By Marisa Porter and Titania Porter

If you use MailChimp’s great tool for your email marketing, we have good news for you! You have half the equation you need to unleash the power of a great email marketing tool and a great contact manager.

Many people start out building their email lists the same way I did when I wanted to interact more with my blog readers: by setting up a MailChimp list, creating a form, and auto-syncing everyone who opted in to follow my progress as a writer to my first MailChimp email list.

MailChimp has an embeddable form you can use for this purpose.

However, I didn’t want to use MailChimp’s form. I wanted to use Gravity’s form (for WordPress). Here’s why.

I wanted to be able to interact with, analyze, and get data on my lists in a way MailChimp’s email list couldn’t let me accomplish. Beyond starring contacts in your MailChimp email lists, there’s no granular way to create the kind of Tribes I want to be able to keep my contacts organized by level of interaction.

For example, I wanted to group everyone who purchased my short story, Childhood’s Last Summer. Though I can manually create a segment from an existing email list in MailChimp, I cannot create a separate email list blending people from my original list, a new list, and another activity. I can only use the segmenting feature. It’s a great feature, to be sure, but I wanted more.

Currently one option in MailChimp would be to star everyone who’s communicated to me that they purchased Childhood’s Last Summer (Amazon does not allow you to know who your purchasers are), and then add all the VIPs to the new list. Where it really gets tricky is when MailChimp asked if I wanted to auto-update all future VIPs to the new segment. While that could be a great option in some cases, I had used the VIP feature only as a way of starring contacts whom I knew had purchased Childhood’s Last Summer. In the future, I might forget this and start starring people as VIPs for some other reason, resulting in them being added to a list I didn’t want to add them to (which would result in them getting mail they didn’t want).

And what if I want to pull in people from a different list? What if I want to pull in people based on who answers a survey? Or word of mouth? Or something else?

The answer? UkuuPeople, a simple CRM for WordPress sites.

Instead of creating my mailing lists using MailChimps lists and MailChimp’s form sync alone, I synced those lists to UkuuPeople’s tribes and then was able to use those contact records in a variety of ways.

Let’s look at the advantages.

Ease of syncing. A MailChimp segment can be synced to the contact manager UkuuPeople, and an UkuuPeople Tribe can be turned into a MailChimp list.

Here’s where not using your email service as your contact manager really comes in. Using a simple contact manager like UkuuPeople lets me control my groups before unharnessing the power of email lists. It’s like budgeting your money before spending it. It’s also like organizing your time before living it. Looking at your contacts in an organized view, one like a contact manager can show you, can help you create your communication campaigns before you reach MailChimp’s email marketing dashboard. It also helps you communicate with them in ways other than email. For example, what if you want to:

  • Record a phone call?
  • An upcoming Skype meeting?
  • Schedule a meeting?
  • Create donor groups (so important for nonprofits!)?
  • Run detailed reports?
  • Create groups (Tribes) based on activities that may or may not become part of your email lists in the future? (But having tabs on the groupings gives you knowledge and power.)
  • Store more contacts than MailChimp lets you? (Eventually MailChimp starts charging per list member, but UkuuPeople doesn’t.)
  • Move contacts from one group to another? (Because of the SPAM Act, MailChimp cannot allow you to do this.)

The marriage between a powerful email software like MailChimp and a simple Contact Manager like UkuuPeople creates a dynamic tool that lets you acquire new contacts and love the ones you have, all while saving time in at least 10 ways.

As soon as you install UkuuPeople and the MailChimp Integration, you’ll have a way to automatically sync contact records from your MailChimp lists into your contact files.

As time goes on, you’ll want to up-sync your contacts, from a specific Tribe to MailChimp in preparation for another great email blast.

Or purchase one of our bundles to get the best contact manager bundle for your nonprofit, blog, or business. We recommend at least getting the Basic bundle for a full-featured CRM, and Nonprofit Plus for nonprofits, no matter what size.

After you’ve installed UkuuPeople and your add-ons, here are the steps to sync MailChimp with your contact manager for a powerful email marketing and communications duo.

Syncing Segmented Lists Between UkuuPeople and MailChimp

  1. Go into Settings, and click on the Integrations Tab.
  2. If it’s not already entered, you’ll want to get your MailChimp API key and enter it here.
  3. Save that.
  4. Choose the MailChimp list you want to sync to and/or from.
  5. And the Tribe you are syncing with.
  6. Then determine if you want to sync:
  • 1 way—only up-syncing your new contact records from this Tribe to MailChimp, or
  • 2-way—syncing from your contacts to MailChimp and also syncing any new MailChimp contacts to your UkuuPeople contacts.

7. Now you’re ready to sync lists!

Note: Whenever you run through a new sync equation, it’s entered in the lower part of the screen, in the Synced Lists area. You may choose from this list and rerun the sync or create another sync equation.

Synced Lists Area

Now, install UkuuPeople, pick a bundle or the MailChimp add-on, create some Tribes, populate those Tribes, and email your people!

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