Mailchimp app

Installing the app, automatically importing subscribers and syncing opt outs

Updated over a week ago

Mailchimp is an online email marketing service for managing contacts, sending email newsletters, and tracking results of your team's email campaigns.

With the Mailchimp app for Beacon, you can keep the two systems in sync - so there's no need for CSV uploads and manual data entry. And importantly - it means you won't accidentally email someone who's opted out of email communications.

You can export people directly from Beacon to Mailchimp, allowing you to segment people based on supporter data that exists in Beacon - and send them relevant communications in Mailchimp.

Watch our video overview



Export to audience

Want to send an email to a list of people in Beacon? Export people to Mailchimp in just a few clicks:

See the 'Exporting people to Mailchimp' section for more details.

Tip: Sending an email using legitimate interest? See our guide here.

Automatic subscriber import

When someone subscribes to your list in Mailchimp, they will be automatically added as a person in Beacon.

The following fields in Mailchimp will be imported:

  • First name

  • Last name

  • Email address

  • Phone number

  • Address

Additionally, you can use "fixed data", to ensure that your subscribers flow into Beacon categorised in the right way:

Email logging

When you send a campaign in Mailchimp, the campaign send will be automatically logged to the timelines of every subscriber that's saved as a person in Beacon:

You can click through from here directly to the campaign in Mailchimp, and its associated reports.

Sync your opt-outs

When someone unsubscribes from your list in Mailchimp, the 'Email' channel is automatically removed from the 'Contact consent' field on the corresponding record in Beacon.

Similarly, when 'Email' is removed from the 'Contact consent' field in Beacon, you don't have to also unsubscribe them in Mailchimp - we'll do that for you.

Automatic export with workflows

Note: The Workflows features is only available on the Standard and Premium plans and if the Workflows element is enabled in Settings > Elements.

You can automatically export people to a Mailchimp audience after they've submitted a Beacon form, using Beacon's workflows feature.

This is particularly useful if:

  • You'd like to automatically add new supporters into Mailchimp (no manual exports!)

  • You are using Mailchimp's automations to send drip email campaigns

Interaction summary

These are the actions that will happen by default between Beacon and Mailchimp.

Unsubscribe in Mailchimp'Email' removed from Beacon contact consent
'Email' removed from Beacon contact consentUnsubscribed from ALL monitored Mailchimp audiences

Subscribe in MailchimpPerson added in Beacon with 'Email' in contact consent
Person added in Beacon with 'Email' in contact consentNot automatically added to Mailchimp (possible with workflows)

Contact archived or deleted in Mailchimp'Email' removed from Beacon contact consent
Person deleted or permanently deleted in BeaconContact NOT unsubscribed in Mailchimp (remove 'Email' before archiving if you want to unsubscribe them)
Read more about archiving and subscribing here

Install guide

You can set up the Mailchimp app for Beacon in minutes.

  1. Navigate to the apps directory in your Beacon sidebar, and click Install on the Mailchimp app.

    MailChimp in app directory

  2. Next, you need to connect your Mailchimp account with Beacon:

    Connect with MailChimp OAuth

  3. After connecting, you can choose the Mailchimp lists you'd like to monitor, and some other settings. Usually the pre-filled settings are fine for most organisations.

  4. Click Save Integration. That's it, you're done!

Exporting people to Mailchimp

Exporting people from Beacon into Mailchimp is easy.

  1. Select the people you want to export from your list of People

    People Import

    Tip: If you're sending a marketing email, be sure to add a filter for 'Contact consent is Email'. This is how you send marketing emails to only those who have consented. Sending an email using legitimate interest instead? See our guide here.

  2. Click the action menu at the top of the list (the three dots!) and select 'Export to Mailchimp'.

    Export to Mailchimp

  3. Select the list you wish to export to, and (optionally) add a tag, which can be useful for segmenting a list in Mailchimp once the export is finished.

    Export to Mailchimp audience

  4. Click Export - and Beacon will do the magic for you! This may take some time if you're exporting a large amount of contacts

Nicely done! You're ready to send email campaigns to your supporters!

Frequently asked questions

How do I send emails to people using legitimate interest?

We've got a comprehensive guide on how to manage your legitimate interest mailings with Mailchimp!

How should I structure my Mailchimp account/audiences?

Beacon works best with Mailchimp's recommendation to have one single audience for your contacts. You can then use tagging to easily segment them within that audience, using the vast information you have available in Beacon. You'll also avoid having contacts stored in many audiences (costing you more!), which helps to keep your data clean.

Mailchimp have a fabulous article about how to organise your audiences.

