FlipRSS Documentation

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 to your newsletter. Through FlipRSS, you can 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 personalisation to automated RSS-to-email campaigns that hasn’t been available until now.

What are RSS feeds?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and was set up to transform how people received and interacted with content online.

It is a standardised way for sites to share content that can be read by RSS aggregators and other services, like FlipRSS.

To save people from having to check back on their favourite sites for new content, RSS provided the ability for people to subscribe and be notified of any new content.

Most blog software has RSS feeds baked in. Wordpress for example has feeds for content, commenting, categories, tags, authors and more.

How does FlipRSS work?

FlipRSS integrates with your email service provider (Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor) to allow you to set up and schedule multi-RSS feed email campaigns. It uses templates and lists from the email service provider and sends through your account. You can access all your email campaign reports as normal through either Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor.

FlipRSS enables you to automate the delivery of multiple RSS feeds in your email newsletter campaign. By matching RSS feeds to groups or segments within your email service provider, FlipRSS also enables you to personalise the content individual subscribers receive based on their preferences.

What do I need to get started?

FlipRSS handles the management of RSS feeds and the set up and scheduling of campaigns. The actual campaign send will be through a third party service like Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor.

You can set up multiple campaigns within FlipRSS so you could have campaigns with both Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor if you manage different lists in different systems.

When you set up your FlipRSS account, you will be asked to authorise at least one of the two email providers using an API key (See below for info on this), which can be generated from within Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor. We use this to integrate with your existing campaigns, templates and lists.

FlipRSS adds the RSS feed content and segmentation using a template you specify within your mail service. You'll need to add a small line of code to the template you wish to use (don't worry we show you exactly what to do for Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor).

If you want to enable the advanced option of segmenting your newsletter content based on subscriber preferences, the easiest way is to set up Groups in Mailchimp or Segments in Campaign Monitor.

How do I find my API Key in Mailchimp?

To find your API key in Mailchimp:

  • Click your profile name in the top right and select Account
  • Click your profile name in the top right and select Account
  • Click your profile name in the top right and select Account
  • 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.

How do I find my 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.

How do I find my 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 do I set up my Mailchimp template to include multiple RSS Feeds?

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"></td>

Using Drag and Drop Templates

If you use Mailchimp’s drag and drop template editor you’ll need to take some additional steps to get this to work with FlipRSS.

The Mailchimp drag and drop template builder is really handy for quickly pulling together a newsletter design. However, we have found that code added with the drag and drop code section does not persist when the campaign is sent. For this reason, if you add the FlipRSS tag to your drag and drop newsletter this will not appear when the campaign is sent and Mailchimp won’t know where to insert the FlipRSS content.

How to fix this...
You can design your newsletter template with the drag and drop editor but then output the template as HTML. You can do this by going to your templates list within Mailchimp. Select the edit button to the right of the template you want to use and pick “Export as HTML”.

Open the downloaded file in a code editor and add the FlipRSS tag into your newsletter where you want your RSS feeds to appear. The tag only needs to be added to your template once. Save this file.

Go back to Mailchimp and the template list. Click “Create Template” and select “Import HTML”. Give the template a name you’ll recognise and select the file you saved at the previous step.

You can now select this template from your campaign settings in FlipRSS.

How do I set up a list in Mailchimp?

How do I set up Groups in Mailchimp?

How do I set up my Campaign Monitor template to include multiple RSS Feeds?

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 FlipRSS code 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>

How do I set up a list in Campaign Monitor?

How do I set up Segments in Campaign Monitor?

How to connect your Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor account to FlipRSS

When you first sign up to FlipRSS you’ll be taken to your Account Settings page. Here you'll need to connect to either your Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor account to continue. You can edit the details and add these accounts at any point by clicking on ‘Account 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.

How to create your first multiple RSS email campaign in FlipRSS

From your dashboard, click on the "New Campaign" Button in the top right.

You'll be shown a reminder of the key things to set up within Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor before setting up your FlipRSS campaign. You can Skip this page or click Next to start entering the details of your campaign.

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.

Send to options

The first drop down option is the mailing you want your campaigns to be sent to. The lists will automatically be pulled in from your Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor account. Select the list you want to send your campaign too from the drop down menu.

What is a Test List?

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.

