How to set up an RSS-to-email blog subscription for an external blog

Last updated: May 16, 2018

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Even if you don't host your blog with HubSpot, you can still offer an email-based subscription to your blog using HubSpot.

Navigate to your email settings

  • In your HubSpot account, click the settings icon settings in the main navigation bar.
  • On the left, click Marketing > Email

Create an email type for your subscription emails

Create an email type for your blog subscription emails. This will allow your subscribers to manage their subscriptions to all of your regularly scheduled emails separately, and if they decide to unsubscribe from one type of email, they won't have to unsubscribe from them all.

  • Click the Types tab. 
  • Click Create email type.
  • In the dialog box, add a name and description for your new email type, then click Save.  

create-email-type-dialog-box

Create a custom property

Next, create a custom contact property for your external blog. This will help you manage which of your contacts should receive these blog subscription emails. When creating this property, select Single checkbox in the Field type dropdown menu. Then click Create

create-new-blog-subscription

 

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.
  • Use the search bar under Add form field to find the property you just created, and click the property to add it to your form.

You can embed the form on your external blog pages

Create an active list of subscribers

Now that you have a contact property to keep track of subscription status, you can create an active list of your subscribers:

  • Navigate to ContactsLists and click Create list.
  • Click the pencil icon  at the top left and enter a name for the list, then click the dropdown menu in the upper left and choose Active list
  • Set your list filters to Contact property | select the property you created | is equal to | Yes.   
  • Click Done and then click Save in the upper right-hand corner.

If you already have an existing list of people subscribed to your blog emails, you can import the list of people as a CSV spreadsheet. 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

Now that you have a subscription list and email type, it's time to start creating the RSS email that will go out to 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.

Click Add an RSS feed to see a sample preview. Here you can add your external RSS feed URL and customize the styling of your feed within the Item layout/style text box. You can also set a maximum number of items to display and, by clicking Advanced feed options, customize the author line and set an image max width for your feed. Make any additional edits to the email as needed and add your from details

Move to the Settings tab and click the Email type dropdown menu to select the email type you created in step 2. Make any other settings changes (web version, campaign, etc.) as needed. Next, click the Recipients tab and select the list you created. 

On the Schedule tab, select your send frequency and the time of day you'd like the email to be sent. If you select Weekly or Monthly, you'll also be asked to select a day of the week or month. 

When you're ready, click Publish in the top right-hand corner. Your RSS email will be sent to your subscribers every day, week, or month (depending on your selection on the Schedule tab) that a new entry has been added since the previous send. 

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