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Importing from Mailchimp

Add your initial Mailchimp contacts into Beacon, ready for our integration to automate it going forwards.

Updated over a week ago

Mailchimp is the world's most popular email marketing platform, well liked by businesses and charities alike. Its suite of tools make it easy to create compelling email newsletters, automate drip sequences for new supporters, and report on the success of your team's email campaigns.

Whilst you will likely be using Beacon's integration with Mailchimp going forwards, you may want to import your existing data into Beacon when getting set up. Very handily, we have a pre-built import template for you, making it super easy to add your contacts to Beacon!

Export your audience from Mailchimp

First thing to do is get your data from your Mailchimp account!

  1. Go to 'All contacts' in your Mailchimp sidebar

  2. Click 'Export Audience'

  3. You will receive an email with a download link when the export is done, or there will be a link on screen when ready.

You'll get a .zip file with 3 spreadsheets:

  1. Subscribed - This is the list of active contacts in your audience who have given consent to be emailed

  2. Unsubscribed - Those that no longer wish to receive emails from you

  3. Cleaned - Addresses that were undeliverable, such as incorrect emails or full inboxes.

Tip: We recommend just importing your 'subscribed' contacts!

Import your contacts into Beacon

Once you have your audience exported, it's time to import it into Beacon with our pre-built import template.

  1. Go to Import data > Manage templates in your Beacon sidebar

  2. Click 'Create template'

  3. Give your template a name, choose the pre-built 'Mailchimp - Subscribers' option from the dropdown, and click 'Create'

  4. We're ready to import! Head to Import data > Run import in your sidebar

  5. Choose the template you just created, upload your 'Subscribed' file, and click 'Start import'

All done! Your new contacts will have been created as People with 'Email' as a contact consent (or updated existing People if they already existed)

Frequently asked questions

Can I import tags from Mailchimp?

Yes... but it's worth thinking about how best to store it!

'Tags' are an unstructured, generic data form, and Beacon is very much a structured database, so we don't want to store 'tags' exactly as they are in Mailchimp (e.g. we don't recommend having a 'Tags' dropdown!).

It's best to store the actual information that the tags represent. For example:

  • If you have a tag for those who have donated; "IG Donor", then you'd want to select 'Donor' in the 'Type' field on People records.

  • If you have a tag for those interested in volunteering; "Potential volunteer", then you'd want to select 'Volunteering' in the 'Interests' field on People records.

  • If you have tags for specific Newsletters that people have signed up for, "Beacon Bugle" & "Charities in Charge", then you'd want to create a new custom field called 'Newsletters' and have those options selected in it.

  • If you have a tag for those who attended an event, "Gala 2024", then you'd want to create an Event attendee record for that person, for the 'Gala Ball 2024' Event.

If your tags are just going to one field on People (e.g. 'Interests') then you can map the 'TAGS' column in your Mailchimp import template to that field.

If your tags are going to multiple fields on People, you can duplicate the column in your template using a smart column, and map each tag column to each field.

If your tags are going to different record types (such as creating Event attendees) you'll need to create a custom import template for that particular tag.

Going forwards, you won't need to store segmentation data in Mailchimp - you'll just tag people for the specific campaign you want them to receive.

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