When you write a new blog post on your Squarespace blog, you want others to see it. Unfortunately, Squarespace doesn't have a direct way to send that new blog post out to the people you know want it.
Mailchimp is an email marketing service that helps you design and automate your sexy messages. And the best part is that Mailchimp integrates with Squarespace!
With Mailchimp, you can send an automatic email to your audience whenever you publish a new blog post on your Squarespace website.
If that's something you want, let's get started.
First, you'll need a Mailchimp account. Don't worry, it's free up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. You can sign up here.
Next, you'll need to start collecting the email addresses of the people you want to keep informed. Mailchimp calls this a List.
There are two ways to create this Mailchimp List:
- You can have blog fans sign up through a Form or Newsletter Block on your Squarespace website, or
- You can manually add some email addresses through Mailchimp's workflow. Follow the guide here to import subscribers.
Once you created a Mailchimp List full of people that want your blog posts via email, you'll want to create a Mailchimp Campaign - the email you want to send.
Let's speed through these steps:
Click Campaigns from the Mailchimp top navigation.
Click the grey Create Campaign button.
A pop-up window will appear. Click Let Us Guide You.
Click Connect with new contacts
Then click Share blog updates below that.
Enter a Campaign Name and choose a List.
A new page will appear and you'll want to add in the RSS feed URL for your Squarespace blog. To do this you'll want to adjust the URL template here:
Replace "sitename" with your Squarespace username.
Replace "pageslug" with your blog's title in the URL. If you were using my blog URL danscharch.squarespace.com/blog, you'd replace "pageslug" with blog.
Note: if you have a custom domain you'll replace the URL above to be:
Drop your RSS Feed URL in and choose a timeframe to send emails out.
Note: Mailchimp does not "send Campaigns to your List unless there's something new to send. For example, if you set your Campaign to send weekly but haven't posted in more than a week, [Mailchimp] won't send to your List until there is a new post on the day your Campaign is set to send."
When you decide your send schedule, click the blue Next button in the bottom-right corner.
Sending to whom?
Decide who you want to send these blog posts to: everyone on the list or a segment
Click the blue Next button again to edit the Campaign Info Setup.
Campaign Info Setup
You'll notice the default subject for an RSS Campaign is the following:
Posts from *|RSSFEED:TITLE|* for *|RSSFEED:DATE|*
*|RSSFEED:TITLE|* is a bit of code that will be replaced when your email is sent by the site title of your Squarespace website.
*|RSSFEED:DATE|* will be the date your Squarespace blog page was last updated.
Feel free to change the info or leave it be. Then click the blue Next button to go to the Template and Design panels.
This is the fun part.
Design the crap out of your Mailchimp emails! Choose from the Layouts or Themes or whatever you want there, and once you click one, you'll be shifted to the Design section.
You have tons of options here but if you want to send an email every time you post a new blog post AND include some of that blog bit content into the email, we can do that here!
You'll notice Mailchimp has tons of design blocks you can drag and drop into the email design (see image above and to the right). Go crazy!
Two of these options are RSS-based (or blog-based) pieces you can add into your email design: RSS Header and RSS Items. You can click and drag each or both of these into the email design on the left, and you can edit the content on the right side of the screen.
RSS Header Style
There are multiple RSS Header options here: Basic, Intermediate, Advanced, and Custom. Each adds a different amount of content into your email with corresponding RSS info. We reviewed *|RSSFEED:TITLE|* and *|RSSFEED:DATE|* earlier.
You might notice *|RSSFEED:DESCRIPTION|* which refers to what you've typed into Squarespace under Settings > Basic Information.
Or *|RSSFEED:URL|* would be your Squarespace blog page URL.
This is a bit more tricky. RSS Items offers a variety of options too: Excerpts, Titles Only, Full Content, and Custom. Just like RSS Header, this block adds in default RSS-fueled content from your Squarespace blog. Click through and see which fits your needs:
- *|RSS:RECENT|* is "a linked list of the five most recent post titles made prior to the new posts pulled into your campaign since the last send."
- *|RSSITEM:TITLE|* in this block refers to a blog post title and *|RSSITEM:TITLE|* refers to the blog post published date.
- *|RSSITEM:AUTHOR|* is the author of the blog, according to Squarespace.
- *|RSSITEM:CONTENT_FULL|* is "the full content of the RSS item," i.e. your Squarespace blog content
When you're satisfied, click the blue Next button to get to the Confirm page.
Make sure everything is good to go and then send it off!
Congrats, you scheduled your brand-new, automated Mailchimp email! Now get out there and get blogging!
If you have questions or you'd like to
see more, please send me a message!