Set up an RSS-to-email blog subscription for an external blog

Last updated: February 20, 2019

Applies to:

Marketing Hub  Professional, Enterprise
Legacy Marketing Hub Basic

If you don't host your blog with HubSpot, you can still offer an email-based subscription (RSS) to your blog using HubSpot.

  1. Create a subscription type
  2. Create a custom property
  3. Create a subscription form for your external website
  4. Create an active list of blog subscribers
  5. Create a new RSS email

Create a subscription type

Your contacts manage their subscriptions to all your emails separately. This way, if they decide to unsubscribe from one subscription type, they won't have to unsubscribe from them all. To create a subscription type for your blog subscription emails:

  • In your HubSpot account, click the settings icon settings in the main navigation bar.
  • In the left sidebar menu, navigate to Marketing > Email

Create a custom property

Next, create a custom contact property for your external blog. This will be used in your subscription form, and to manage which of your contacts receive these blog subscription emails. Click the Field type dropdown menu and select Single checkbox. Then, click Create.

Create a subscription form for your external website

Next, create a subscription form for these emails that you can embed on your external blog pages so that visitors can easily subscribe.

  • In your HubSpot account, navigate to Marketing > Lead Capture > Forms.
  • Click Create form.
  • Under Add form field, use the search bar to find the property you just created, and click the property to add it to your form. You can embed this form on your external blog pages.

Create an active list of blog subscribers

Next, create an active list of your blog subscribers:

  • In your HubSpot account, navigate to Contacts > Lists.
  • Click Create list.
  • In the upper left, click the pencil  icon and enter a name for the list, then click the dropdown menu and select Active list
  • Set your list filters to Contact property | select the property you created | is equal to | Yes.   
  • Click Done.
  • In the upper right, click Save.

If you already have an existing list of contacts subscribed to your blog emails, you can import the list from a spreadsheet. Be sure to include a column for Email with your contacts' email addresses and a column with a header that matches the property label for your subscription status property. Enter Yes as the value for all rows in the subscription status property column.

Create a new RSS email

Next, create the RSS email that will go out to your blog subscribers. The RSS email is simply an email template that you can customize to include the latest items from a particular feed, such as the RSS feed from your blog. You can use any email template that you like for this email, as long as it contains a main email body module.

  • In your HubSpot account, navigate to Marketing > Email.
  • Click Create email.
  • In the dialog box, select Classic editor.
  • Select a template for the RSS email.
  • In the dialog box, give your RSS email a name and select the Create as an RSS email checkbox.
  • In the email editor, click the Edit modules icon in the left sidebar, then select Main Email Body.
  • In the RSS feed URL text field, enter an RSS feed URL to see a sample preview of the feed.
  • You can also set the number of posts to feature in each RSS email, and customize the styling of your feed within the Item layout/style text box. 
    • You can move around the tokens in your RSS email or adjust the fonts and font sizes.
    • Click Advanced options to customize your author by line or set a max width for your post images.

Please note: each send will only include new posts since the prior send of the email, up to the maximum number you've chosen. For example, if you've set a maximum of five posts to display in your RSS email and the next week you only publish three blog posts, the next send of your email will only include those three new posts and will not pull in two posts from the previous week. 

  • Make any additional edits to the email as needed and add your from details

  • Click the Settings tab.
  • Click the Subscription type dropdown menu to select the subscription type you created. Make any other settings changes (web version, campaign, etc.) as needed.
  • Click the Recipients tab and select the list you created.
  • Click the Schedule tab and select your send frequency and the time of day to send the RSS email. If you select Weekly or Monthly, you'll also be asked to select a day of the week or month. 

  • In the upper right, click PublishYour RSS email will be sent to your subscribers every day, week, or month that a new entry has been added since the previous send.