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Moving subscribers away from Feedburner and into Mailchimp (UPDATED GUIDE 2021)

Click here if you would rather download and print this guide
(however, there will be links to videos in the guide)

 

If you are a Feedburner user you probably have heard the news that Google is placing Feedburner into “maintenance mode” starting sometime July 2021.  What the heck does “maintenance mode” mean?  You may have seen this message when you logged into Feedburner or you were sent an email.

Feedburner is going into maintenance mode July 2021

Upcoming changes to FeedBurner in July 2021. Read the full announcement from Google >

In summary, it means new subscribers will not be able to signup to receive your blog posts via email.  It means if you are a Blogger user, the FollowByEmail widget will no longer work, and your automated emails to your subscribers will not be supported.

In other words, it is time to move to a new service.

Sounds daunting?  I know. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered in the step-by-step guide that has been updated for this Google announcement.

What email subscriber service should you move to?

You can move to several different email marketing providers.  There are many out there: Constant Contact, MailerLite, ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign and so many more. However, if you want similar (and better) features to what you have in Feedburner AND for an affordable price, FREE (see below), then the best email marketing service to work with is Mailchimp* and this is the service I use for many of my clients and in this tutorial.

Mailchimp Free Plan includes up to 2,000 contacts, with 10,000 sends per month and a daily limit of 2,000.


If you decide after reading this guide that you do not want to make this transition yourself, I can help. Since I am familiar with Mailchimp, moving accounts from Feedburner to Mailchimp is something I can do pretty quickly.  If you prefer to hire me to do all of this for you, fill out this form.  I’m happy to help.


Step by Step Guide to moving subscribers out of Feedburner and into Mailchimp

#1. Open your Feedburner account and click on your Feed Title which is right next to the number of subscribers you have.

step 1. Click on feedburner feed title

 

#2. Locate your subscribers in Feedburner.

You think this would be easy but it takes some digging.  You need to click on the Publicize tab, then Email Subscriptions, then Subscription Management……

Step 2. Locate your subscribers in Feedburner

 

…..then scroll down and click on View Subscriber Details below Total Subscribers

Once opened click on CSV next to Export

Export CSV file of subscribers in Feedburner

 

#3. Open your subscriber list and delete any unverified email addresses

Next, open the CSV file you exported in Excel, Google Sheets or Numbers (Apple).  It doesn’t matter.  As long as you can edit the file. Then sort the 3rd column, “Status”, descending from Z to A.  Then delete any rows that show “Pending Verification” in the Status column.

Why delete these addresses?  These are well-intentioned subscribers who never verified their addresses.  So they never received your blog posts via email, to begin with.  Now to be fair, Mailchimp does not require double opt-in anymore so you could move all the addresses over, but the unverified may be confused as to why they are suddenly receiving emails from you.  They can always unsubscribe though, so you can decide to use them all.

Finally, download the edited file back to your computer as a CSV file.

Below is a short video on how I sorted and deleted the unverified emails from the list. Email addresses have been blacked out in this video.

Now you are ready to move your subscribers to Mailchimp.

 

#4 Start your Mailchimp* account if you don’t already have one

You will start off with a free account.  Fill out all the information Mailchimp asks (full setup guide coming soon).

#5 Upload your Feedburner subscriber list to your Mailchimp account

Once your account is activated, click on Audience

Step 5. Upload subscribers to your list in Mailchimp

 

On the next screen, in the upper right-hand corner select Manage Audience, then Import Contacts.

Import contacts into Mailchimp

 

Then select Upload file on How would you like to import your contacts page

Upload your subscriber list to Mailchimp

 

Then find the CSV file you cleaned up and downloaded in Step 3

Subscribers CSV into Mailchimp

Then you select which columns of information you want to move into your new list.  You really only need the first column of email addresses, but in this video, I show you how to assign the date column to Opt-in time and not import the Subscribe Status column.  Email addresses have been blurred out in this video.

 

On the next screen, select Subscribed on the status dropdown and then click “Continue to Tag

Select Status of uploaded contacts in Mailchimp

You can decide to Tag your contacts on this next screen.  I suggest you do that so you can always look back as your subscriber list builds in Mailchimp and know which addresses were imported from Feedburner (and send to them specifically if you need to).  Type in any tag you want.  I labeled these as “Moved from feedburner”. After you type in the tag, select “+Create…” underneath, then click the “Continue To Match” button.

Congratulations!  You are now done importing your contacts.

Next, you will learn how to add a signup form from Mailchimp to your website.

 

#6 Replace your Feedburner subscribe form with a Mailchimp subscribe form

Select Audience from the left menu and then Signup Forms

 

Then select Embedded Form

Select Embedded Form in Mailchimp

 

 

You can select from several different form styles but for this tutorial, we will stick with the first style, The Classic.  You can change the title of the form or not include a title at all.  It’s best just to show only required fields (usually the Email Address field) but you can decide if you want all fields.  You can keep the 3 boxes on the left checked. You probably don’t have group interest groups if you are just getting started (that’s explained in a more advanced tutorial, coming soon).

Lastly copy the code in the copy/paste section.

 

Copy and paste subscribe form code and embed into website

 

Next, edit your website and replace the Feedburner code on your website.  You may have to delete the widget and add an HTML widget or if you can replace the subscribe code already on your site that’s even better.

