Getting Started

Step-by-step setup of your first fully automated blog newsletter.

Automating a blog or content newsletter can be a great asset to your email marketing tactics. In just a few clicks, you can automatically pull your blog content into a newsletter and send to your subscribers on a regular schedule.

Watch the step-by-step video or follow the instructions below to build your first automated newsletter campaign.

Create your campaign

Login to your FeedOtter account and navigate to the Automated Emails module by clicking on the top navigation bar.

Click New Automated Email to create a new automation.

Give your email campaign a memorable name and click Next.

Add your RSS feed

If you haven't already, find your RSS feed URL and paste it into the appropriate box in the FeedOtter interface.

FeedOtter supports any valid RSS/Atom/XML data feed. In addition, FeedOtter supports adding multiple RSS feeds which can be combined into 1 content stream or used to create complex multi-section newsletters automatically. If you’re not sure if your RSS feed will work with FeedOtter we recommend using to ensure your feed is valid. Any valid feed will work with FeedOtter.

Here, we also told FeedOtter to display 5 posts with each email send. This means FeedOtter will only send up to 5 new posts in your email.

At this point an email preview has likely appeared showing your content. We will talk about email templates and how you can use a custom email design in a moment but we need to finish setting a few basic email details first.

FeedOtter by default only sends new content(content that hasn't been previously sent via FeedOtter) and is set to require new content to send. If checked, FeedOtter will only send an email to your ESP if there's new content(determined by the published date in your RSS feed) in your RSS feed.

To override this setting and ensure an email is always sent at your scheduled interval, deselect Require new content to send and select Allow Old Content.

Allow Old Content tells FeedOtter to include old posts(posts that are older than the most recent send date) if there isn't enough new content to fill your email.

Select a template or use a custom design

FeedOtter includes a growing library of verified, Litmus-tested, email templates that you can use to build a great looking automated email very quickly. To browse the available templates select the TEMPLATE tab located in the left column underneath the RSS Feeds tab.

Here you'll be able to customize with the following options:

Template Library: Browse and select from our pre-built templates.

Code View: View, edit, tweak the code of the template you are using. Great for power users wanting to customize CSS stylings not editable via the UI(Properties below are the customizable CSS options for all templates).

Properties: In this tab you can edit the colors, upload logos, and tweak our prebuilt templates fast.

If you are using one of the built-in email templates you can choose from any number of customization options. All our templates include customizations for:

  • Adjusting colors to match your brand

  • Uploading a logo or header file

  • Resizing logo width

  • Updating CTA text for each post blurb

  • Adjusting post body character limit

  • Customizing the footer

Setup sender information

Click on the Sender button in the left menu. Enter in the From Name, From Email, and Subject text you wish to use for your automated emails.

Since our emails will be automated there are special features that will allow us to more easily make our subject lines interesting.

To insert dynamic FeedOtter content into your subject line, select Insert Post Data. Choose the item you'd like incorporated in your subject line and you can refresh the preview below to see an example of what your subject will look like.

Here we use the special FeedOtter tokens listed below the subject box to insert dynamic content data including the title of the most recent post and the author. The subject box also supports plain text and merge tokens from your ESP, as well as date tokens or any other FeedOtter merge tokens.

Schedule your emails

When scheduling your email, you can choose to send your content every time a new post is published to your feed, hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly.

Learn more about scheduling your automated newsletter campaign below.


Setup and customize UTM code tracking

The RSS email we are creating will be sent by your ESP and will rely on their built-in campaign reporting to measure email engagement statistics such as opens and clicks but we also want to measure the increase in website traffic delivered by our content emails. To do this we can use UTM parameters.

FeedOtter has a built-in feature that will automatically add the correct UTM parameters to your content links so every click on your content will be tracked in your Google Analytics. This feature is on by default but can be customized as need be.

To setup/view the UTM settings:

  1. Click on Settings on the left-side menu

  2. At the very top select Setup UTM Codes

Here you can update the settings as need be or turn off the feature entirely.

Integration & Activation

At this point you are ready to connect your ESP/marketing automation software and activate your automation. Please follow the link below for instructions for your specific ESP.

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What happens next?

Once you've added your ESP connection details and activated the email campaign, you can view, pause, and interact with your automated RSS email from the dashboard.

When the next scheduled send time is reached, FeedOtter will pull content from your RSS feed and compose a new email in your ESP.

This email will be scheduled to send. Sending will begin as fast as your ESP can process the email.

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