In this article:
- Connect LGL to MailChimp
- Add a new MailChimp list in LGL
- Use an existing MailChimp list in LGL
- Change the MailChimp list your LGL account is connected to
- What are automatic updates from MailChimp?
- Connect LGL categories to MailChimp groups and attributes
- Manage MailChimp subscribers in LGL
- Send targeted emails to static segments
- Use mailings to track targeted emails sent via MailChimp
Little Green Light's integration with MailChimp allows you to manage your MailChimp email marketing lists from within LGL. After a simple setup/configuration within MailChimp and LGL, you can begin syncing information from your LGL account directly to MailChimp.
The synchronization is a two-way process that allows you to:
- Add and remove constituents from your MailChimp mailing lists
- Automatically receive updates when constituents unsubscribe or their email bounces (if the email address is no longer valid).
The process looks something like this:
You must be an administrator to use this feature in LGL. If you are not an admin, you will not see any of these features.
Connect LGL to MailChimp
This is a fairly simple process requiring a few steps:
- Create your MailChimp account.
- Set up a list in MailChimp to use for the integration
- Generate an API key
- Use the API key to connect your LGL account with MailChimp.
These steps are described below.
1. Create a MailChimp account (if you don't already have one)
If you have a MailChimp account already, you can skip to the API key section below.
If you don't have a MailChimp account yet, create one here.
2. Set up a new list in MailChimp to use for your LGL sync
- In your new MailChimp account, click on the Lists menu:
- Then click on the Create List button.
- Name your list and save it, filling out all required fields. Now you have a list in MailChimp that is ready to be connected to your LGL account.
3. Generate and copy your MailChimp API key
For both new and existing MailChimp accounts, the next step is to generate your MailChimp API key.
- To do that, click on your username.
- From there, click My Profile, click on the Extras menu, and then choose API keys:
- Now scroll down the page a bit and click on the Create A Key button to generate your API key (unless you already have one). After the key is generated, copy the full text of the API key so that you can add it to your LGL account:
Or, if you already have a MailChimp API key, copy it so that you can add it to your LGL account.
4. Connect MailChimp to your LGL account
Once you have your API key copied to your clipboard, you can set up the integration in LGL. Log into your LGL account, and then:
- Go to Settings and click on the Integration Settings link
- Click on MailChimp Integration
- Paste your MailChimp API key into the form and click the Save button
Add a new MailChimp list in LGL
Now you can choose the list you want to integrate from the menu, and click the Save button. (If you are new to MailChimp, this is the list you created above during the MailChimp account setup process.)
If you already have an existing MailChimp account with a mailing list that you want to copy over to LGL, choose the list in your MailChimp account that you want to copy over.
Use an existing MailChimp list in LGL
If you are integrating an existing MailChimp account to your LGL account, and there are subscribers in your MailChimp account that you want to get into LGL, what you need to do is export those subscribers from MailChimp and then import that file into LGL.
Tip: When you import the file into LGL, make sure to set the MailChimp status to "Subscribed" so that LGL will know to push the constituents back over to MailChimp. Remember that LGL will push these MailChimp subscribers over to the MailChimp list that you designated when setting up the initial integration.
- MailChimp's Knowledge Base article on how to export subscribers
- LGL Knowledge Base article Upload your import file
Change the MailChimp list your LGL account is connected to
If you want to replace your existing MailChimp list with a new list and connect that to LGL via your MailChimp integration, please note that the subscription statuses of your constituents will not be preserved. In order to retain the subscription status to your old list for your constituents, you can take the following steps:
- Before disconnecting your existing MailChimp list in your LGL-MailChimp account integration, first search within your LGL account for everyone who has a MailChimp status of subscribed:
- Export those records, making sure you include the LGL Constituent ID and the MailChimp status fields:
- Save the report on your computer. You will import this data back into your account after your new list has been added.
- In MailChimp, remove your old list and add your new list. Connect your LGL account to your new MailChimp list.
- Import the file you had exported, bringing the MailChimp status for the previously subscribed constituents. The MailChimp Status of "Subscribed" from your old list will be restored in your LGL account for your new MailChimp list.
What are automatic updates from MailChimp?
Updates made to MailChimp (unsubscribes, bounces, updates, and new subscribers) are automatically pulled into your LGL Integration Queue. This process happens on a nightly basis and brings in any changes within the past 24 hours.
From the Integration Queue, you can accept these updates, which in turn will add or update your constituent information in LGL.
