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Mailchimp Connection

How to use the BlueConic Mailchimp Connection to synchronize Mailchimp audiences with BlueConic customer segments

What: The Mailchimp Connection allows you to enrich BlueConic profiles with data from Mailchimp subscribers and vice versa. This connection supports scheduled batch import and export. You can use the BlueConic Mailchimp Connection to push audiences and custom variables from BlueConic to Mailchimp for email segmentation and triggered email campaigns. For example, you can create personalized newsletters (creative, messaging, offers) based on user interests, BlueConic Lifecycle data, and engagement level or alerts such as cart abandonment reminders and restock updates.

By synchronizing Mailchimp data with BlueConic, you'll have access to activated data about audiences and email behaviors to tailor online experiences.

About BlueConic: The BlueConic Customer Data Platform harnesses the data required to power the recognition of an individual at each interaction, and then synchronizes their intent across the marketing ecosystem.

Why: Interact with your email recipients with relevancy on-site, and in their inbox. By taking Mailchimp data into BlueConic, you can individualize their experience on-site or in-app. By using BlueConic's unique behavioral data collection engine, you can enable a highly relevant email program for triggered emails and drip campaigns.

For the connection to work, you must have an active Mailchimp account.

Watch the video: Using the BlueConic Mailchimp Connection


Profiles in BlueConic and Mailchimp

In BlueConic, each profile is used throughout that BlueConic instance. However, in Mailchimp, audience members are separate for each audience. This means that one person can be in several audiences within Mailchimp, but that person is not the same entity throughout Mailchimp. This also means that Mailchimp cannot be searched for one person directly, because they are stored within audiences. Profile information in BlueConic is always stored directly on the per-person profile.

Synchronizing your profile data with the Mailchimp Connection

Synchronizing BlueConic customer profiles with Mailchimp audience members via scheduled batch import and export is non-symmetrical. There is no clear mapping between most BlueConic properties and Mailchimp member fields. Instead Mailchimp-specific information is taken and added to BlueConic to enrich the profiles. You can specify BlueConic properties that should be added to Mailchimp merge fields. These fields can be used to enrich mails sent within Mailchimp.

Recognizing users in BlueConic and Mailchimp

Mailchimp always uses one specific property as a member ID: the MD5 hash of a (lowercase) member email address. BlueConic stores an internal ID for each profile, but this is not mapped to any meaningful property of the profile. To identify profiles in BlueConic as Mailchimp members you have to configure the connection in which BlueConic profile property the user email address is stored. This has to be an indexed profile property, also called unique identifier in BlueConic (see Profile properties).

Mailchimp audience restrictions

Mailchimp has various subscription levels that allow you to create a certain number of audiences within your account. To avoid running into these restrictions, you can use this connection to synchronize all visitors within an email address segment and pass over all associated segments. For example, you can export all of your required profiles for communication to this list (all profiles with an email address) and pass over all of their associated segments to Mailchimp. In Mailchimp, you can then directly use these segments to send an email.  Each profile you send will have a list of the segments they belong to. This way, you have one audience list in Mailchimp, but you can use directly the segments/audiences to target coming from BlueConic.

Using Mailchimp Connections with BlueConic Lifecycles

You can add Mailchimp Connection goals as touchpoints in BlueConic Lifecycles. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Exporting Lifecycle stage information to Mailchimp: When a Mailchimp connection goal has been added to a Lifecycle, you can use that export goal to send a list of profiles that attain a certain lifecycle stage along their customer journeys and use this information for targeted emails. You can also use lifecycle stage information to create new audiences or segments outside of BlueConic, for example.
  • Setting Lifecycle stage restrictions: You can restrict a connection goal to export only the profiles that are currently part of a certain lifecycle stage.
  • Setting thresholds on marketing touchpoints: You can use lifecycle stage thresholds to limit campaign pressure on customer profiles in a certain lifecycle stage. For example, you can make sure a customer is exposed to only 3 marketing touchpoints per week, per month, or per quarter during a particular stage on their customer journey. You can choose whether to count clicks or views toward Lifecycle stage thresholds.

