The major stumbling block preventing us from using MailBuild is the ability to pull in news from the clients site to help them build the newsletter. Other similar mail out systems do this by pulling in RSS, but we really wanted to use MailBuild, because we love Campaign Monitor and MB is just as cool!
So I've just put together this little experiment using a bookmarklet to allow clients to easily pull RSS feeds into their emails. This is just experimental at the moment and it calls script from our servers so don't try using it with your clients. If people think it's useful I may release the code or set up something more permanent. I've tested it across a few browsers but not all of them yet (safari for example). It may also have some problems with feed parsing.
To try it go here, http://mailbuildrss.glow-internet.com/
Also this may encourage freshview to add the functionality themselves, which would be great. I suggest an option for the admin to attach and name multiple feeds on an account, then the client can choose when feed they want and select items from it, then edit/re-order etc.
Wow, that's pretty cool, we'll definitely check it out. What browsers have you tested successfully in?
RSS feed as a content source is something we have been asked about a few times, and we do count all the votes we receive, so anyone else who sees this as a priority please leave a comment, we are watching.
Also, let us know how you think it would work best as far as actually accessing the feed within your template. We have some possible ideas of our own, but we'd love to hear yours too.
Tested it ok on FF2, IE6 and 7 on windows. Need to check it on some mac browsers but it should be fine.
I'm sure you've got a lot of feature requests on your list, this was something I needed soon so decided to sort it myself but I'll be keeping an eye out for it!
As for the interface, I'd want to hide as much of the technical details from our clients as possible, I don't want them to see acronyms like RSS or have to copy and paste Urls, we'd do that for them. The way my implementation works means they can edit the contents of the RSS items after importing them which is good.
One issue I came across is there's no where to put the posted date (or other rss item meta data). Your template system is a little limited. It would be great if you could offer an "advanced" template that accepts an XSL doc and uses it to transform an XML document, the XML could contain all the custom fields from the mailing list along with other meta data about the mailout, time it's sent etc. It could be a slight server overhead for you, but most people wouldn't need it, it would just offer the extra power and control to the few hardcore who want it.
Other than that it's all great! keep up the good work.
I just noticed there were a couple of bugs in it which I've fixed, I've also added a screenshot to illustrate how it works.
Awesome, that's great work. RSS into email content is definitely in our plans now, and we're starting to work out ways we can integrate it. We'll definitely be in touch with you for your feedback when we get to that point.
Any update on how this functionality is going? I'm very interested in building newsletters based on a template that pulls in RSS feeds, and our current newsletter provider cannot do it. I'd consider changing newsletter provider if Campaign Monitor was able to provide the ability to pull content from RSS feeds.
The ability we're looking for is a system where we can:
- build a newsletter template with say, 5 main content sections (and a sidebar)
- each of the content sections would pull in the newest [x] items from an RSS feed (where [x] is a configurable number)
- The template would need to be able to pull from numerous different RSS feeds rather than just one.
Any news on this? We'd really like to have this feature integrated into MailBuild
Thanks for the follow up on this guys. I'm afraid we don't speculate on features until we're basically ready to launch, and I can confirm that loading content from an RSS feed is not currently being developed, but certainly being considered. Having said that, we have a number of template/editor improvements that are underway (improvements that have been requested [ii]far[/i] more times than RSS support) and should be launching in the not too distant future.
Of course, we love to hear your suggestions, so please keep them coming, we just hate to set false expectations.
8 months on, after the wonder to the new CM, don't get me wrong - are there even mumbling down under for RSS support? Thanks!
We would be interested in a mail service for a newsletter that pulled in content from our site (via RSS or other) and was customizable for various segments of subscribers. Something like the Feedburner "subscribe by email" widget but much more customizable and with link tracking.
We also would love to be able to pull data into an e-mail template and then send it. From our perspective then just xml data styled with xslt would be an absolutely beautiful solution.
+1 from me.
Pulling content via RSS feeds into Templates would make a huge difference.
I just discovered that MailChimp does it .. hurry :-)
+1 for me.
I'll be using MailChimp while CampaignMonitor doesn't offer it.
I'm looking at pulling out of CM because MailChimp and other services offer this - quite frankly we've increasingly come to the conclusion that other services much better support a designer
* support for repeater classes (enabled different styling for different newsletter sections)
* content via API or Media RSS (automatically up-to-date newsletters)
etc - this isn't a moan - we've just added another client who sends out a newsletter to 80k subscribers each week and their first comment was "well this looks great, but there's loads of stuff it can't do".
The lack of any response regarding this issue means that we also have to look elsewhere to have this functionality.
Mailchimp looks great - thanks Jesper!
Just to update everyone on this, RSS to email is still something on our radar, but not at the top of the priority list. For some people, like you guys, it probably is, but in terms of what we get requests for from all our customers, there are plenty of things much more highly requested.
That's not to say it won't happen, or that we're ignoring the requests, just that it can sometimes seem 'obvious' from these kinds of posts that we should be do something, whereas from the inside we have a much broader view.
Campaign Monitor is never going to be the kind of tool that has every possible feature of course, a lot of its success comes from a very selective feature set implemented well.
I'll add a few more votes for the RSS feature, and we'll keep listening.
Another vote for this feature from me too. If I have clients with an existing blog, or if I'm building one for them then the first thing they'll say is "just pull in the last x posts from our blog/news page on our site and send that". Sure they'll want a intro section to write each month, but the main content should be able to be pulled in from other sources.
A few people I've demoed CM to are blown away by the interface, features, reports etc and then we go to build a campaign and they say "What!? I've got to build/write each news letter manually? I have to pay a staff member to do this each week/month?" If they already doing this for their existing site/blog or whatever, they find this hard to accept.
Obviously this isn't the case all the time, but I think I'll come across it increasingly.
Don't get me wrong, CM is awesome, but some automatic content importing/aggregation features would make it unbeatable.
+1 Another vote for the RSS to Email functionality. I recently had to switch to MailChimp (for this feature alone), but really prefer CampaignMonitor's overall ease of use and integration. How is it coming?
I'll add my vote here too. I'm currently switching a client to MailChimp for this feature alone. After setting things up in MailChimp, it really drives home how good CampaignMonitor is. I'd love to move them back to CM!
+1 for me! even registered to post this so maybe +2 ? ;-)
To echo a few other commenters, the RSS-to-email is the only reason I've had to switch to MailChimp for certain projects. I'd love to use Campaign Monitor exclusively, but I've had numerous clients request this feature. Fingers crossed this is something you guys have in the works.
+another vote for this.
+1 I'd like to throw in my vote for this. Just came across a situation that requires this...