Formatting your Custom RSS Feed(s) for MailChimp


Using MailChimp’s powerful set of merge tags for RSS feeds allows you to apply your brand’s custom styling to your RSS integrated content making it easier than ever before to automate your email marketing efforts. There are however a few guidelines your layout should fall within in order to ensure proper import and styling of your feed content.

In most cases you’ll want to utilize the merge tags for RSS items allowing you to include only the feed items you want in your emails and filter out the not so important stuff. For example you can include the item title, URL, and content summary. Or you could include the item title, image, and author. Of course your readers will still have access to your full blog content after the jump. You can find a complete list of the available merge tags for RSS items on the MailChimp web site for reference.

Once you’ve decided which feed items you’d like to include in your campaigns you’ll need to create an effective and attractive layout arranging these items in a stacked fashion horizontally. Below are a few guidelines to assist you in creating an RSS feed layout for conversion purposes.


  • Place RSS feed replicating areas in stacked horizontal content blocks to allow for smooth replication of your content dependent on the number of feed items (stories) in any given email.
  • Utilize MailChimp’s Social RSS merge tags in your layout/design. Keep in mind that these sharing buttons are fixed in design and size; you’ll need to plan accordingly in your artwork.
  • Keep in mind that including RSS fed images in your template will require you to make changes to and/or create a new RSS feed specifically for use with MailChimp generated campaigns.


  • Placing content in vertical columns as this layout is not supported for custom RSS feed integration. RSS feed content should be stacked horizontally allowing for smooth replication of your content dependent on the number of feed items in any given email.
  • Using custom icons and/or buttons for sharing via social media sites. Instead utilize MailChimp’s Social RSS merge tags specially designed to work with your imported feed content.
  • Incorporating feed imported images in your design/layout if you are unable to add the appropriate coding to your (or your client’s) RSS feed to allow for image import. You can learn more about formatting image content for your RSS to email campaigns on the MailChimp site.