Oct 17, 2019 8:12 AM
Today I am going to teach you how I handle the following situation:
A client wants to know, "We have one blog in HubSpot, but not everyone who is interested in one topic that we post about will be interested in the other topics. We don't want to have to split up the blog into separate blogs, is there a way they can just sign up for the single (or multiple) blog tags?"
Well, I am happy to tell you the answer is Yes! I wrote this post out here after finding that, while all the documentation on how to do this is completely available on our Knowledge Base (and I will be linking to those relevant articles to save time here) they are not tied together in a meaningful way, or if they are and do exist, me and the customer I spoke with yesterday could not find them. As such, here it is!
Requirements: HubSpot Blogs (or another blog that has RSS feeds per topic), HubSpot Marketing Emails, specifically access to Rss-to-Email emails, Forms, Lists.
Final Caveats: If sending instant notifications (those sent 15 minutes after publishing) is imperative to you, then this solution will not work. It will utilize RSS-to-Email emails, which can only be scheduled daily/weekly/monthly. That said, if you schedule daily and do no publish any posts, it will only send when it senses a new post in the feed, so it is akin to instant with up to a 24 hour delay on posts.
Also, I wrote this without GDPR in mind, GDPR could be used with this method though, you would just have to have a subscription type to account for the topics, and a workflow to assign those types based on the selection in the multiselect. This can be a bit tricky at the moment without branch connection in contact workflows, and you will need 1 workflow per subscription type. When branch connection in contact workflows is possible, I think it would be more scalable in a single workflow.
The big picture: Using a custom property, a list and an email per topic, and the tag/topic's RSS feed, we will have a single blog that has multiple subscriptions.
1. Make sure your blog tags are in order
By this I mean, for each subscription/tag/topic that you want to use, make sure there is at least one post associated with that tag. This way, we can easily generate our RSS feed and see that it has content when we build out our emails.
2. Create a new custom contact property to account for the categories
Guide on creating custom properties linked here. This should be made as a multiple-select property, with each option representing a category.
3. Create smart lists
Contact property: [Our custom property from step 2] contains 'Category 1'
This will give us all contacts that have selected Category 1 from the property, even if they have selected others. Be sure to use 'contains' and not 'is equal to'
4. Create your emails
This guide will show you how to create RSS-to-Email emails (note: it talks about it being for external blogs but this will work just fine with any valid RSS feed), and this guide will show you how to get the RSS feed per category. (which is why it is important that in step 1 we have posts for the RSS feed). You'll create 1 email per category, and the recipients will be the lists from step 3
5. Update your forms
Lastly, update your forms or create and deploy new forms that use the multiple select property we created in step 2.
I think this is the best order of operations because it starts with ensuring the the RSS feed are there and have content (step 1) create a property to account for that information (step 2) we can then use that in our lists (step 3) use those lists in the emails that are created (step 4) and then finally, provide a way for contacts to actually subscribe to one of those options.
Hope this helps someone out!
Oct 18, 2019 2:49 AM
Oct 23, 2019 5:51 AM
That is so lucky! Very glad this could help out, you could also use this method to subscribe to an author I believe, as they have their own RSS feeds too. I have not once been asked if that was possible but might as well mention it now!
Hey you know what? That just got me thinking. Let's say you didn't want to just use a category, but you had a bunch of related categories, and (for whatever reason) no authors. You could 'group' categories by author and use that RSS feed for the emails.
Jul 7, 2020 5:32 AM
Thank you for this solution. We're struggling with the same issue for various of our clients. A broad range of topics (e.g. law topics of a law firm) and readers are interested only in specific topics, not all.
If I understand it correctly, your solutions seems to work as long as I use only one topic per article. What happens, if a reader has subscribed to multiple topics and an article has both/all of them tagged? I think he/she will get multiple emails for the same article, as the mail is based on the rss feed, right?
Sep 16, 2020 12:03 PM
My apologies I did not see this until now. I never thought about that but you are correct, this would be for a 1:1 relationship with posts and tags. If there are posts that are tagged with two tags, and I am subscribed to both, I will get two emails with the same post.
I am willing to bet there's a way to circumvent this with a lot of very tight logic, but I don't know if it would be worth the time to think of and build out.