I recently had to tackle a difficult problem for a client, and thought I’d share the solution that I came to.
The issue: we wanted to be able to have a member’s only website with protected content. This was ‘daily update’ type stuff, though, and so the client wanted to make sure that every time something new was posted in the member’s area the correct member’s group got notified. There are about 5 sets of member groups, and each get’s their own unique notices.
To start with, we used Infusionsoft and iMember360 – by far my favorite way to handle membership sites. iMember360 sits on top of Wordpres and allows you to build completely custom membership experiences. I looked up Infusionsoft RSS to Email solutions, and I tried all of them, and none of them worked.
The issue was this – the content was protected. So you had to be logged in to see it, and that includes in the RSS feeds. Most ‘instant publishing’ solutions are RSS based, and if the content is protected, that means that the RSS reader can’t see it to pull it for mailing to the newsletter subscribers. So the challenge was to get this protected content to syndicate through RSS so an RSS to email solution would work for it.
Big credit to both Bob Keen (creator of iMember) and Jeremy Shapiro (founder of Feedbolt) for the huge assistance, and sometimes custom programming that they did to help me achieve this goal. So now, here is the simple solution.
You sign up for Feedbolt, and RSS to Email syndication service. I’m assuming that if you are interested in this you are probably already running Infusionsoft and iMember – if not, and you need help getting set up, get in touch and I’ll help you out. Once you have a feedbolt account, you have to define the RSS feed you want to use – this is where the magic comes in.
iMember360 has an AutoLogin feature. Feedbolt has configured their software to work with this feature. So here are the steps.
- Go into Infusionsoft, and create a user that is tagged appropriately to have full access to your member’s area. Get the ID of this user.
- In Infusionsoft, under Application > Settings grab your API key – you only need the first six characters
- Now put together your link. It will look like this:
Things in caps / bold need replacing. Your domain name is obvious, the XXXXXX gets replaced with the first 6 characters of your API key, YOURRSSURL/FEED gets replaced with the URL of the RSS feed you want to syndicate, and ID (the capital one, not the one like this – Id) gets replaced with the user ID of the user you created who has membership access.
This link allows Feedbolt to autologin to your site as that user and pull the RSS feed even though it is protected for member’s only.
Then you just set up a template in Feedbolt for your email, and post away in WordPress. Your member’s will get notices when you post new content via email. If they click on the ‘Read More’ link they’ll still be required to sign in – if you wanted to get fancy you could even code those to do an autologin for ultimate member ease.
I do have to say that I tried ALL of the competition for Infusionsoft RSS to email solutions, and none of them worked, and none of them came close to the level of support the Feedbolt offered.
So, this is a cool and easy way to run an ‘update’ style membership – where your readers want the latest news as it breaks via email, but also a secure member’s area to review all posts at their leisure.
As a note – it does mean you have to remember to do two things. When running an iMember membership site, you check off the level of protection on an individual page. RSS however, works by categories. So I duplicated the structure – for the Gold membership level, there is a category called Gold – and it is the feed of that specific category that in Feedbold I send out to member’s tagged Gold in Infusionsoft.
I actually found that sentence confusing to type, so if any of this is unclear, please feel free to ask questions in the comments below!