How to Switch from FeedBurner to Mailchimp for Blogger

I'm sure you've seen the little notice on Blogger about FeedBurner going away in July.  Wondering what to use as a replacement?  If you have under 2000 followers, Mailchimp is a free service that is fairly easy to use.

The first thing you need to do is sign up for an account. The only drawback I have found is that you are required to enter your mailing address and it will appear at the bottom of each email Mailchimp sends on your behalf. Consider how you want your address to appear and enter it accordingly.

Once you sign up, you will need to verify your account via email.

Next, follow the steps in this link (directly from Mailchimp):

Share Your Blog Posts with Mailchimp

I would recommend having two Mailchimp tabs/windows open during the set up process so that you can go through the steps in your account and see the tutorial steps as well.

You need to know your web address of your blog.  That's basically what the entire "Before you start" section is about.

Follow the steps in the "Create an RSS campaign" section.  These are pretty straightforward.

  • "RSS feed step": basically select what time you want Mailchimp to pull and send your feed out to your subscribers via email. Even though I typically post once per week, I left this setting on "every day" just in case I decide to post more often. Choose what works for you.
  • "Recipients step": At this point, your own email will be your only recipient.  You can pull from FeedBurner now if you want or go back and add it after you've set up and tested everything. I pulled my subscribers CSV at the end so that everything was working properly prior to sending it out to the world. 
  • "Templates step": Choose your layout.  Be aware that not all options are free. I chose the basic one column for mine because that's what looks like my blog layout.
  • "Design step": Upload a logo if you'd like.  I don't have a logo for my blog, so I used a screenshot of my header so that my email will look like my blog (minus all the menus I have above the header and all the other extra sidebar and footer stuff). There are some basic editing tools available within the photo section.  If you don't have a logo but want one, I would suggest creating one in Canva, which offers some free design capabilities. 
  • For the text of your email, you will need to delete the existing template content and drag and drop one of the RSS feed blocks into its place. {You drop blocks into the left display and make text edits on the right display of this screen}. I liked the RSS items block. This pulled in my blog post and listed links to previous posts as well. You can play with different fonts and sizes in the settings menu on the right if you'd like, though it's not necessary. 
  • You will notice some icons for various social feeds at the bottom of the blocks.  Don't forget to go in and change each link to your own information.  Delete the icons you do not need. I would suggest using the website and email icons at a minimum.  At this point I entered the preview mode to make sure that Mailchimp was pulling in my feed and that my own icons were correct.  
  • "Confirm step": Once you are satisfied that your information is correct and looks how you want, you can move on to hitting the "Start RSS" button on the lower right of the screen.
  • You aren't done just yet though.  You need to import your subscriber CSV file from FeedBurner. To find this, open a new tab and log in to FeedBurner. Select the feed you want, look for "Feed Stats" in the left column, and click on "subscribers". Scroll down to "FeedBurner Email Subscriptions", then click on "Manage your email subscriber list". 
  • I would highly recommend going through each page of your FeedBurner subscribers prior to downloading the CSV because there was an unaddressed, known issue in in 2017-2018 where you would receive multiple sign ups per day with every single one having an Outlook email address.  If you were hit by this oddity like I was, you will see variations of the same few names over and over again.  I would delete every single one of these bogus sign ups prior to downloading your CSV file.  No need to waste your 2000 free Mailchimp spaces with fake, spam emails.  The drawback to this is that you must delete each fake address one at a time in FeedBurner.  This was the most time-consuming part of the entire switchover process for me. I think I spent an hour deleting all this junk.
  • Once you have a clean list of subscribers, export your CSV file. I exported mine to my desktop so that I could easily find it.
  • Move to your "Audience Dashboard" (second icon below the monkey) on the Mailchimp menu on the left side of the screen. Then click on the "Manage Audience" menu on the upper right side of the screen. In the pull-down menu, select "Import Contacts" and then upload your CSV file. 
  • Open a new tab for your Blogger account and remove the FeedBurner gadget from your blog. In your Blogger menu, you will look for the "layout" button then find and delete your FeedBurner code. It is probably labeled as an HTML gadget.
  • Now you are ready to create your new sign up/follow by email button in Mailchimp. Go to the "Audience" menu and then the "Signup forms" item.  Select which type of signup you want.  I wanted an embedded HTML form (because pop up forms are incredibly annoying to me) to replace the prior FeedBurner one, so that is what I will outline here. 
  • Select "embedded forms" and then make your selections. Change the form title to your preferred title. I would recommend only collecting the email (not name and birthday) for Blogger purposes.  Just select the "show only required fields" radio button to change this. 
  • Grab your HTML from the "Copy/Paste" window on the right.
  • Move back to Blogger, add a new HTML gadget to your layout, and paste in your Mailchimp code.  Make sure to save your layout in Blogger and then view your blog to make sure everything looks correct.
  • You will need to disable the FeedBurner feed to avoid sending duplicate emails. There may be other ways to do this, but I deleted my FeedBurner feed since I'd already transferred the followers.  This is directly from Google: 

    Closing your FeedBurner Account

    FeedBurner is a service that is associated with your Google account. When your Google account is permanently deleted, information associated with your FeedBurner account (such as burned feeds and MyBrand domains) will be automatically deleted after a grace period of 30 days. If you wish to delete your Google account, please follow these instructions.

    If you want to stop using FeedBurner without deleting your Google account, you can simply delete the feeds in your FeedBurner account individually from the My Feeds page in the FeedBurner control panel (by clicking a feed title, and then Delete Feed... at the top of the screen),  and deactivate any remaining services from the My Account page in the control panel.

  • That's it!  Depending on how tech savvy you are and how many bogus emails you have to remove from FeedBurner, this whole process should take one to two hours.

I hope this walk-through helped you, and I hope those of you who currently use FeedBurner will switch to a new service and still have a follow by email option on your blog. I'll miss you otherwise. If you have any questions or need help, don't hesitate to reach out to me. I'll try my best to help you.

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