Using Mailchimp with Breeze

Overview

Mailchimp (http://mailchimp.com) is a simple, powerful, and effective communication tool allowing organizations to email out beautifully-designed emails to large groups of people and allow senders to see how many people opened their email.

Churches that use Mailchimp may run into the struggle of having to keep two lists up-to-date: their church management group and their Mailchimp group. Here's an example:

David is a freshman who comes to youth group for the first time in the middle of the year. The youth pastor adds David into the youth group within the church management program but forgets to add David's email address into the Mailchimp list. Even though David will show up on church management reports, David isn't getting any emails from the youth pastor.

Breeze resolves this by giving you the ability to synchronize Breeze Tags with Mailchimp Audiences and Tags. If synchronized, as soon as someone is added into the specified tag(s) within Breeze, that person is also added into the connected Mailchimp Audience or Tag. This saves churches from having to worry about remembering to update Mailchimp with their church data because the two are synchronized.

Connect

To connect Mailchimp with Breeze:

  1. Navigate to More > Extensions > Mailchimp
  2. Enter your Mailchimp API key
  3. Click Connect 

Synchronize Breeze Tags with Mailchimp Audiences

To synchronize Breeze Tag(s) with Mailchimp Audiences:

  1. Navigate to More > Extensions > Mailchimp
  2. If your Mailchimp account has been connected to Breeze you'll see a list of all of your Mailchimp Audiences within Breeze. If you don't have any created, you'll need to first create one within Mailchimp.1
  3. Click Link Audience to the right of the desired Mailchimp Audience name.
  4. Select the Breeze Tag(s) with which you'd like to connect to your Mailchimp Audience
  5. Click Sync

This will create a single mailing list in Mailchimp and not individual tags in Mailchimp.

Updates to the people in your Mailchimp Audience will now be automatically reflected by the individuals in the corresponding Breeze Tag(s).2

Synchronize Breeze Tags with Mailchimp Tags

To synchronize Breeze Tag(s) with Mailchimp Tags:

  1. Navigate to More > Extensions > Mailchimp
  2. If your Mailchimp account has been connected to Breeze you'll see a list of all of your Mailchimp Audiences and their corresponding Tags within Breeze. If you don't have any created, you'll need to first create them within Mailchimp.
  3. Click the dropdown arrow to the left of the Audience name.
  4. Click Link Tag to the right of the Mailchimp Tag name.3
  5. Select the Breeze Tag(s) with which you'd like to connect to your Mailchimp Tag
  6. Click Sync

Updates to the people in your Mailchimp Tag will now be automatically reflected by the individuals in the corresponding Breeze Tag(s).2

This will Overwrite any current contacts that you have in your Mailchimp Tag. If you think you have contact information in your MC Tag that you would like to keep, the suggestion would be to create a New Tag in MC to correspond with Breeze.

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1 For security purposes, Mailchimp restricts the ability for Breeze to create Audiences on your behalf; rather Mailchimp requires audiences to be initially created via the Mailchimp interface.
2 Note that you may see a delay when looking for the updates on Mailchimp's side. Please allow up to 5 minutes for the change to be reflected within Mailchimp. 3 If the parent Mailchimp audience has already been synced with Breeze, you will first need to disconnect the Audience from Breeze before syncing with specific tags. Disconnecting the parent audience will not remove the synced people from your Mailchimp contact list.
If there are 2 email addresses in the Breeze email field then MailChimp will send to both emails.
Additionally, in most cases, you'll see fewer names in your Mailchimp mailing list than within Breeze. This is because Mailchimp will not include:
  • People with no email addresses
  • People who have previously unsubscribed from that mailing list
  • The same email address more than once
  • Invalid email addresses
  • Emails marked as Do Not Email

Disconnect

To disconnect Mailchimp from Breeze:

  1. Navigate to More > Extensions > Mailchimp
  2. Click Disconnect from Mailchimp in the bottom right

Managing Audience Subscriptions

Mailchimp directly offers a way for recipients to subscribe to Audiences. While this can be an extremely useful feature for letting people opt into your newsletter, keep in mind that the Breeze integration will overwrite any changes. This means people's requests to opt in will not be retained the next time Breeze updates the Mailchimp Audience/Tag with the Breeze Tag.

As a result, we recommend managing a mailing list with either Breeze or Mailchimp, but not attempting to do so with both.

Note that unsubscriptions work differently in that if someone unsubscribes from your list, Breeze will not add them into the Audience in the future, even though they are still a part of the synced Breeze Tag. This is typically desirable behavior, giving people the ability to opt out of a mailing without you needing to remove them from their Breeze Tag.

When Breeze updates Mailchimp, we first check to see what addresses are already in the Mailchimp Audience, so as to not push extra "add" commands to Mailchimp (i.e. we don't just overwrite all entries on every sync. As a result, Mailchimp should have accurate information as to how long an address has been subscribed, allowing use of Mailchimp's automation features such as "emailing everyone one week after sign up." Changes that are made in Breeze after the initial synchronization may appear nearly instantly after refreshing your MailChimp page. However, it is best to allow 5 minutes for changes in Breeze to be reflected on MailChimp.
The integration of Mailchimp with Breeze does not look for updates to names within Breeze. So if you do make an update to names within Breeze, it will not reflect in the Mailchimp Database. The only way to fix this is to archive your mailchimp database, and then disconnect the API extension from Breeze. Then, reconnect the API to do a reimport so that the changes reflect in Mailchimp.
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Comments

45 comments
  • @info

    This would be via a Form! Create a Breeze Form with selections to Opt In and Opt Out. Have those same options available within the profile fields. If you have Smart Tags enabled, you'll be able to connect people with those selections to the appropriate Tag automatically. 