Creating a Mailchimp Connection in BlueConic

  1. Choose Connections in the BlueConic navigation bar.
  2. Click the Add Connection button.
  3. A pop-up window appears. Enter "Mailchimp" in the Search bar and select the Mailchimp connection.
    The Mailchimp connection page opens. You can expand or collapse the metadata fields (favorite, labels, and description) by clicking the gray chevron at the top of the page.
  4. In the metadata section you can choose whether to get email notifications when the connection runs or fails to run.
  5. Enter a name for the connection at the top of the page and Save your settings.

Configuring a Mailchimp Connection

Set up and run

Use the Set up and run page to configure the connection between BlueConic and Mailchimp. To run the connection, BlueConic needs an authorized connection with Mailchimp.

  1. Establish authorization by selecting the Connect with Mailchimp button.
  2. In the Mailchimp window, enter your Mailchimp username and password to allow the two systems to connect. Click Allow to grant access to BlueConic.
  3. In the connection page, enter your Mailchimp instance URL.

How to authenticate your Mailchimp Connection in BlueConic

When the authentication succeeds, the Mailchimp instance will be displayed. There is also a link "Reset connection" that you can use to disconnect the connection so you can reconnect with Mailchimp. 

Data exchange shows the total number of unique profiles that have been imported or exported via the connection. Note that these are unique profiles - if the same profile is exported multiple times, it is counted as 1.

How to exchange customer profile data between Mailchimp audiences and BlueConic with the Mailchimp Connection

Importing data from Mailchimp into BlueConic

In the left-hand panel, select Import data into BlueConic and follow the steps laid out in the import goal. This is where you configure what Mailchimp data should be imported into BlueConic. 

1. Select one or more Mailchimp audiences to import from

You can choose to import subscribers with a range of Mailchimp statuses (subscribed, unsubscribed, pending signup, or cleansed). Use the Create BlueConic profiles checkbox to say whether or not an audience is allowed to create new profiles in BlueConic. If you leave the box unchecked, only existing profiles will get their data updated from Mailchimp. 


Use the "Save the audiences..." checkbox to have BlueConic keep track of the names of the audiences whose data enriched a profile. Select a profile property to store that record. To create a new profile property, enter the name and choose "Create Profile Property...".


2. Link identifiers between Mailchimp and BlueConic

Determine how BlueConic will match Mailchimp subscribers to BlueConic profiles. You can only select a BlueConic profile property that has been designated as a "unique identifier". When a Mailchimp audience contains a subscriber for which BlueConic cannot find a matching profile, either the subscriber will not be imported or a new BlueConic profile is created - depending on the 'Allow to create new profiles' setting for the audience. Mailchimp subscribers that contain no value for the Mailchimp identifier will be excluded from the import.

How to match unique identifiers between BlueConic profiles and Mailchimp audiences using the Mailchimp Connection

3. Map Mailchimp data to BlueConic

Here you determine how information from Mailchimp should be mapped to BlueConic profile properties. Add mapping rules by clicking Add mapping. Select a Mailchimp field and the BlueConic profile property it should map to, and select how the value should be imported: "Set" to always set the value, "Set if empty" to only set the value if the profile didn't have a value yet, "Add" to add another value to the audience or "Sum" to add a numerical value to the value in the profile.

How to map Mailchimp audience data to BlueConic profiles using the Mailchimp Connection

Selecting the Add multiple mappings option creates new mapping rules for many fields at once. 

Delete any mapping rule by clicking the "x" icon that appears on the right when you hover over the rule.

To run the connection, see the steps outlined below in Running the connection.

Exporting data from BlueConic to Mailchimp 

Here you configure how data from BlueConic will be exported into Mailchimp. You can enrich the data of existing subscribers in Mailchimp with data from BlueConic, or subscribe profiles to Mailchimp audiences. Add an export goal by clicking the Add goal button. Then, activate the checkbox, click "Export data into Mailchimp" and follow the configuration steps below.

1. Select a BlueConic segment to export profile data from.

You will need to select the segment that profiles need to be a part of in order to qualify for being exported.

How to export BlueConic customer segments to Mailchimp audiences using the Mailchimp Connection

In the top right-hand corner, the number of profiles available for the export appears.


This number shows how many profiles meet the conditions for the selected segment (for example, they have an email address and gave required consent for an objective) and therefore are available for the export. BlueConic tries to export only the profiles that have changed since the last export. This number of profiles exported may be lower than the number displayed here. 