Connect LGL categories to MailChimp groups and attributes
If you plan to send emails to different constituent segments on a regular basis, it is good to set up a connection between LGL categories and MailChimp groups and/or attributes. This will allow you to send targeted emails from MailChimp based on the subscriber categorization in LGL.
You can do this by creating a group in MailChimp for each category in LGL that you want to keep in sync. This can be done from the Category & Field Sync tab on your MailChimp Integration page in LGL:
For example, if you allow subscribers to indicate their preferences for which types of communications they would like to receive, you might set up a Communications category in LGL and then link that category with your MailChimp list.
Link an LGL category to a MailChimp group
This option is best when you have a smaller number of controlled values. In this case, linking the category to a MailChimp group is the best way to go. The one limitation here is that you can only have 60 group values total in MailChimp.
To connect the category to MailChimp, check the "Sync to MailChimp?" checkbox, and then choose the "Sync as" option: MailChimp Group and click the Save button:
Any constituents in LGL that you subscribe to MailChimp will carry their category values over during the sync process.
Note: You should manage the values in this category from within LGL. Any time you add, change, or delete a value from a linked category, these changes will be reflected in MailChimp, but the reverse is not true.
Link an LGL category to a MailChimp attribute
This option is best if you have a category with a lot of values. You can link these as above, but choose the MailChimp "Text attribute" as the "Sync as" type.
What information will get pushed over to MailChimp?
By default, LGL pushes over First name, Last name, and Email address. The Email address we send is the "primary" email address (or the top one listed in the constituent record). We only send one email address over per record. If you change which email address is "primary" in a record that is already subscribed to MailChimp, then we will edit the record in MailChimp so the new primary email address overwrites the old one.
Manage MailChimp subscribers in LGL
Setting up the MailChimp integration automatically creates a MailChimp status category. Only those constituents with a MailChimp status of "Subscribed" will be synced to MailChimp.
LGL will prevent you from subscribing any constituent who can't or doesn't want to receive email. As such, you will not be able to subscribe a constituent who also has the special "Do not email" tag set, nor can you subscribe a constituent who has unsubscribed via MailChimp. LGL will also prevent you from subscribing a constituent whose email is not valid or has bounced.
If you have MailChimp subscribers in LGL and later mark them as 'do not email' we do not change their status in MailChimp. You would want to also mark their MailChimp status as --none--.
Subscribing an individual constituent
To add individual constituents to MailChimp, find them in a search or navigate to their Details page, and then edit their MailChimp status:
Removing one constituent from MailChimp
To remove a constituent, follow the same steps as above, but change the status to -- none --.
Bulk subscribing constituents
You can subscribe any number of selected constituents to your MailChimp list. To do so, first search for the constituents you want to add, and then click the Select X button, to select them. From there, you can click on the More actions button and select "Update MailChimp Status":
This will pull up a form that allows you to change the status of all selected constituents:
Reviewing the status of your MailChimp subscribers
There are two good places in LGL to review the status of your MailChimp subscribers:
1. In the Constituents tab, you can use the filter lists on the left (below) and the advanced search box on the right (below) to review the status for your constituents and any mailing lists they're on (if you're using a category to manage mailing lists):
2. In the Integration Settings page for MailChimp, you can see the "Record Progress" (have we pushed the record successfully to MailChimp) and the "Record Status" we've received back from MailChimp based on their attempt to process the email address. You can click on these links to filter your results. We also show you the total of constituents "Currently in MailChimp" which could include people who've been added directly via MailChimp. Here's a screenshot:
Settings > Integration Settings > MailChimp Integration
Send targeted emails to static segments
It is sometimes not enough to rely on the synchronization between MailChimp groups and LGL categories. For instance, if you want to email an appeal to lapsed donors, you might want to create a list in LGL and then sync that list to a static segment in MailChimp.
Build a list in LGL
You can do this by first creating your list in LGL:
Subscribe everyone on the list
From there, you can subscribe everyone on the list (who is not excluded based on the restrictions mentioned above) by clicking the Subscribe X to MailChimp button.
Link the LGL list to a static segment in MailChimp
You can link these constituents to a static segment within MailChimp:
And then you can sync it immediately:
Note: If you use MailChimp segments on an ongoing basis, please be sure you resync them with MailChimp if any amount of time has gone by since your last email to that segment. This is because the integration can automatically add constituents to the segment, but it won’t remove anyone. So if you want the list being used in the segment to be fully represented in MailChimp, click the "Sync to MailChimp" button prior to sending to that segment.
Watch this brief video on how to push a constituent list to MailChimp:
Use mailings to track targeted emails sent via MailChimp
Learn how you can use targeted Mailings to track emails sent via MailChimp.