With RSS-to-email, you can publish your content to your blog and then send it to your email subscribers without even thinking about it.
There are two pieces to an rss-to-email campaign:
1). YOUR BLOG
Every blog has an associated rss feed. This feed contains the content of all your posts including: the title, text, and images.
2). YOUR NEWSLETTER SERVICE
The other piece is your email news service, for example both MailChimp or AWeber both offer rss-to-email. MailChimp has a free version for lists under 2,000 and we use it for most of our clients. People who like setting up auto-responders often prefer AWeber. The last time I checked, both Vertical Response and Constant Contact don’t offer rss-to-email which still surprises me.
How it works
There are a number of different options to schedule your campaign, but we usually set up a daily campaign, where each morning at a specified time, MailChimp will look to see if anything new has been posted to your blog. If there is a new post, MailChimp pulls in the title, text and photos from that blog post and drops them in a styled template (we set these up to match the site). The email newsletter is automatically sent out to your list.
When you create your RSS template, and you can set which posts go out and how frequently you send—daily, weekly, or monthly. Don’t worry: A campaign will only go out when you post something new.
Why it will save you time
The major advantage is that you only have to post your news to your blog, and then the email is triggered automatically. It’s much faster than building a newsletter using MailChimp (or any other newsletter program), and the news is published on your website as well.
There are free services that do this, like Feedburner, but they have disadvantages. In Feedburner you can’t enter any of your own email addresses, even if these people gave you permission. The other drawback, is that you can’t customize the look of your newsletter, you are stuck with the basic format, and can’t add your own branding. The major advantage is it’s easier to set up, so if you are going to do-it-yourself, you might want to consider Feedburner.