We’re midway through 2015 and we find ourselves in an email newsletter Renaissance. Amongst the tuned-in Web design crowd, the email newsletter has made quite the comeback. This resurgence in popularity is a bit of a head scratcher for some of us, but… what’s old is new again!
As a content producer, email newsletters make great sense: you can ship your content—be it your latest blog post or a collection of favorite links—directly to your audience’s inbox. It’s broadcast, but directed only at those who specifically opted in to your content. Additionally, you can better assure that your content reaches its audience by avoiding the din of the Twitter stream and Facebook’s hit-or-miss News Feed.
As a content consumer, email newsletters let you keep up-to-date with those you follow without having to visit the creator’s website, sift through your own Twitter or Facebook feed, or deal with geeky syndication tech like RSS. Being one of those people who carefully curates and maintains a long list of RSS feeds, that last point about email newsletters particularly irks me.
Speaking only for myself, I want to consume an email newsletter’s content but don’t particularly want even more email crowding up my inbox. Luckily, I’ve found a way around this particular issue.
Subscribing to an Email Newsletter’s RSS Feed
The following trick works for any MailChimp-powered email newsletter. Luckily, MailChimp powers many email newsletters (and for good reason: MailChimp is awesome!). Let’s use Cap Watkins‘ newsletter as a basic example by first signing up for his newsletter. Fill in your details, confirm your subscription, and anxiously await the next issue of his email newsletter.
A brief aside: Cap’s email newsletter is simply another way of distributing posts from his blog which has an RSS feed of its own. Some email newsletters are like this, but others have additional content separate from the author’s blog. I’m using Cap’s email newsletter as an example because his posts are always worth reading.
Your first issue’s arrived in your inbox? Excellent!
At the top of almost every MailChimp-powered email newsletter is a link to view that newsletter on the Web. Click that link and you’re taken to a page with a gnarly-looking URL but with a full HTML page with the content of that issue. At the top of that page, you’ll see some navigation items, including a big ol’ “RSS” link. Click or copy that link to add it to your RSS reader of choice (I recommend Feedbin).
And that’s it! At this point, you can optionally unsubscribe from the email newsletter and enjoy all future issues delivered directly to your RSS reader.