Forms: Subscribe your LGL form users to Mailchimp or Constant Contact

In this article:


Overview

Organizations often want to give donors and others an opportunity to subscribe to their electronic newsletter or other important updates sent by email. If you want to use LGL forms to set up these subscriptions, you'll need to do two things: a) Build the form so that it collects accurate email information and b) map the form so that the email address and subscription status go into the correct LGL fields. This article can help you with both steps of this process.

Getting permission to send out emails

Mailchimp and Constant Contact have strict rules, based on the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, about the right way to build your email list. Nonprofits typically need to comply with CAN-SPAM (see this Guidestar article for more information).

The main thing to keep in mind about the CAN-SPAM Act is that it is a best practice to ask potential subscribers to "opt-in" before adding them to your Mailchimp or Constant Contact system. Asking users to opt in can be as simple as the addition of a checkbox in your form, asking submitters to subscribe to your newsletter or email list.

NOTE: "Transactional" emails (emails that are sent to confirm an event invitation or to acknowledge a gift, for example) are excluded from CAN-SPAM compliance regulations.

Requirements for your LGL form's design

The first step in building your form is to require that the email address field be completed. The email address is important because you need it in order to be able to send a newsletter, and you also need it to communicate with the donor about their donation, if you are building a donation form.

Add the "Email" field and mark it required, as shown here:

If you want to add the donor to your Mailchimp or Constant Contact system, add a dropdown or radio button field asking submitters to "opt-in" to receive your email communications.

TIP: This is also an opportunity to briefly share the value of receiving your email communications with your donors.

This screenshot shows how you can set up a dropdown field to allow your form users to opt in to receive your emails:

Map the fields in your form

Now you can set up the field mappings for these required fields from the LGL Integration tab, where you can add settings for the form and map all of the form fields to direct data into the correct fields in your LGL database. For both Mailchimp and Constant Contact, whether a person is subscribed is indicated by a constituent category that is assigned to their record. So once you are in the integration/mapping area, click "Add record type" and choose "Constituent Categories", as shown here:

This action creates a constituent category section in the mapping that you will use to subscribe the donor to Mailchimp or Constant Contact.

Mailchimp setup

See the screenshots below for how to set up your mapping to add a constituent category of "Subscribed" in Mailchimp after the person submitting the form opts in, and for how to map the values of "Yes" and "No" from the dropdown menu.

Constant Contact setup

Your form design could be the same as it would be for the Mailchimp form discussed above, but the mapping will be slightly different. Instead of mapping to "Mailchimp status", you're mapping to "Constant Contact lists".

See the screenshots below for how to set up your mapping to add a constituent category of "Constant Contact Lists" after the person submitting the form opts in, and for how to map the values of "Yes" and "No" from the dropdown menu.