Visual UGC Docs

Bring Social Content into a Mailchimp Campaign


In this guide we explore the general concept of displaying User Generated Content that has been aggregated by Visual UGC into a standard MailChimp campaign.
This guide focuses on the simplest and effective way of displaying the content by using an out of the box MailChimp template.

Key Concepts


Rich Site Summary (RSS), often called Really Simple Syndication, uses a family of standard web feed formats to publish frequently updated information such as blogs entries, news headlines, audio or video.
Visual UGC provides a feed of ingested social tiles in compliance with the RSS file format as part of its Content Feed Plugin.


MailChimp is a web-based email marketing service used by over 9 million people and businesses around the world to send email communications.

The Fun Part

In this guide we will do the following:
  • Install and configure the Visual UGC ‘Content Feed’ plugin
  • Add RSS content to a MailChimp template

Install and Configure the Visual UGC ‘Content Feed’ Plugin

Go to the Plugin directory within your Stack and install the plugin titled Content Feed - if Plugins are not available in your Stack and you wish to access them, please contact Visual UGC Support for more information.
Once setup, you will be provided a feed URL, which will contain a series of parameters, these are:
  • Filter - Filter of Content
  • Type - RSS or ATOM
Select the Filter of the content you wish to add to your MailChimp campaign, and the output of RSS before hitting save.
Once saved the endpoint provided will be what you can use within your MailChimp template.
The structure of data within the Visual UGC RSS feed is outlined below:
<title>Tile Comment</title>
<link>Source Link</link>
<pubDate>Date Published</pubDate>
<guid isPermaLink="false">GUID</guid>
<enclosure url="Image URL"
type="image/jpeg" />

Add RSS to your MailChimp Campaign

First step is to build a new MailChimp campaign. For the purposes of this guide we will be creating a 'Regular Campaign', however the same principles can be used for 'A/B Testing Campaigns' and of course 'RSS Campaigns'
Once you have selected your campaign, select who you wish to send the email to, and fill out your campaign information.
You can now select a template or upload your own HTML. For the purposes of this guide we are going to leverage the 'Simple Text' template within MailChimp
Once your Template has loaded up you can now start leveraging MailChimp's Template Editor to insert the RSS feed. It should be noted, the four content modules RSS can be added into is Text, Boxed Text, Image Cards and Image + Caption. For the purpose of this demo, we are going to use Text.
Once the WYSIWYG editor has loaded up, look for the 'Source' Icon (indicated by the ) from the toolbox.
From here MailChimp allows you to insert a Feed Block which will allow you to specify the feed, how many items to show, and the other values you wish to display. The table below specifies what each line of code does and how it can be used.
MailChimp Tag
Display the URL to your social post on the source network. Relates to RSS tag <url>
Define where the individual RSS item starts and how many items you wish to display. Relates to RSS tag <item>
Display the title for your social post. Relates to RSS tag <title>
Display the URL of any images in your social post. Relates to the RSS tag <enclosure>
Display the date for your social post. Relates to RSS tag <PubDate>
Display the author of your social post. Relates to the RSS tag <author>
Define where RSS feed starts and what feed you are bringing into your MailChimp Campaign. Relates to RSS tags <channel>
Define where the feed item information ends
Define where the feed block ends
Using these MailChimp Tags, we inserted the below information for the demo:
*|FEEDBLOCK:;filter_id=10225&amp;type=rss|*<br />
<div style="text-align: center;"><img src="*|FEEDITEM:ENCLOSURE_URL|*" width="300" /><br />
<strong><span style="font-size:12px">*|FEEDITEM:AUTHOR|*</span></strong><br />
<span style="font-size:14px">*|FEEDITEM:TITLE|*</span><br />
<span style="font-size:12px">*|FEEDITEM:DATE|*</span><br />
<span style="font-size:12px">*|FEEDITEM:URL|*</span></div>
<hr /><br />
Once entered, we hit save to generate an email template like below:
Provided you are happy with the rest of the email look and feel you are right to send
Once you hit send, MailChimp and Visual UGC will handle the heavy lifting of taking the right UGC content and embedding it into the email. The end result is something similar to below