How to grab an RSS feed and format it for a nice looking email
October 2, 2014 1:46 PM   Subscribe

I'm helping an admin figure out how to grab links from an RSS feed that she can then repackage into an email, along with other content she'll add. What's the best way to do this? Skill level: novice

I'm involved with a nonprofit that has an admin who is not particularly skilled with computers. Every month, she sends out an email from the organization that includes a digest - essentially a list - of news items submitted through our website's content management system as a set of headlines and links. This news section has an RSS feed. The CMS doesn't have any way to elegantly grab that feed and create an email from it.

For various reasons, this email needs to come from the organization and not an automated RSS-to-email service (partly because the org adds additional content to the email).

I'd like to help save her the work of simply cutting-and-pasting every headline and link, and instead automate that process somehow.

Does anyone have any recommendations of the best way to do that, either that she could learn easily or that I could set up for her to use? Thanks!
posted by Ms. Toad to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
How handy are you with spreadsheets? Google docs spreadsheets can import data from an RSS feed and from there some text functions could compose summaries.
posted by mce at 3:31 PM on October 2, 2014

Both Yahoo Pipes and IFTTT can send you a digest version of an RSS feed. You could use them to get the digest sent to the admin and then they could just copy and paste it into the newsletter one time.
posted by soelo at 3:32 PM on October 2, 2014 [3 favorites]

Campaign Monitor does this in two ways. One, called RSS to Email, will just send a regular email on a schedule with any new content. The other, called One Click Content, lets you load RSS feeds into a pre-built template and pick and choose which stories you want to send. I've used both and they work really well, but there's some setup for the latter and a cost to sending, obviously.
posted by Happy Dave at 4:27 AM on October 3, 2014

Following up from mce's comment about using Google Spreadsheets, you can also do the very same thing in Excel.
posted by mr_silver at 8:11 AM on October 3, 2014

Response by poster: Thought IFTTT would be the answer, but it won't accept the RSS feed - saying it's "Not a valid feed url, missing feed title."

Apparently I'm not handy enough with spreadsheets - I know how to import an RSS feed, but it's getting it back out in a proper format that I can't figure out. I can import the RSS feed so that the headline is in one column and the link in the next, but I want the headline with the link below. I can't quite figure out how I could collate the two columns or import the RSS feed with ONLY the headline and link, and not the description.

Thanks for the help, though.
posted by Ms. Toad at 8:39 AM on October 3, 2014

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