Emails to RSS feed

If you want to receive emails as items in an RSS feed, you can do this with Zapier (which is like a more powerful If This Then That). Here’s how.

Go to Zapier and create an account. Each recipe is called a Zap and consists of a Trigger (e.g., receive an email) and an Action (make an item in a RSS feed).

Going to this Zap might do some of the work for you (and get us both extra credits) but I’m not sure quite what that does. There might also be something embedded in this page just… here:

Maybe?

Anyway, once you have an account, here’s the step-by-step.

  1. Go to make a Zap.

  2. Select “Email” for the Trigger service and “RSS” for the Action service. Each of those only has one option to choose from (“New Inbound Email” and “Create Item in Feed” respectively). You should have something like this:

    Zapier screenshot, step 1

  3. Click “Continue” and the next step just says to “Create a Email account”. Click that “Continue” button, and then step 3 says “Select a RSS account”. Click that “Continue” button. Odd but easy.

  4. Step 4 is “Filter Email triggers”. Enter “newsletters” in the field. Call it what you like really, but that’s what we’re doing:

    Zapier screenshot, step 4

    It seems to wrap strangely, never mind.

    While we’re here, click “Copy to clipboard”, go to your email client, and send an email to this address (in this example, “newsletters.1a2b3@zapiermail.com”). Be sure to put something in the Subject and body of the email.

  5. Click “Continue” and step 5 is “Match up Email Inbound Email to RSS Item in Feed”. We indicate which bits of the email we want to appear in which bits of the RSS item. Click “Insert fields” for each field, and make the first few look like this:

    Zapier screenshot, step 5

    Note: “Content” has an extra full-stop in it. Initially I had this as only “Body HTML” but that failed. Adding a full-stop (or anything) made it work.

    Click the “Copy to clipboard” link at the top of this section. You can subscribe to this URL in your RSS feed reader (you might need to wait until you’ve finished this process, I’m not sure).

  6. Scroll down and click “Continue”. Now you can click the “Test Email trigger” button. Hopefully the email you sent earlier has been received by Zapier and you’ll see something like this:

    Zapier screenshot, step 6

    Click “See trigger sample” to see the fields received from your email. Click “See action sample” to see what gets put into an RSS item. Click “Test Zap with this sample” to see if everything works. Send yourself more emails to try things out if you like (clicking “Refresh samples from Email” to get access to those).

  7. Click “Continue”. Give your Zap a name (e.g., “Email to RSS”) and turn it on.

Now you should be able to use that unique zapiermail.com email address from step 4 to subscribe to newsletters. The confirmation email will arrive in your RSS feed (so subscribe to that first, in step 5, above). It’ll take a few minutes, but should arrive OK.

Once you start receiving emails, come back to your Zap and tweak the fields in step 5, as new options may become available. I was now able to change “Author Name” to use the “From Name” field and “Author Email” to use the “From Email” field.

Let me know if you have any corrections or suggestions for improvements.