Customize Your Email Subject with RSS Content

We just released a new feature that allows you to automatically populate the subject line of RSS email campaigns with an item from your feed.

You can use any tag that appears in your RSS feed loop as the subject line of your email. ActiveCampaign will grab the text used in the first post.

So, for instance, if your first post’s title is:

“Automations to Track and Engage Your Contacts”

… you could make your email’s subject line:

This change makes RSS email campaigns more likely to be opened because you don’t have to use a generic title such as “Recent updates” or “Latest blog posts.”

Here’s how it works…

There is a new type of personalization tag you can use in your subject line:


You would replace the “RSS-FIELD” portion of the personalization tag above with any RSS tag found in your RSS feed.

The most common usage for this tag might be to grab the title of your most recent blog post. That tag would look like this:


And you’d place it in the “Subject” field of your email campaign:

Besides populating the title of your blog post, you could use any tag that is in the loop of your RSS feed. Note that just because an RSS tag exists, doesn’t mean that your RSS feed is using it. Only RSS tags your feed uses will populate in your subject line.

To see which RSS fields your feed is using, insert your RSS into a Text-only email. You should see something like this:

You can use any of the tags you see within the “LOOP.” In this example, DATE, TITLE, SUMMARY, and LINK could all be used in the subject line.

For more information about setting up and using RSS within your email campaigns, see this help article.

If there is a feature you’d like to see, please take the time to submit it via our feedback forum in the ActiveCampaign Community. We are listening — we routinely release features, like this one, that have been requested by our users.

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  • Is there an RSS feed Tag to show the featured image from a WordPress site blog post? I haven’t been able to figure it out.

    • Hey Alex,
      There is not a separate personalization tag, it comes from the RSS feed itself.

      When setting up an RSS widget if there is an image included in the feed you can select it as one of the feed’s tagged sections to include in the post. It can’t be included separately.

  • Brian Gladu

    Hi Marissa —

    The screenshots for that tutorial are a bit out of date but the process is still basically the same. The major change is that to start an RSS campaign you would go Campaigns, then Create new campaign, and then select RSS triggered here:

    Let me know if you need any additional guidance. I’ll create a task to update that document. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

    • Marissa

      Thanks Brian — I just setup an RSS triggered campaign. Is there any way to customize the amount of paragraphs to be included in the email? The Short Description or Content is too short and the Long Content shows all. I prefer to send only the first part of the content (which is the first sub-topic).

      Also, I encountered this spam check result and curious on how to resolve this in an rss email type. The article isn’t about money and the links are reliable sources.

      • Brian Gladu

        Hello again, Marissa — I’m not sure if there is a better way to tackle the summary, but I believe you could use a custom RSS field to create that perfect amount of paragraphs. There is some guidance here (at the bottom):

        You’ll probably also need guidance from the developer of the software that is producing your RSS feed.

        Regarding that SPAM check, I’d need to take a look at the campaign. Can you send it to me at brian at activecampaign dot com?

  • Nathan Elward

    A quick and informative read indeed! Thanks Brian. Talking about email headers / subject lines, there are test campaigns and email templates that can be used for check spam score before actually shooting an email campaign. Incorrect / cliche subject lines are often sent to jail aka Spam folders. I use this testing feature extensively, supported by EasySendy Pro. I have experienced a mammoth email open rate, thanks to them. Best, Nathan

    • Brian Gladu

      Nice tip, Nathan. Thanks for the comment.

  • Pingback: New RSS Based Automation Trigger | ActiveCampaign Email Marketing Blog()

  • Brian Gladu

    Hi Mike,

    Would you open a support ticket so we can look into this for you?