2. Select Mailchimp audience lists to export to.

Here you select one or more Mailchimp audiences to export BlueConic information to.How to export Mailchimp audiences using the Mailchimp Connection in BlueConic

3. Link identifiers between BlueConic and Mailchimp.

Determine how BlueConic will match BlueConic profiles to Mailchimp subscribers. Matches are made based on the email address in Mailchimp, and you can only select a BlueConic profile property that has been designated as a "unique identifier." If no matching Mailchimp subscriber can be found for a BlueConic profile, no data will be exported. That is, unless the "Allow BlueConic to create new subscribers in Mailchimp" option is checked - in which case a new subscriber will be created and added to all audiences.

Profiles without a value for the selected profile property will be omitted in the export.

 How to link unique identifiers between Mailchimp and BlueConic using the Mailchimp Connection

4. Map BlueConic data to Mailchimp.

This is where you map the actual information from BlueConic to Mailchimp. By adding mapping rules you determine which profile property, identifier or associated segment information goes into which Mailchimp field. Click Add mapping to add a new mapping rule for a property, or click Add multiple mappings to add rules for a number of properties.


Each mapping rule consists of a BlueConic selection on the left-hand side, and the Mailchimp field it should map to on the right-hand side. Click the BlueConic icon to open a drop-down menu where you can select the type(s) of information to match and export:

  • Profile property: The value of a specific profile property.
  • BlueConic profile identifier: The unique identifier for a profile.
  • Associated segments: All segments, or a selection of one or more specific segments that the profile is associated with.
  • Associated lifecycles: All lifecycles this profile is associated with. Learn more about Lifecycles.
  • All viewed interactions (all time): The interactions that the profile has seen.
  • Permission level: The permission level set in the profile.
  • Text value: Enter any static text.

Mailchimp fields have a restriction of 255 characters. If a BlueConic profile property value contains more than 255 characters it will be truncated when transmitting the data to Mailchimp.

To narrow down associated segments, select the segment name; here you can choose between all associated segments of a profile, or only a selection of segments. You can also replace the names of the selected segment with the value you want stored in Mailchimp. Leave the field empty to use the BlueConic name of the segment. 

How to narrow customer segments for exchanging data with the Mailchimp Connection

5. Optionally allow the creation of new Mailchimp subscribers.

Select the "Allow ..." checkbox to allow BlueConic to create new subscribers in Mailchimp when none can be found. If you do not select this checkbox, nothing will happen when BlueConic cannot find a match for a profile.

How to create new subscribers in Mailchimp audiences using BlueConic profiles in the Mailchimp Connection

The  "Remove ..." checkbox will not only synchronize additions to an audience based on the segment (of step 1), but also removals. If the checkbox is active and BlueConic detects members of the Mailchimp audience that are not part of the selected segment in step 1, BlueConic will remove these subscribers from the audience. Effectively BlueConic will keep membership of the segment selected in step 1 and the audience in sync.

6. Set a Lifecycle threshold for this goal.

This connection goal is included as a marketing touchpoint in a Lifecycle stage that has a threshold set to prevent campaign pressure on profiles in this stage. Here you can specify the events that should increment the stage threshold (and count as +1) for the Mailchimp lists to which this goal exports data.

For example, you can increment the associated stage threshold count by 1 each time a profile opens a Mailchimp email.


Learn more about BlueConic Lifecycles and how they use connection goals as touchpoints.

Running the BlueConic Mailchimp Connection

  1. At the top of Set up and run, turn the connection on and be sure to Save your settings.
  2. On the Set up and run page, scroll down to the Run history section.
  3. To start the import and export manually, click the Run now button. 
  4. To schedule the import and export for a future date, click the Settings icon How to schedule the Mailchimp Connection in BlueConic. Select how to schedule the import by choosing an option from the drop-down list:
  • Number of times per day
  • Days of the week
  • Days of the month
  • Weekday of the month
  • Click OK.
    For more information, see Scheduling Connections.
  • Privacy management

    Connections can be added to Objectives, allowing for privacy management of the information that is being picked up. A connection will only process the profiles of visitors who have consented to at least one of the objectives that the connection is linked to.


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