By Ros Hodgekiss on 11th July 2013
Things have changed We're in the process of updating the techniques in this blog post - until then, take a look at a new method for adding Instagram images in our forums. Oops! Outlook 2007+ does not correctly resize images. We're looking towards improving how RSS images are resized, so we'll update this post if we include a workaround for this issue.
Wish you could automatically share happy snaps from an Instagram account with your subscribers? Or just want to brighten your newsletters with #selfies, #fog or #food? Using RSS-to-email and Statigram, it's possible to pull a feed of photos into your email content - here's how.
Bringing Instagram to the inbox is an itch I've wanted to scratch for a while now - admittedly, I'm an Instagram tragic, to the point where no entree or outing can go unrecorded. So, the idea of being able to share heavily-filtered moments via email is something I find downright irresistible.
For the longest time, the issue that has prevented senders from automatically pulling in photos has been that Instagram doesn't provide an RSS feed for either accounts or hashtags. Enter Statigram, a free-to-use service that hits both birds - using its feeds, you can pull in images, descriptions and a link to the image (hosted on Statigram), then plonk them into your templates.
Statigram provides two feed URLs for accounts and hashtags respectively, in the following format:
http://statigr.am/feed/your-account (eg. http://statigr.am/feed/chrome_industries) http://statigr.am/tagFeed/your-hashtag (eg. http://statigr.am/tagFeed/fog)
These URLs work just as effectively in an RSS reader as they do in your email campaigns. Now we've got our content, let's move on to placing it in an email campaign.
We'll start with adding photos to recurring RSS campaigns first, as it's by far the easiest way to ensure images get pulled into your email templates. It's also a good option if you want to share your photos automatically and on a regular basis.
To get started, create a new campaign and select "Recurring RSS Campaign" when prompted. Then, simply add the feed URL under "Start with the website's address" and voila, the most recent photos should get pulled in.
Keep in mind that if there are no new photos taken during the daily/weekly/monthly time period between recurring campaigns, a campaign will not send.
Now we've shown you how to drive auto, lets pull in content using our RSS template tags.
If you're feeling crafty with code, it's a fairly simple task to add a RSS content section to an email template and take advantage of our one-click content functionality. Here's an abridged snippet from our example campaign, featuring our template tags:
<datarepeater type="rss" src="http://statigr.am/feed/chrome_industries"> <layout label="Instagram picture" /> <rssitemlink><rsstitle></rsstitle></rssitemlink>> <p>Posted by <rssauthor></rssauthor> on <rssitemday></rssitemday> <rssitemmonthname></rssitemmonthname>, <rssitemyear></rssitemyear></p> <rssimage width="300"></rssimage> <rssbody paragraphs="all"></rssbody> </layout> </datarepeater>
If all goes to plan, you should be able to pull in the Statigram RSS feed via our email editor:
One-click content is a great way to rapidly add photos to an email campaign. For example, you might want to add candid Instagram shots that your customers took at a recent event, or highlight your own Instagram account. You can also filter which photos you like and don't like from within the email editor, too.
So, that's the skinny of using an RSS feed of your Instagram photos in your email campaigns. We're well excited to see how you jazz up your campaigns using social media, so if you add content to your campaigns using this technique and are proud of the results, be sure to post an example campaign in the comments below. Happy snapping, all!
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