The power of an RSS feed – how to keep your content fresh
With 24 hour news channels and social media feeding a constant flow of information and content into our lives, consumers expect timely content to be delivered straight to them all the time. And email can be one of the most efficient ways to achieve this.
But how can time-poor email marketers compete with other channels who are ready and waiting to announce the latest breaking news? Wouldn’t it be ideal if this process could be automated? It could save you from manually creating the content and launching the campaign, hoping you weren’t the last one out the door.
What type of content could you automate in your email?
If the content already exists on a 3rd party source, whether live on your website, a blog post, or Twitted feed, this could be directly pulled into your email campaign. All with the power of an RSS feed. An RSS feed contains live content scraped from a website to be replicated in other media, like your email campaigns.
To make this happen, your email campaign must contain XML coding to specify where and what sections of the RSS will appear. For example, you may only want the first and second breaking news articles to display in your campaign. Or just the first 100 characters of each Twitter post from your feed. You can even pull through images using the RSS feed, so the visuals can be just as timely and relevant.
Why would you use RSS feeds?
The perks of utilising an RSS feed in your campaigns are countless, but most importantly, you can benefit from:
- Time saved by not manually editing copy
- Consistent branding by using the same template each time
- Fresh and up to date content matching your subscribers’ expectations
Different scenarios of using RSS feed
An RSS feed can be used in so many different ways. For example, if you’re a retailer, you may use an RSS feed to announce the latest products or sales from our website, including even personalised product recommendations.
If you’re a publisher, an RSS feed may contain the latest breaking news stories that need to hit recipients’ inboxes as soon as possible. And if you’re a charity marketer, you may want to display the most recent blog posts or case studies about fundraising efforts.
And why not combine multiple RSS feeds from various sources into one XML template to showcase all your live content within one campaign? Check out the case study from Telecoms.com who dynamically populated their campaign with real-time content from their website and saved eight hours every week in the process!
Ready, steady, go!
All that you need to get started is:
- The URL of the content to pull into your campaign
- An HTML template designed to receive the feed
- Relevant content from an online source
Better yet, how about automating the launch process so that you can be confident your campaign will have fresh up to date content and be delivered at optimum times for your recipients? Talk about being in the right place at the right time!