Set Email Notifications for New Blog posts with bip.io
At wot.io we're always working on interesting new things and as you can see here, we like to blog about them. With everything going on, people were asking for an easy way to be notified when new blog posts go up. The answer was to use one of our data services, bip.io, to watch the blog RSS feed and send email when a new post goes up. In this post, we'll explain how we did it and how you can use bip.io to set up a similar notification system for any blog that has an RSS feed.
What will you need?
1. Link to RSS feed of blog (usually blogurl.com/rss)
2. Free bip.io account
3. Free or premium Mailgun Account. (You can also use Mandrill)
Step 1: Sign up on bip.io (It's free!) or sign in if you already have an account.
Step 2: In this step, we'll create a new bip and add Syndication (or RSS) feed as an Event.
Click on Create a bip
Proceed to Select Event Source
Find Syndication in the list of available pods
Step 3: In this step we will configure Syndication Pod to 'listen' to the RSS feed.
Click on Subscribe To A Feed
In this example, we'll subscribe to a labs.wot.io feed, but the process is the same for most syndication feeds. Enter a Feed name and Feed URL
Step 4: Add an Email Notification.
Click Add an Action
Select "Mailgun" from the available pods
You will be asked to authenticate the API Key from Mailgun if you are using it first time on bip.io. The API Key can be found on your Mailgun account by going to Mailgun Dashboard --> Click on Domain Name (Tutorial)
Choose the "Send an Email" action
Connect the incoming RSS feed with Mailgun Pod by dragging your mouse pointer from Syndication pod to Email pod. It will look like this
Step 5: Configuring Email
Double-click on Mailgun pod to open the configuration window
Enter details like From, Mailgun Domain Name and recipient address.
Next, configure the subject of email. bip.io offers various attributes to include in the text like Post Title, Summary, Author, Date etc.
Post Author is selected by default on bip.io.
Here's how my subject and Text email looks like -
The email body can hold HTML formatting and attributes.
Here, I have added attributes Title, Article Summary and Link. They can be separated by
<br /> tags to add line breaks in the email.
We're all set! Go ahead and click Save to save your bip.
Now that it's running, here's how I see email notifications in my gmail inbox
More Pods and Actions
This is a simple bip, but it handles the complexity of parsing the incoming feed, making it easy for you to format the outgoing email message. Plus it handles all of the details of communicating with the Mailgun API. And there are many more things you can do with bip.io like adding some functions to watch for certain things in incoming messages, modifying the content before you send your email, or sending email to different people depending on the content. You can also add many more notification types including sending text messages (Twilio), posting to Slack, or even creating your own curated RSS feed.