Why Doesn’t This Exist? Semi-Automatic RSS to Email Tool

Now that I switched Ashley’s site to WP Engine, I’ve been trying to figure out a good system to replace her outdated Feedblitz RSS to Email system so that her readers can get a weekly digest emailed to them (if they have subscribed to it).

The choices boil down to Aweber and Mailchimp and I’m in the process of deciding between them. They both offer RSS to Email options (see Aweber’s & Mailchimp’s).

There’s still not a perfect tool that exists for it – since they’re both fully automated and don’t allow for per-email customization. I’m wondering why this tool doesn’t exist (or if it does, I haven’t found it). Here’s the idea…

Semi-Automated RSS to Email

This would be the perfect scenario:

On Friday evening I get an email that says “Hey, it’s time to review the newsletter that’s going out tomorrow. Click here” so 1 of 2 things happens:

  1. If I ignore this email or don’t click over (I’m busy, traveling, whatever) it automatically sends out the email next morning (Saturday) with posts pulled directly from my RSS feed. It’s automated, requires no input, and makes sure my readers get my new posts.
  2. If I do click to review my email from the Friday night email, this happens:
  • I get a UI interface that pulls all of my posts from last week (vi RSS) that I get to click “include” or “exclude” so I can select which posts (especially if I write a lot of them) are going to be included in the email that gets sent out tomorrow.
  • I get a “would you like to add something at the top?” post box which lets me write anything I want to include before the RSS to email posts that I just selected. Here I can write a short recap, include some interesting links, or whatever – basically a way to personalize the email to my precious subscribers.
So to recap, the system would run on autopilot like it currently does with both Mailchimp & Aweber’s options. However, I would have a handy tool (& a reminder) to further customize the email that gets sent out, the evening before (or a few hours before) it actually gets sent out.
Either way, both me and my subscribers win.

Why doesn’t this already exist?

Posted 12 years ago on 09 August 2012

About Parker

Parker Benjamin is the owner of DMAD and has been writing for the web for over 10 years. He is passionate about design, Wordpress, travel, language learning, fine dining, and online marketing. Note: Some links on this site are monetized by affiliate programs - see disclosure for more details.

3 thoughts on “Why Doesn’t This Exist? Semi-Automatic RSS to Email Tool

  1. Mark says:

    I just stumbled across this post while looking for this feature for a client. Since you’re both on WordPress, I thought I’d share what I wrote back. I agree that the feature you describe would be awesome, but I think there’s a fairly simple workaround that gets most of the way there, so long as you know which articles you want sent out ahead of time.

    Each Category and Tag generates its own RSS feed. So if you create a tag or category that you use only for indicating emails to be sent by MailChimp (maybe “newsletter” or “highlights”) then you can setup the RSS campaign using that term’s RSS feed rather than the blog’s feed that includes every article.

    I also noted that it’s not too hard to write a little function to hide that RSS-to-Email flag term from the front end if desired, though it might even be nice to leave the term visible since it presumably highlights your most news-worthy posts.

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