Subscribe your form users to Mailchimp or Constant Contact
In this article:
- Best practices for permission to send email
- Requirements for your form's design
- Map the fields in your form
- MailChimp setup
- Constant Contact setup
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 form's design
The first step in building your form is to require the email address field within the form. 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 as required, as shown in the two screenshots below:
If you want to add the donor to your Mailchimp or Constant Contact system, add a field asking submitters to "opt-in" to receive your communications.
TIP: This is also an opportunity to share the value of receiving your communications with your donors.
These two screenshots show how to set up this type of field:
Map the fields in your form
Now you can set up the mapping 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 tell the data where to go 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 section in the mapping that you will use to subscribe the donor to Mailchimp or Constant Contact.
See the screenshot 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.
Constant Contact setup
See the screenshot 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. Having this category assigned to a constituent record means the constituent is subscribed to Constant Contact.