can send a test email if you’d added a Test List ID in the Campaign Settings tab.

Once you are happy just click ‘Save Schedule’ and you’re done! We’ll take care of the rest. Just log in to your email service provider after the scheduled date to get your email report as normal.

Need more help?

If you need any help whatsoever just get in touch and we’ll happily help you get set up. Just email us at help@flipRSS.com and we’ll jump on it.