    Feel free to call us if you need any additional clarity!

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  • Hi! I'm curious, if we were to create a Mailchimp subscribe form on our website, if someone were to subscribe, would they get that tag added in their Breeze account (if they have an associated account)? Or is it just a one way integration? And if it's a one way integration, would they then get removed from the list the next time Mailchimp pushes its sync? What's the best way to get subscribers (without manually adding tags in each individual's Breeze profile)?

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  • @media

    The best way to handle Subscribe/Unsubscribe actions is to manage all of this within Breeze. You will need to create a Subscribe/unsubscribe form that has the Two options available. (You'd also want these options within your Profile fields as well) - From there, you would want to create a smart tag that connects to the Subscribe field. This way, you never have to update it and Breeze does it for you!

     

     

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  • We currently received names and email address through our website. It goes directly into Mailchimp. However, we receive donations and payments through Breeze. I've been able to get the contact list from Breeze to Mailchimp when a we get a new donor but I can't find a way to get the new names that come into Mailchimp over to Breeze to have a complete list there as well. Any suggestions besides printing out the contact list from Mailchimp and manually entering them into Breeze?

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  • @fff

    Great question here! New data inputted into Mailchimp from a third party can't sync back into Breeze and create new profiles. 

    My recommendation here would be to replace the form you have on your website and make it a Breeze form. Then I would set up "Auto-Tagging Form Respondents" so that the form responders end up in your tag that has been set up to automatically sync with Mailchimp. 

    I hope this helps!

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  • Hello! My church is starting to use Breeze and wants to integrate Mailchimp for sending out communications. I read the article above about connecting Breeze Tags with Mailchimp tags, and was able to complete that. Most of our contacts in Breeze do not have tags yet and when we sent out an email, we are looking to send it to all our contacts. 

    Is there a way to sync ALL Breeze contacts into Mailchimp? And as a follow up, would they to stay up to date (if one contact modified in Breeze, the changes show in Mailchimp)? 

    Thanks!

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  • Hey @lucinesabounjian, 

    That's a great question!  The best practice is to create a tag labeled "MailChimp" or "Email List", then include everyone into that tag.  After that, you can synchronize that tag to a tag in MailChimp. 

    Here are two articles you may find helpful: 
    Bulk Assigning or Unassigning Tags
    Using Smart Tags

    Keep up the great work!

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  • Great, thank you!

    So let's say that I give every contact in Breeze a "MailChimp" Tag; if a contact unsubscribes from an email sent out from MailChimp, does that remove their "MailChimp" Tag in Breeze?

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  • Hey @lucinesabounjian,

    That's a great question!  As it turns out, if someone unsubscribes from MailChimp they will not be removed from the Breeze Tag.  However, MailChimp will discontinue sending emails to them in the future so it doesn't matter whether they're on the tag on not at that point.  

    I hope this helps!

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  • Need the same tags added to a BreezeChMS profile to also show up as tags under the subscriber’s MailChimp profile!!! BreezeChMS passes the email address, first name, and last name to MailChimp for each contact... I need the TAGS to also be passed from BreezeChMS to MailChimp for each contact. Maintaining UNSYNCED, MANUALLY ADDED tags isn’t ideal. Is there a way to fix this? 
    ___
    NOTE: MailChimp only allows 1 AUDIENCE LIST with its FREE version now. So, passing TAGS to MailChimp along with the other BreezeChMS profile fields is key! It allows BreezeChMS users to select a specific tag within MailChimp to send email to. 

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  • @webmaster

    Thanks for taking a moment to reach out to us! We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that the current set up is causing you. We understand how important it is for as much information to be available as possible, however, the current configuration does not support a Profile's Tag information to be shared. 

    The API connectivity between Breeze and Mailchimp is geared towards you having access to the same lists (Tags) in Mailchimp as you do in Breeze. Functionality beyond this has not yet be developed. 

    If you would like to submit a Feature Request to help us further develop this feature, we encourage you to click here: Submitting Feature Requests

    Please let us know if there's anything else that we can do to serve you!

     

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  • Hello again, 

    I have synced my Breeze tags and Mailchimp tags.

    I've been updating some contacts' information in Breeze and am not seeing those changes appear in MailChimp. When we started using Breeze, we had numerous email addresses for contacts without names associated with them. When we imported these emails to Breeze, we assigned these individuals the name "Name Name". I have since been able to find out the names of some of these people and have edited their contact card in Breeze. After adding the first and last name to that contact in Breeze, I've noticed that their name doesn't change from "Name Name" in MailChimp. Another note is that these emails (associated with "Name Name") have already been receiving emails sent by MC...so I don't know if that has anything to do with why their name isn't getting updated.

    Any reason why this information isn't syncing between Breeze & MC?

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  • @lucinesabounjian

    Great question here! It is possible that Mailchimp is not picking up the changes that are being made in Breeze. What I would suggest, is unlinking that tag and then relinking it so that Mailchimp can have an updated push from Breeze. This should take care of it for you, but if you encounter any additional issues, please don't hesitate to reach out to us!

    Cheers!

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  • So far I've tried un-tagging a few people and re-tagging them and haven't seen any changes. Should I try un-tagging and waiting a few minutes before re-tagging?

    Also, before I learned how to sync tags between MC and Breeze, I inputted the majority of our contacts via a spreadsheet (only name and email). Is that impacting their ability to be synced when a contact in edited in Breeze? (When I did synced MC and Breeze, the tags were adding to all the contacts in MC.)

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  • @lucinesabounjian

    These are great questions! To the first one, yes… Unlink them and wait a few moments then re-link them. 

    To your second question, that very well could be the reason however it would take some testing to find out if that was the case. I would suggest giving us a call to troubleshoot this further with you!

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