RSS to Email Newsletter Basics

Content Marketing’s Best-Kept Secret

Want your content to be one of the first things your reader sees, every time? 

An RSS to email newsletter is the most powerful business-building tool you’re probably not using. Let’s take a closer look at RSS to email newsletters.

An Introduction to RSS to Email Newsletters

If you know what an RSS feed is, you probably think of it as old technology that was popular in 2013. Some people think RSS is just an outdated version of email sequencing software, but there’s a lot more to it.

What Is an RSS Feed?

RSS to Email Newsletter Basics

RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication.” It’s a system that automatically stores links and important details about your content in reverse chronological order (so the most recent content is at the top). 

An RSS feed enables a website or an app to access this information. This way, you can create content in one place (such as a blog, podcast, or newsletter) and it can automatically show up somewhere else. 

Where else it shows up depends on the app you’re using to read or publish the feed.

Think of your newsletter, blog, or a user’s RSS reader as a permanent structure, such as a restaurant. You’re the chef, and your content is the food. You are constantly cooking fresh food in your restaurant, and your guests can consume whatever they want. 

Customers may come and go, and the menu will change day by day, but you only have to build the restaurant once. It’s always there to distribute your latest creation.

You can use an RSS feed in many ways. For example:

  • Automatically post your latest email newsletter on your blog 

  • Set an email to go out on a predetermined scale with your most recent content from multiple sources

  • Subscribers to your RSS feed don’t have to regularly visit your blog or even open your email. Whatever app or RSS reader they use will always show the latest content in your RSS feed at the top. 

  • Journalists and researchers will often subscribe to several RSS feeds from blogs, news websites, and other sources they want to follow. The feeds go to a single app, so they can have all the latest information in one place.

In this article, we’re going to focus on RSS to email newsletters. 

Why Trust Us? All beehiiv writers are carefully vetted for their knowledge and experience. Jacob Bear was a freelance writer way back when RSS was a thing, and has blogged on many topics related to email newsletters. He was recently named a Top Copywriting Voice by LinkedIn

What Is the Difference Between a Newsletter and an RSS Feed?

An RSS-to-email newsletter is just what it sounds like. You create content that goes to an RSS feed. Then you send an email that acts as an RSS reader.

This is different from a newsletter because you only have to set it up once.

RSS to Email Newsletter Basics

With a newsletter, you probably have a template that saves you time, but you still have to manually add content to each section of your template. Then you have to manually send or schedule it. 

And finally, you have to repeat the whole process for each edition of your newsletter.

In contrast, your RSS feed does most of the work for you. For example, you could set up your RSS to email newsletter to go out automatically every Wednesday at 10 am. 

Instead of opening up a template and designing an email campaign, you could just sit back while the email creates itself with the headlines, images, and links to your latest content. 

Here’s an RSS to email newsletter by Wired to give you an idea what this looks like:

RSS to Email Newsletter Basics

Once you set it up, your newsletter is completely automated, as long as you keep adding content to your RSS feed. (Some RSS to email newsletter apps won’t send an email if there’s no new content.)

There are some advantages to a standard newsletter. 

For example, you have complete control over branding, format, and everything your reader will see. With an RSS feed, the way your content appears is largely determined by the app your reader is using.

An RSS to email newsletter is a powerful hybrid that saves you work while still giving you control over how your content shows up.

Benefits of Using RSS to Email Newsletters

There are many benefits of using RSS to email newsletters. 

One of the most obvious benefits is that you’ll save a lot of time and effort repurposing your content.

Better still, since your RSS feed pools all your content, you’ll get more views and engagement.

If a reader misses an edition of your standard email newsletter, they may never see that content. But with an RSS feed, they can scroll down to see older content that they skipped before.

Finally, RSS feeds still have passionate users who prefer to get all their content in one place. By giving them the ability to add your feed, you’re gaining access to an audience that most creators overlook. 

How to Set Up an RSS to Email Newsletter Campaign

Most email service providers have a way to create an RSS feed. We’re going to show you how to create an RSS feed using beehiiv, but the process is similar on other platforms.

First, go to Settings>Publication and select “RSS Feed” at the top of the page.

