Today E-mailing campaigns are a communication channel, but also an important and effective way to retain and encourage customers – or potential customers – to visit your website. They also have an important leveraging effect on distribution for the publishers, engage their readers, and thus increase their publishing revenues.
Many companies have understood E-mailing campaigns’ stake as a real means of traffic acquisition for publishers and offer innovative solutions to optimise their communication thanks to automated newsletters.
Editorial automated newsletters
Automated newsletters provide a time gain in the creation and the configuration of editorial emails. After an initial programming phase, they allow automatic distribution of your content, without human intervention. All you have to do is collect the number of visits generated on your website!
When it comes to distributing content already posted on your website, content that you don’t want to see within presentation (i.e. title, description, image), automation of newsletters is highly recommended!
Discover their main functions:
Automated newsletters are based on RSS feed (Really Simple Syndication), which is an XML file updated regularly. Thus, your newsletters are updated regularly and systematically thanks to these RSS feeds. This provides a significant gain of time in the editing process. Once you have developed a HTML template of your newsletter, each one will be filled automatically by the RSS feed. Many email service providers –such as Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor – offer this RSS-to-Mail functionality.
Different ways to create RSS feed in your automated newsletter
You can build your RSS feed in different ways:
1 – Reverse chronological order
The most recent articles will be on top of your RSS feed and thus on top of your newsletter. There is no editorial line to follow in this, the most recent published article will be at the first position of your newsletter! You can build this type of RSS feed on WordPress.
2 – Homepage “Flash”
With this method, the newsletter will be built on the same order as your homepage. Contrary to the reverse chronological order way, this time the newsletter will reflect your editorial choices!
3 – The most read
Your newsletter will pick up the most popular articles on your website. With WordPress, you can create a “most popular” RSS feed using a plugin (https://vip.wordpress.com/plugins/most-popular-feed-wpcom/).
4- The most shared
Your newsletter will use your most shared articles. In order to do that, your social CTAs must count the number of shares of your content and then create a RSS geared to the results obtained. To set up this type of RSS feed you need a CMS expert or a Developer.
RSS-to-Mail: pitfalls to avoid
Pitfall #1: Proposing the same article twice.
You have to be careful that the RSS feed on which your newsletter will be based does not propose an article that has already been presented in your newsletter. For instance, if you publish seven articles per week, and your weekly newsletter contains ten, it will present three articles already posted in the newsletter of the previous week… Pay particular attention to publications during off-peak periods!
Pitfall #2: Respecting newsletter editorial rules
If your newsletter has to present a video in the third position (i.e. the video of the week), your RSS feed must contain an article on the third position too.
Compared performances of the different types of automated newsletters
Ownpage has evaluated the performances of automation’s different methods. Here’s our rank from the most to the least efficient method:
- The most shared
- The most read
- The homepage “Flash”
- Reverse chronological order
Ownpage has developed a personalized automated newsletter service. We’re going further than just RSS-to-Mail: each reader receives a selection of content based on their browsing behaviour on your website. Our service present different benefits:
Benefit #1: The reader does not receive an article that he or she has already seen on the website.
Benefit #2: The service is, by far, more effective than other types of automated newsletters. During A/B testing we have demonstrated that the click rate of personalized newsletters was 80% higher than “flash homepage” newsletters and between 40 – 60% superior than the “most popular” or “most shared” newsletters.