RSS to Pardot Emails
Over the last 7+ years of working at Pardot, one question that has always been asked is how can Pardot create emails from RSS feeds? Pardot has an open API that can send emails, but I never had the time to investigate how hard it would be to build something like this.
This week, I was introduced to a solution that will solve for this need. The company is called FeedOtter and they will take your RSS feed and send out a hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly digest based on any new post that have been posted on your blog to Pardot list(s). While I am here to speak to the Pardot solution, they also have a hook into Marketo.
The solution starts at $49/month for up to 10k contacts to mail your updates. It does require the Professional edition of Pardot which has API access. You also get a 14 day trial of the solution without a credit card to test it out. Let’s take a look.
FeedOtter will give you numerous templates that you can use for your digest. If you don’t wish to use FeedOtter’s templates, you can insert your own HTML code to create a custom look and feel.
On the left side of the editing pane, you have the ability to select the latest post or a digest of recent post. You also have the ability to choose how many post to sent, how often and what what time. Note that if you do not have any new post at the time of send, it will skip that send.
The next step is to find your RSS feed of your blog. For example, for Medium blogs (what this post is on), the feed would be medium.com/feed/@username. Check with your IT team or web manager if you do not know this.
After you have the feed, the next step is to change the headline, logo, and any colors you want to use. Finally, change your company information (Can-Spam) and any social links you want. Word of note, for unsubscribe, you need to enter the Pardot variable tags of %%unsubscribe%% or %%email_preference_center%% for the URL or the email will not send.
If everything looks good, you can click publish to Pardot. You will need to have your API key, your Pardot login, and password. When you select the Pardot Campaign and list(s) to send with, you only need the name, not the API names.
When you are done, ‘Publish to Pardot’ and your digest is ready to go!
Testing and Sending.
As mentioned above, the email sends happen automatically. There is nothing you need to do to send this email at the rate you want. All reporting is also sent back to Pardot. You can test the sends as well at any time by clicking on the test button.
How can you get this to work with your current instance? The best way would be to have a small form on your blog or website that is for blog updates. If someone submits that form, they are added to the blog updates list and that is who the emails are sent to. You may want to make note of how often those emails are sent. I highly recommend against sending the emails hourly. A weekly update is most likely enough unless you are a news service that needs to send out more.
When I did the test of the email and the sends, they look great. Above is a sample from this feed that I sent out. As I mentioned, since this is a live Pardot email (sent through Pardot), you get all reporting of opens, clicks, and also the email added to the Marketing Calendar.
FeedOtter is great. The owner (Andy) of the company found a gap that marketing automation had and solved for it. The price of $49/month is very reasonable for a company that is looking to bring all of their marketing into one place. I would like to thank Andy for giving me an account to solve this need. Let me know if you have questions and good luck!