RSS to Email Newsletter Basics

When you click on the “Generate Feed” button, beehiiv will create a new URL. Save this URL, because apps will use it to access your content. (You can click on it if you’re curious, but all you’ll see is a bunch of code)

At this point, you have a few choices. If you’re hosting your website on beehiiv, your newsletter content automatically becomes a blog post, which effectively means your blog content is a newsletter.

If your content lives on another website, you will need to link the content to your newsletter. If you’re using WordPress, there are plugins that will do this. 

Otherwise, you can set it up with a linking service such as Zapier.

Reviews and Comparisons of RSS to Email Newsletter Tools and Services

Before you run out and set up your own RSS to email newsletter, it's good to know what your options are. Here are some of the best RSS to email newsletter tools and services in 2023.

Top RSS to Email Newsletter Services


RSS to Email Newsletter Basics

We've already told you a little bit about beehiiv. With four clicks you can create an RSS feed that is comparable to the other services we've listed. 

In addition, beehiiv automatically hosts your newsletter on a fully-customizable website. Many users find this elegant solution makes the RSS to email feature unnecessary. 

However, there's one more big reason to use beehiIv. It has to do with engagement.


RSS to Email Newsletter Basics

Mailchimp has been a popular email service provider for many years, but many users don’t realize it also offers an RSS feed. (In fact, “Does Mailchimp have an RSS feed?” has been a commonly searched question on Google for years). 

However, users can go into settings and create an RSS feed following steps that are similar to what we showed above.


RSS to Email Newsletter Basics

MailerLite gives you a little bit of everything, including the ability to create an RSS feed and insert it in your email. It does require a plug-in if you're using WordPress, but overall it’s easy to use.


RSS to Email Newsletter Basics

HubSpot offers a solid RSS to email newsletter service that works well once you set it up. However, setting it up can be complicated. It requires multiple steps, and you may have to modify the code on your website. But if you enjoy tinkering with things and want a comprehensive solution, HubSpot could be right for you.


RSS to Email Newsletter Basics

This is an “old school” email newsletter service that was widely used back when RSS feeds were popular. They offer a comprehensive, easy-to-use RSS to email service. AWeber would be one of our favorite options, except for a fatal flaw. They will add AWeber branding to your content, and you have to pay for one of their two highest pricing tiers to remove this. 

Creating Engaging Email Newsletters from RSS Feeds

Remember that RSS to email is just a tool for distributing content. You still need to create quality content through storytelling, copywriting, and by providing actionable information.

It’s critical to have strong opt-in forms and landing pages so readers will sign up for your newsletter, whether you’re using an RSS to email newsletter or not. 

Likewise, using an email service provider that optimizes deliverability is crucial. Your RSS to email service is useless if your subscribers never see your email in their inbox.

Choosing the Right RSS-to-Email Newsletter Service

There are many RSS-to-email newsletter services. The one that works best for you will depend on your needs, as well as what you already have in place for your content and email. 

If you're just looking for a way to automatically convert your email newsletter to a blog, beehiiv does this automatically when you have a beehiiv website. 

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to beehiiv. 

We started with the goal of building a platform that is fair to creators and truly valuable. Because of this, beehiiv offers a pricing structure that doesn't penalize you for growing your list. 

In fact, we’ll help you grow through recommendations and a comprehensive referral program. You can also grow your list with boosts, which have the additional benefit of building an income stream while your subscriber level is still relatively small.

We give you tools such as our no-code editor that empowers you to customize every detail of your newsletter template.

The beehiiv platform has a lot going on under the hood to optimize deliverability for your emails and SEO for your website. 

You don't need to worry about chores like copying and pasting code or editing your meta tags. We give creators more time and freedom to focus on being creative, and we're regularly adding new features to simplify your work, such as our new AI tools.

As you now know, RSS is straightforward, but there’s a lot to an email newsletter that isn’t.

At the end of the day, the only real reason to use an RSS-to-email service is to grow your business while saving time and effort. 

We’re already doing this for you in many ways. Take advantage of our rich and growing toolbox by starting a beehiiv newsletter today.

Join the conversation

or to participate.