Paste the Mailchimp signup form code to your website

This is an example of a HTML widget on a Blogger site where the Mailchimp subscribe form can be pasted.

 

Nice job!  Now that you have the new subscribe form on your website, let’s set up the automated email that is sent to your subscribers after you publish a post.

 

#7 Setup the Automatic Blog Email in Mailchimp

First, start by moving away from the Audience part of Mailchimp and into Campaigns (that is Mailchimp’s term for an Email blast)

Select Create a Campaign in the upper right hand corner

Select a New Campaign

 

Then in the popup select the first option in the list

Select email in campaign

 

Next select Automated, then the last option, Share blog updates

Select blog updates for the email type in Mailchimp

 

Next, name your new campaign and select your audience (there usually is only one available).

Name your blog campaign

 

Now you will need to find the feed URL of your blog.

Return to your Feedburner account, look for the RSS icon at the top of your account under the feed main title, and click on that.

select the feed icon

 

Then copy the URL in the address bar

Copy the feed url

Go back to Mailchimp and paste the feed URL in the first field.  Then select when you want the email to send.  Usually, you will want to send the email Every day. The email will only send IF there is a new post 24 hours prior.  Then select the time you want the email to send.  If the time zone was not set up to match the time zone you are in go to your account settings to change it. (This will be included in a more advanced Mailchimp setup tutorial, coming soon).  Then select “Resize RSS feed images to fit the template.”

Add your RSS blog feed link to Mailchimp

 

Then go to the next page (Recipients) and select who you want to send the email to – your Entire audience. (An in-depth explanation of segments, tags, and groups will be explained in a more advanced Mailchimp setup tutorial, coming soon).

Send to entire audience

Next, you are on the Setup page of the Campaign flow.

Your Campaign name is for your record in the campaign list. Your subscribers don’t see this.

In the Email subject field, replace what is in this field with this code *|RSSITEM:TITLE|*  
This makes sure that the title of your blog post is pulled into the subject line automatically.
The Preview text is what appears in some email programs as a preview before the email is opened so you want some text there, like “Read the latest update from the Travel blog”.  Make sure your From name and email address is accurate then select Next >.

Setup your mailchimp blog campaign

 

On the Template page, I suggest selecting one of the first 2 styles under Basic.  These are the best frameworks for getting started with a simple email layout. Once you select one of these click Next >.

Select your email template in Mailchimp

 

Now is the fun part!  On the Design page, you will change your logo, add the feed code and update the social links.

Here is a video on how to complete this step:

It’s a good idea to Preview your email and send a test to yourself.

Click Next >

On the Confirm page, there is a checklist to make sure everything is set up correctly.  Review this and make any edits as needed.  Most of the time no changes need to be made at this point.

Then click Start RSS > and your email will send at that next time you set if there is a new post on your blog.
Final check of Mailchimp campaign
Great job!  You are almost finished.
Now let’s close things up over at your Feedburner account.
#7 Stopping Emails from sending in Feedburner
Google has not provided an exact date when they are shutting down some of the features in Feedburner.  So it is a good idea to manually turn off the auto-emails being sent from Feedburner so your subscribers do not receive blog updates from both services during this transition.  Here is how that is done.
Log into your Feedburner account and click on the Publicize tab.
Click Email Subscriptions > Delivery Options, then click Deactivate.
This stops emails from being sent from Feedburner until Google stops this feature.
IMPORTANT:  Do NOT shut down your Feedburner account.  Your blog feed url is still being pulled through Feedburner and you have pasted that into Mailchimp.  Google is keeping this part going.
Deactivate email delivery in Feedburner
You did it!
Nice job!

If you read this far, and you still have questions please ask in the comments.

If this tutorial seems too daunting to do on your own, I understand.  Since I am familiar with Mailchimp, moving accounts from Feedburner to Mailchimp is something I can do pretty quickly.  If you prefer to hire me to do all of this for you, fill out this form  I’m happy to help.


*This is my referral link to Mailchimp.  If someday you upgrade your account to a paid plan then we both receive a credit on our accounts.  You can read more about how their Referral Program works here.


 

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Ann Marie
Ann Marie is a genius at making technology simple. Since 2001, she has run the web design and online marketing company, Cascade Valley Designs just outside of Seattle. She specializes in building, customizing and maintaining WordPress websites. If you are a DIYer, she can help you avoid a catastrophe with her DIY Website training program and monthly Website Freedom Plan.

7 Comments

  1. Brooke

    Thank you, this was exactly what I needed. It also didn’t take me as long as I thought. I have been putting off doing this but now it’s done I feel relieved. Thanks again

    1. Ann Marie

      So happy to hear it helped and it didn’t take long!

  2. jean marmo

    THANK YOU!!! This was immensely helpful and I believe I am now all set up!

    1. Ann Marie

      That makes me so happy to hear this tutorial was helpful to you. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  3. Patti (Boothby) Alden

    I did it! And I didn’t even have to have my kids help me. Thank you for a great tutorial.

    1. Ann Marie

      That’s funny. Nice job getting it done yourself!

  4. Hector

    This was outstanding! If I need more advance work in the future I will definitely contact you.

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