Create a new list within your chosen email service provider and replicate the segments or groups from your main campaign. Add a number of your own email addresses or team emails to this list, each with their own subscription preferences, you can select this list here. When you’ve completed your set up you can test your campaign and we’ll send an instant test to this list.

Send From

The 'Send From' fields include the 'Sender Name' that will appear in your subscribers' inboxes and the sender email - NOTE: This email address needs to be verified within your email service provider and cannot be a free webmail address like Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail.

How to verify domains in Mailchimp

How to verify domains in Campaign Monitor

Subject

‘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

You can also use merge tags to create more dynamic subject lines.

Subject Suffix

The subject suffix allows you to append an issue number generated by FlipRSS to your campaigns. This is set to include nothing as default.

Preview

‘Preview' text will appear in some inboxes after the subject line

Click 'Continue' to save your details and move on to adding your first RSS feed - 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 within your newsletter. This needs to describe the feed URL you enter below in a way that makes sense to you, and your subscribers.

Show Name

Tick this checkbox if you want the Feed name to appear above the feed content in your newsletter.

Feed URL

Here you want to add the RSS feed URL you want to include. NOTE: This needs to be a valid feed URL.

What if I don't know the RSS Feed URL?

We've written an article to help you locate the RSS feed for a website.

New Items Only

Checking this option will ensure that posts from your feed do not appear in more than one issue of your newsletter. If a feed has no new posts, nothing will appear in the newsletter. If you've selected this option on all feeds and there are no new posts on any feed, no newsletter will be sent.

Max Items

You can limit the maximum number of posts to appear in your newsletter from any one feed by changing the number in this field. Currently the default is set to a maximum of 10 posts.

Options for displaying feeds to subscribers

You can choose if the feed is included for all subscribers or based on your subscribers' preferences.

Option 1 - All subscribers

This is the default option - meaning that all subscribers will receive updates from this feed regardless of what their preferences are.

Option 2 (**Mailchimp Only**) - A specific group

This option will appear for Mailchimp campaigns only. Checking this option allows you to show the feed to a specific group within your list. In Mailchimp you can set up Groups which allow your subscribers to specify interests or select options at sign up. This is hugely powerful and can be used to deliver relevant content to interested individuals. If you select this option you will see a drop down box appear that will include any Groups set up in the List you chose on the previous page. Select the one the feed relates to. NOTE: You need to have Groups set up within your Mailchimp account for them to appear in the drop down list.

Option 3 (**Campaign Monitor Only**) - A specific group

This option will appear for Campaign Monitor campaigns only. Checking this option allows you to show the feed to a specific segment within your list. In Campaign Monitor you can set up Segments which allow you to group users based on interests they specify at sign up. This is hugely powerful and can be used to deliver relevant content to interested individuals. If you select this option you will see a drop down box appear that will include any Segments set up in the List you chose on the previous page. Select the one the feed relates to. NOTE: You need to have Segments set up within your Campaign Monitor account for them to appear in the drop down list.

Option 4 - Use merge tags (Advanced)

This functionality exists for advanced users who want to show feeds based on merge variables in their campaign. Custom fields in lists can be used for an infinite number of variables and this gives you the flexibility to create unique criteria for feeds to be shown to subscribers.

Once complete, you have the options to 'Save' or 'Save and Add Another' feed. Clicking 'Save' will take you to the Order Feeds page.

Order Feeds

This is where you can re-order the feeds. The order they appear on this page will be the order they are displayed 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 'Save' and you'll be taken to the Design & Layout page.

Design & Layout

Template

You’ll be able to chose a template from the drop down menu. This list will be taken from the Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor account your campaign is linked to.

Layout

You can choose whether you want images alongside the headline and description or stacked.

Show Images

You can choose whether you want feed images to be included within your newsletter or not. Be aware ,if you choose the 'Inline' Layout option above and then choose not to show images, your feed content will be indented when displayed.

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 complete, click save and you will be taken to the 'Delivery' options. Schedule and Send.

Delivery

Your first option here is whether you want this scheduled or manually sent. If you choose manual it will only send once, when you click the 'Send Now' option. You will also see the 'Send to Test List' when the campaign is set to send manually. This is useful for testing against a secondary list which you provided in the earlier stage. The manual send is useful for standard and one-off RSS newsletters.

If you want to automate your campaign, check the box alongside 'Schedule Delivery'. 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 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 hello@FlipRSS.com and we'll jump on it.