RSS feeds are an automated way of populating recurring, scheduled emails with content from a specified web resource, without having to log in to Emarsys. They allow you to send fully automated mailings and then collect and store the responses to these emails in the Emarsys analysis module.

This feature requires a little implementation effort on your side, requiring limited XML experience, to set up and configure the RSS feed itself. After that you simply define the schedule for the recurring campaign in the Emarsys application and activate it. Once this has been done the only variable that needs updating with regards to content is the RSS web resource; everything else happens automatically.

What is RSS?

RSS is a platform-independent web format based on XML. It was developed for the web exchange of news and other web contents. The abbreviation RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication (originally Rich Site Summary or RDF Site Summary). Unlike HTML pages, RSS data is created logically and without any additional design and layout elements.

As a user of an RSS reader, you can read RSS data and track changes on a website. RSS data can also be processed via  PHP, ASP or other script languages. This way, the contents of  web pages, intranets or desktop software can be displayed and read as required.

When to use RSS Feeds

RSS feeds are ideal for sending regular, one-to-many content emails with a fairly high level of segmentation (interests, location, preferences, etc.). Examples of different recurring campaigns can be:

  • Newspaper – daily recurrences in the morning, at lunchtime and in the evening.
  • Shopping Loyalty Club – daily shopping offers at 9 am.
  • Technology Blog – summary once a week on Sunday.

RSS feeds are less suitable for more targeted activities such as one-to-one content or recommendations.

Note: Recurring email campaigns are configured to launch on a weekly schedule, which can range from once a week to every day. However, due to the fact that the content must be fetched by Emarsys at specific times before each campaign, the time of day must the same for the entire schedule. If you want to schedule the campaign to launch more than once per day, or at different times on different days, you must create a separate parent campaign for each launch.

The Benefits of Using RSS

The benefits of this feature can be summarized as follows:

  • Easy to set up (one-time effort only).
  • Automated content delivery.
  • Highly accurate and flexible level of targeting.
  • Eliminates duplication of effort; only one web resource needs updating.

This makes it an automatic, cost-effective and reliable method of delivering information to contacts with a highly accurate level of targeting. At the same time, using RSS reduces maintenance for you, eliminates duplication of work and reduces the risk of human error. Flexible template content means you can accommodate any number of RSS items, so you can increase or decrease content on the fly without any further redesign needed.

Before implementing the RSS functionality in the application, you should discuss with Emarsys Support how to design the template for your campaigns. The template will apply to all the campaigns and defines how the content is formatted, ensuring that the content displays correctly across all platforms. We also ensure that the look and feel of the email content is appropriate to your needs and fits in with your existing web resources.

From the contact’s point of view, they cannot tell this apart from any other email generated by Emarsys, but the difference to you is that it has all been created automatically and will carry on doing so as part of the RSS parent campaign.

You can just sit back whilst the technology does all the work for you.

If you want to use RSS to automate the content of your emails, please direct your technical support to the following page.