If You Use MailChimp RSS Campaigns You’re Going To Want This Information


By: Drew McManus


Recently, email marketing provider MailChimp added a new option to their RSS campaigns that aims to solve a long (long) standing shortcoming in their service by way of how they handle images inside the RSS feed. In particular, Mailchimp wasn’t resizing source images so they fit inside the width of the email message template across all email clients and devices (desktop, tablet, and Smartphone).

For several years, MailChimp maintained a disclaimer at their knowledgebase absolving them of any responsibility to solve the issue:

Are your images the wrong size?
Often, blog images are pulled into feeds at a size that’s much larger than necessary, which changes the look of your campaign. Talk to your developer or web administrator about changing that image formats on the feed.

That’s a nice way of saying “not it” and dumping the mess into a user’s lap but those days are hopefully over thanks to a new feature that will resize the images to properly fit the campaign’s template width.

Making The Change

Activating the new feature is super easy but it is important to note that it needs to be done retroactively for any existing RSS campaigns.

The process for new and existing RSS campaigns is super easy, at the “RSS Feed Step” admin panel, make sure the Resize RSS feed images to fit template option is checked. That’s all there is to it.

MailChimp New Resize RSS feed images to fit template option

You will still need to keep a close eye on how your campaign messages are rendered across all major email clients, especially Gmail.

On that point, and worth noting, MailChimp’s recently updated knowledgebase article does contain a disclaimer that this option will not apply to messages viewed in Outlook:

Resize RSS feed images to fit template
Check this box if you want MailChimp to resize the images in your feed to fit your template. This will help prevent your campaign from stretching. Currently, this option won’t work when the campaign is viewed in Outlook, and videos can’t be resized.

Consequently, you will want to continue using a custom CSS solution like the one presented here at ArtsHacker in a step-by-step article from 10/28/2015.

In the meantime, make sure you check all of your existing RSS Campaigns to make sure the Resize RSS feed images to fit template option is checked and may your open rates always be high.

Drew McManus
Drew McManus
In addition to my consulting business, I'm also the Principal of Venture Industries Online but don’t let that title fool you into thinking I'm just a tech geek. I bring 20+ years of global broad-based arts consulting experience to the table to help clients break the cycle of choosing one-size-fits-none solutions and instead, deliver options allowing them to get ahead of the tech curve instead of trying to catch up by going slower. With the vision of legacy support strategy and the delights of creative insights, my mission is to deliver a sophisticated next generation technology designed especially for the field of performing arts. The first step in that journey began in 2010 when The Venture Platform was released, a purpose-designed managed website development solution designed especially for arts organizations and artists. For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, lead a team of intrepid arts pros to hack the arts, lead an arts business incubator, and love a good coffee drink.
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2 thoughts on “If You Use MailChimp RSS Campaigns You’re Going To Want This Information”

  1. HI I have a question for which I still have no answer, perhaps you can help me with this.
    I’d like to display the RSS Item Category as a title, and then loop within this category.
    The issue I have is that no item has been found for a specific category, the title wil display (which I don’t want).

    If I place the title in the FEEDITEMS loop, then the title displays as many times as items count.

    I’d like to have it displayed once, so I guess conditional content should be used there, to display title only if at least one item is available for this category.

    Do you know if that’s possible ?

    thanks a lot !

    • Hi Quentin, that is definitely something you’ll want to reach out to MailChimp support about directly or see about hiring a programmer as that all falls well outside the typical behavior for standard RSS feeds.


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