Tip: An exception to the above is if you need to send mass legitimate interest mailings (such as event or volunteer information). See our guide here.

I get some errors when exporting to Mailchimp, what are they?

Sometimes when you export people to Mailchimp, you will get errors that come back when the export is complete.

Mailchimp errors

Mailchimp don't tell us exactly what the errors were, but they are usually either:

  • 'Cleaned' emails that Mailchimp has already removed from your audience (bounced addresses)

  • Contacts that have been deleted or unsubscribed in Mailchimp so you aren't able to re-subscribe them. Advise any of these people to sign up to your Mailchimp list directly - it's the only way for them to be subscribed again. See Mailchimp's guide here.

  • If you have any 'Required' fields on your Mailchimp signup form (regardless of whether you use it) then Mailchimp won't allow new contacts to be added to your account without that data. Head to Audience > Signup forms > Form builder in Mailchimp and ensure that 'Email address' is the only required field.

What data is mapped from Mailchimp into Beacon when people subscribe to an audience?

The email address will always be imported into Beacon.

Additionally, we will bring in Mailchimp's standard "merge tags" when saving subscribers as people in your Beacon database:

  • FNAME (First name)

  • LNAME (Last name)

  • PHONE (Phone numbers)

  • ADDRESS (Address - Line 1, 2, City, Region, Postcode, and Country)

Warning: If you've renamed your fields to have different merge tags, Beacon won't import the information from them. Ensure you keep the default merge tags in Mailchimp for these fields.

See Audience > All contacts > Settings > Audience fields & *|MERGE|* tags in Mailchimp for your merge tag settings.

What data is mapped from Beacon into Mailchimp when I export people to an audience?

Beacon will just export basic information to Mailchimp when exporting, as these are the only fields that are universal across all Mailchimp accounts:

  • Email

  • First name (to the FNAME field)

  • Last name (to the LNAME field)

If you'd like to add additional information to Mailchimp (e.g. you want to use data for merge tags in a campaign), create an export template and then manually import into Mailchimp.

Warning: If you've renamed your first/last name fields to have different merge tags, Beacon won't export first/last names. Ensure you keep FNAME and LNAME as your merge tags in Mailchimp.

See Audience > All contacts > Settings > Audience fields & *|MERGE|* tags in Mailchimp for your merge tag settings.

Can I re-add someone to a Mailchimp audience after they've been removed from the audience?

Yes, and no!

  • Unsubscribed by you
    Yes, you can resubscribe them by exporting from Beacon

  • Unsubscribed by the contact
    No, they will need to resubscribe directly to Mailchimp

  • Archived by you
    Yes, you can resubscribe (and therefore unarchive) them by exporting from Beacon

  • Deleted by you
    No, they will need to resubscribe directly to Mailchimp

What if someone has more than one email address?

Let's take another look at our interaction summary to see how it's affected:

Unsubscribe of any email address in Mailchimp'Email' removed from Beacon contact consent
'Email' removed from Beacon contact consentUnsubscribes all email addresses from ALL monitored Mailchimp audiences

Mailchimp subscribes are monitored at the email level and not at the person level. So, if someone removes their consent for an email address, it's reflected for ALL People in Beacon with that email address.

Will contacts be added to Beacon if I bulk-import them into Mailchimp?

No, bulk imports into Mailchimp won't trigger the subscriber sync to Beacon. Instead, simply import them into Beacon afterwards!

Does Beacon log both Campaign and Mailchimp journey emails on the Person's timeline?

No. Beacon will only log Campaign emails sent out. Automated Journey emails won't be logged.

Why does Mailchimp say my supporter has opted out but still subscribed?

Depending on your Mailchimp settings you may come across a contact in Mailchimp whose activity looks like the one below, where they are both opted-in AND opted-out:

Schrödinger's consent?? Confusing right? Not to worry! The important thing here is that it doesn't effect the Beacon to Mailchimp integration.

Mailchimp has a couple of different ways of managing subscriber preferences;

You will only ever see the above situation if you're currently using the latter.

Their GDPR settings allow you granularity on channels, so somebody can still be subscribed to an audience but can opt out of Direct Mail. While their language is slightly confusing, Mailchimp is essentially telling you that although they're subscribed to this audience, they have not yet opted in to any of your GDPR channels; not opted in = opted out.

Now, we're all obviously managing our supporters consent in Beacon 😉. So, we don't need to also manage this in Mailchimp. If you'd like to stop seeing the above scenario, then you can simply disable the GDPR settings in Mailchimp - follow Mailchimp's guide for how to get there.

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