(This tutorial is part of the podcast automation series)

A podcast helps you to build an audience but it's difficult to contact them all at once, to share latest episodes and news. Keeping an email list is a great way to stay in touch with your podcast subscribers and to be able to hear back from them too. Transistor directly integrates with a range of email marketing platforms to allow you to collect your subscribers email addresses on your podcast webpage. This is a powerful way to build your podcast audience and have regular direct contact with them, outside of your regular episodes.

Transistor has an excellent video tutorial on how to automatically email your subscribers using Mailchimp. 

In a similar way in this tutorial we’ll take a look at how to do that using Convertkit. 

We’ll do this by adding your podcast RSS feed to your ConvertKit account to automatically trigger an email when your episodes go live. This is more commonly used with blog RSS feeds but it can work in exactly the same way for podcasts too! It also pulls the podcast content directly from your Transistor account, so your episode title, podcast description are added to the email. No need to write emails! It acts as a great reminder to your subscribers to listen to your latest episode rather than waiting for them to open their podcast app. 

Let’s go ahead and set this quick automation up! 

Getting Your RSS Feed

Log into your Transistor account, on the overview tab you’ll see the RSS feed button. Go ahead and copy your RSS feed to your clipboard.

Add Your Feed To ConvertKit‍

Next, go over to your ConvertKit account and navigate to Automations > RSS Feed > Add Feed

Paste in your podcast RSS feed in the Feed URL field.

Select your chosen sending address in the From Address drop down list.

Type in your chosen title in the Subject Line field. In our example we use the {{title}} liquid tag so that the subject line will change automatically based on the title of our podcast episodes. 

Sending Frequency & Recipients

Move across to the sidebar you can set the frequency of the emails. If you want to send an email each time a new episode goes live select Single.  

For now we’ll leave the Send Automatically check box unticked. This means the email will get created in your ConvertKit account and you will receive a draft of it first. This gives you a chance to check it over and choose to tweak it before it gets sent out. We'll come back to this option at the end when we are ready to send automatically. Also in the sidebar you can change the email template you are using, if you have designed a specific layout for it. Here we are using our default ConvertKit template. 

The last option in the sidebar lets you customise who your podcast notifications will go to. Here we have left All Subscribers selected, however if you have a segment of subscribers that are related to your podcast, you can select & filter down your intended recipients here.  

Designing Your Podcast E-mail

Now we move onto writing the email template and designing it to fit how you want it to look! 

ConvertKit has a range of liquid tags that allow you to dynamically insert content from your RSS Feed into your emails. 

The default email template that shows in ConvertKit is as follows: 

{{post.title}}Published on {{post.date}}{{post.summary}} Read more… 

The ‘Read more…’ text is hyperlinked to {{post.url}}

However we’re going to edit the default template to better suit our brand and look neater. The template we have created has our podcast name as the headline as well as our podcast artwork, aligned left. These items will stay the same each episode.Then we added {{post.title}} and {{post.date}} followed by a play button icon that is hyperlinked to {{post.url}} That gives your listeners 1 click access to get to your show! 

We also included Listen Here text link that is also linked to {{post.url}} for those subscribers that may use a screen reader. Then we added {{post.content}} to show our podcast episode description. Depending on how you write your episode summaries and show notes you may want to consider using the ‍{{post.summary_or_content }} or {{ post.content_or_summary }} tags as they might suit your episodes better and could help you to avoid having repeating content in your emails. 

Here is what our template looks like:

If you switch from the Edit tab to Preview, you’ll see what your email will look like! 

It's a nice, short branded podcast email that will work as your content changes with each episode. Keep experimenting with the layout of your email using tags, pulling data direct from your Transistor episode. 

When you’re happy with how your email looks, remember to enable it and save it, using the buttons in the top right corner of the page! 

When your automated RSS email is enabled, you’ll start to receive a draft after each episode goes live. You can check them, tweak the text and send. Once you have gone through the process of approving drafts a few times and you know the email template is working how you want it to, you can then go back into the RSS page in ConvertKit and tick the Send Automatically box. The emails will then go out without requiring any work from you! The e-mails will auto send 30 minutes after your new episode goes live, turning this into a fully hands-off process! 


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