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 > 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 > 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. Additionally, you are only able to connect Breeze with one Mailchimp account.
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

Force Sync

If you've updated your Breeze tag and have not seen those changes reflect in Mailchimp, you can always try the "Force Sync" option for a quicker sync:

  1. Navigate to More > Mailchimp

  2. Find your audience/tag and hit the dropdown arrow beside it.

  3. Select Force Sync.

You'll receive a banner notification that says "This list is being force-synced with its related tags. Synchronization normally occurs automatically but this gives you manual control if you see something out of line. Please check your list within MailChimp momentarily."

Breeze will also auto-generate a report in that banner notification of email addresses that were successfully added, deleted and failed to sync in Mailchimp.

Disconnect

To disconnect Mailchimp from Breeze:

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

 

What information from Breeze can be synced with Mailchimp?

Only the name and email address of a profile can be synced with Mailchimp and no other profile fields from Breeze can sync with your Mailchimp contacts. Anytime you update a person's email address in Breeze, this will update the email address of that contact in Mailchimp. However, if you make any changes to the contact's name in Breeze, this will not automatically sync with Mailchimp. 

Additionally, it is important to know that the integration with Mailchimp is one-way integration, meaning that information will only flow one-way from Breeze to Mailchimp, but never from Mailchimp to Breeze. You will want to make all your updates to tags and contacts from within Breeze.

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 when someone unsubscribes through Mailchimp, Breeze will not resubscribe them in the future, even though they are still a part of the synced Breeze Tag. Mailchimp will display this synched person as unsubscribed within Mailchimp. This is typically the 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

6 comments
  • We are new with Breeze and working on setting up an email system to get our "bulletin" weekly correspondence out to our members.  I've used Mailchimp for our weekly and midweek emails however we are frustrated with the deliverability of these emails.  If our members have gmail they end up in the "promotions" folder.  We like being able to see the analytics of the emails sent and opened from MailChimp and are hoping to get those same analytics from combining MC to Breeze.  Or if we just send directly a pdf from the Breeze email I'd like to have the analytics for this also.  If this available that I'm not finding either of these features with the combined MC & Breeze or just the Breeze?  

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  • Hey @unitycrcoffice! I'm glad you asked about the Mailchimp integration! I'm sorry to hear that emails aren't delivering as well from Mailchimp... This may be something to inspect on the Mailchimp side, as Mailchimp is actually delivering those emails. Breeze is just sending over contacts into your audiences / tags. Mailchimp should also be able to provide you with analytics for messages sent through their program.

    If you're sending emails from within Breeze, you could easily check the status and deliverability of emails from viewing your history: https://support.breezechms.com/hc/en-us/articles/360007204113 

    I hope this helps! Please feel free to reach us at support@breezechms.com for some additional help here!

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  • We're having problems keeping someone on a Mailchimp tag. The person is on a Breeze smart tag, which is linked to a Mailchimp tag, but they randomly disappear from the Mailchimp tag on the Mailchimp side. How can I troubleshoot this? Thank you!

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  • Hey @office! We'll need to troubleshoot this in our Support channels (support@breezechms.com). Look for an email from me in the next few moments so we can take a look together.

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  • I'm not savvy with MailChimp - so we did the connection with Breeze, but have about 50 people that were in MailChimp that we do not have in Breeze. What did we do wrong? We did download the MailChimp database before trying to sync with Breeze.

     

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  • Hi @office!

    I know going between the two email lists can get confusing. I'd be happy to dig into this with you specifically. Be on the lookout for an email from me shortly! :) 

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