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 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

45 comments
  • Does MailChimp use the person's main email address?  Is it possible for MailChimp to use a different, church created profile field, email address?

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  • If a person has multiple email addresses, with comma separators, as their main email in Breeze, will MailChimp send to each of the emails?

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  • Hi Ellen!

    Yes, MailChimp will use the main email address as well has any emails listed in their Breeze profile.

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  • I'm hoping I can explain things okay.  I have just started with both Breeze and Mail Chimp.  Mail Chimp offerings Lists and Tags as does Breeze.  If I connect to Mail Chimp from a tag to a list then I have several lists and I my price changes based on the combined list price.  But if I can connect Tag to Tag then it doesn't because they are only counted once in the list.  Is there a way to do that?

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  • Hi!

    Is there a way to link to different lists in Mailchimp? For example, we have an "I'm new" form that is currently connected to a series of automated emails welcoming them to our church. We are also starting another series of automated emails that they can sign up for that is unrelated to the new here emails. Can I sync the people that fill out the second form to a different list in Mailchimp?

    Thanks!

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  • Hi there! 

    Yes! You can have different or multiple lists in MailChimp. You can have the same tag synced to multiple lists or different tags for different lists. :) 

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  • Is there a way to connect two MailChimp accounts to Breeze?

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  • Greetings @abyers - only one MailChimp account connection is supported in Breeze

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  • I had to force sync between Breeze and Mailchimp. Is there a setting I need to change to make it automatically sync?

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  • Hi there @hhopper.

    It will automatically sync after your updates, no need to force sync. If you are seeing something different, please reach out to our Support team as we are happy to help! :) 

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  • We found that if we create a Tag (All Partners 2017) and synch to MailChimp, and then a person unsubscribes from this list when we create a NEW tag (All Partners 2018) and synch to MailChimp this person is added to the new list and emailed to. And MailChimp sends them an email. We had thought/hoped that either system would recognize that this person unsubscribed GLOBALLY from any emailings. We realize now that we have an option to created different channels (different lists), and force a person to unsubscribe from each new list/channel. This leads us to believe we must manually mark the record as Do Not Email, or not create multiple lists. Is this correct?

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  • Hi @council!

    This leads us to believe we must manually mark the record as Do Not Email, or not create multiple lists. Is this correct?"

    Yes, you are correct! 

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  • Thanks Emily!  After further reading the page on Mailchimp in the Knowledgebase, I see this (emphasis mine):

    • People who have previously unsubscribed from that mailing list

    This makes sense now, thanks for confirming.

    Many thanks, Mark

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  • We are having problems with breeze not consistently adding new people and their emails to MailChimp. They are not marked to not receive emails and they have not unsubscribed. I have tried both the automatic and forced sync and it still isn't adding them.

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  • @ pedeechurch, thanks for letting us know!  I've just sent you an email so that we can follow up and get some additional information from you.  We'll figure out why your people aren't syncing properly :) 

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  • Does Mailchimp pull in the Name fields from Breeze or only the email address? I use "Hi |First Name|" a lot in my mailchimp emails and want to make sure this will work...

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  • Hey @pastor!

    Yes. Within MailChimp, you then should be able to add this to your email content. Hope this is helpful!

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  • Hey there! 

    Struggling to connect MailChimp with Breeze. When I hit "more" and then it "Extensions" The only thing that's coming up is to connect to Planning Center? 

    Thanks :) 

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  • Hey @natashapadilla, 

    I'm sorry you're having some difficulty there!  I see how that could be frustrating.  You should probably check to see if your administrator has given you permission for the MailChimp Extension.

     

    I hope this helps!

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  • With Mailchimp's recent changes to their mailing list structure, will Breeze be updating so that we can sync Breeze Tags with Mailchimp Tags? It appears that Breeze only sees Mailchimp Audiences.

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  • Hey @rfrye, 

    Please pardon any ignorance regarding MailChimp; however, Breeze's synchronization with MailChimp is only one way at the moment.  Therefore, synchronizing a list will remove all people from a current MailChimp list and replace them with the people within your Breeze tag. Updates and additions made within MailChimp or by subscription form will not be retained whenever Breeze synchronizes the list. You should only synchronize lists you'd like to manage via Breeze.  And, Breeze currently works with Audiences.  There are no current plans to change that.  

