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How to Import Blog and Event Content into Invitation Emails and Email Newsletters

The RSVP Email tool within RSVPMaker lets you create messages in the WordPress editor, as if they were blog posts, send them out with the post title as the email subject line.

Example email newsletter

Here is a video demo:

When you create an RSVP Email message by clicking Add New under RSVP Email Newsletters and Notifications, your starting point will be a blank message wrapped in a template that defines a content area, background color, and a footer with required content like a place for an unsubscribe link (see the article on how to customize the email template).

Rather than starting with a blank message, you can start by importing a blog post, an excerpt from a blog post, the invitation to an event, or a combination of the above. Part of the point of using the standard WordPress editor to create and format your email is to make it easier to incorporate existing content.

Here are three methods you can use:

  • Use the Newsletter Builder to import multiple blog posts and events.
  • Use a Copy to Email link from the context of an individual post, event, or other document.
  • Pick an item to insert from the Email section of the Patterns inserter within the editor.

Use the Newsletter Builder to import multiple blog posts and events

An RSVP Email Newsletter might consist of an invitation to an upcoming event, a blog post containing a video replay of a recent event, and another blog post or two containing information about your organization or products. That’s the idea behind the Newsletter Builder tool you will find in the RSVP Email Newsletters and Notifications section of the WordPress administrator’s dashboard.

Pick the content you would like to add in the order it should appear, and the Newsletter Builder will load it all into an RSVP Email post that you can edit further.

Use the Copy to Email and Excerpt to Email links

If you are viewing a page, blog post, or event on the website, the Copy to Email function can be accessed from the New menu on the black bar displayed at the top of the website when you’re logged in, under RSVP Email. An Excerpt to Email option also appears for pages and posts but not RSVPMaker events. See below for more detail on how excerpts are handled.

Copy to Email link

Similar links are displayed when you view a listing of blog posts on the administrator’s dashboard.

Copy to Email link on the post listing screen

Use the Email tab of the Patterns inserter

You can also add events and blog posts from within the editor using the Patterns inserter. Patterns are a WordPress innovation that let you go beyond inserting individual blocks to inserting whole sets of blocks, usually for the purpose of taking advantage of fancy designs that you can customize by replacing placeholder images and text.

RSVPMaker’s variation on the idea is to make upcoming events and recent blog posts available within a custom Email tab of the inserter so you can add them to your posts and then edit them further to appear the way you want them to in the context of an email newsletter.

Important: Before selecting a Pattern to insert into your email, place your cursor on a blank line within the email content area. Otherwise, the Pattern will be inserted at the very bottom, below the area with the unsubscribe link etc.

Next, click the + button in the upper left corner of the screen and switch from the Blocks tab to the Patterns one. Select Email to see the content you can import this way.

Pattern inserter

You may also want to experiment with inserting other Patterns into your message. However, not all patterns will display correctly in the email template. Some trial and error may be required.

Determining where the Read More button will be displayed

If a blog post is more than a few paragraphs, typically you will want to publish an excerpt rather than the whole thing.

If you use the Excerpt checkbox in the Newsletter Builder or choose an Excerpt to Email link, as mentioned above, by default the excerpt will consist of the first 5 paragraphs of content from the blog post. The excerpt will be followed by a Read More button containing a link to the full blog post on your website.

For better control of where you want the Read More button to appear, you can include the More block — a WordPress block that is also used in some block archive page layouts where, instead of displaying the full post, an excerpt will be displayed followed by a link to read more.

Here is what the Read More block looks like in the editor.

More block as it’s displayed in the editor

If the More block is included, email versions of the imported content will include use the excerpt up to that point — even if you did not check the Use Excerpt checkbox in the Newsletter Builder or follow an Excerpt to Email link. The presence of this block is taken as a signal that the entire post should not be included.

However, if no More block is included, choosing Copy to Email for a post will result in the entire post being imported. The same is true for a post chosen with the Newsletter Builder if the Use Excerpt box is not checked.

Working with nested content blocks

One handy tool when working with nested content blocks, including the RSVP Email template and Patterns you may import, is the List View exposed by clicking the icon in the upper left of the editing screen that looks like descending steps. This allows you to see the order and hierarchy of all the blocks in a document.

The posts, events, and other content you import through any of the methods mentioned above are wrapped in a Group block — which is just a way of grouping together related blocks such as all the content blocks that make up an event listing.

The hierarchy shown in the image below indicates that we have an Email Wrapper block (which defines the background color or image) wrapped around 2 Email Content Wrapper blocks, one for the main content and the other for the footer. Within the main content wrapper, we have 2 groups, plus a paragraph that’s not grouped together with any other content.

If I select the group that’s rapped around the blog post in the example shown below, I can use the up/down arrows to move it up or down within this outline. Because it’s on the same level as the content block above it clicking the up arrow in the button bar floating over the headline would move it above the other group, which in this case also represents a blog post.

The List View tool in the editor

By clicking on the three dots menu for that group, either in the button bar or in the List View, I can also see the options to delete the whole group. Or I could open up the right hand sidebar and the Styles tab (by clicking on the half circle icon) to add a background color to the whole group.

It’s also possible to drag and drop items up and down the list. For example, if I accidentally placed a block or pattern at the very bottom of the document, below the footer, I could drag it up and drop it into the main Content Wrapper section, as shown below.