    I hope this helps!

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  • Thanks for the response, Rob. I do understand that the synchronization is one-way, and I'm fine with that. My concern is that if Breeze works only with Audiences, it is difficult to work efficiently in Mailchimp. For a comparison, I would say that an Audience in Mailchimp is the same as my entire Breeze database (or all the people in Breeze I would potentially email). Much like the way Breeze uses Tags to help me manage subgroups, Mailchimp now has Tags to help manage the smaller segments of an Audience. If I have to use only Audiences in Mailchimp, I will have many duplicate individuals and potentially start to hit tier limits that greatly impact the cost of the service.

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  • Hey @rfrye! 

    Brittany here, stepping in alongside Rob. Thanks so much for asking these great questions about how our extension with Mailchimp will look going forward with their recent changes from Lists to Audiences and Tags. Ultimately we want this extension to serve you well, and right now I absolutely agree that it no longer does that.

    Know that our Product department is currently working to get this extension altered to meet these needs. We're in the planning stage here, ensuring that we have everything is set up properly on the backend that would allow you flexibility and reliability in this extension. While I can't yet provide a timeframe, know we are working hard to get this updated as soon as possible!

    We really appreciate you reaching out to us with this, as we're here to serve our Breeze family of churches in any way we can!

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  • Thank you, Brittany. I look forward to the update, and I appreciate your great customer service.

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  • @rfye - hopefully the Breeze Team has already gotten back to you with an update on how this updated process works.  It looks like the article above has been modified to include new(er) info reflective of MailChimp's changes (see: Synchronize Breeze tags with Mail Chimp tags).  I'm working through the same process :)  

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  • @Becky

    Thanks for reaching out to the Breeze community! The current article that you are viewing here does contain all of the necessary updated instructions for Mailchimp connectivity. Essentially, it's these steps:

    • Get your Mailchimp API and enter it into the Breeze Mailchimp extensions area. 
    • Create Tags in Mailchimp.
    • Connect Tags in Breeze to Tags in Mailchimp. (if you have several Tags, use the dropdown arrow to select which Tags you would like to Link or Unlink.)

    I hope this information is useful for you. If you need more assistance, please don't hesitate to give us a call as we would love to walk through this with you!

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  • Not new to breeze or Mailchimp but new to this issue.  Recently linked a new tag to our MailChimp account.  It seems any Breeze link we send out in an email does not work when the recipients click on it.  We just sent out an end of year donation letter with links to a Breeze form to donate as well as some other links to our website.  Everything worked upon testing. The website links all worked after the campaign was sent, but none of the Breeze links work.  Any thoughts?

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  • @Dan

    It sounds like maybe the link wasn't hyperlinked from Mailchimp based on the Description. I'd be interested to know if you're getting any error messages after you click on the link or is it just not going anywhere? 

    My suggestion would be to submit a support ticket for this so that we can troubleshoot further with you!

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  • Hi Stephen,

    I wish it were that simple.  The Breeze form url hyperlinked to the text in the MailChimp email works fine if you copy/paste in a browser.  When I personally received the MailChimp email all of the links work fine.  This was true for several others in the office.  However, for our minister and many others that we heard from the links in the email to the Breeze form redirected them to a page that says: "Form Not Found.  Sorry, this form has either been removed or never existed in the first place."  Yet, the form shows up in our account and the url still works other places.  

    I decided to try the email from my iPhone instead of work computer.  I ended up with the same message.  

    I will certainly submit a ticket.

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  • Shelly here at Butler Church. We haven't started using MailChimp and reading this thread I'm wondering what the best a way would be for people to opt in / opt out of a Breeze-based newsletter list? Then we could just email from within Breeze or export that list as needed (as I currently do). I'm thinking perhaps a link in the newsletter to a Breeze form and they can update their preferences there? Maybe there's a seperate article on this? 

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