Tidy Up Your MailChimp List With a Custom Data Pull
Kyle Hungate • December 29, 2015
By default, our MailChimp integration provides real-time data transfers for each new order that occurs in your store. This includes basic subscriber details and MailChimp eCommerce information. However, what about previous orders that may hold valuable sales data and possible marketing opportunities? With our MailChimp app, we can orchestrate a custom data pull and time warp back to the first order sold, synchronizing all the data in your store with MailChimp.
A custom data pull isn’t a one-click feature for us, and there’s quite a bit of resources to balance, but we can get it done. Here’s more information on how everything works:
Specify an Order Range
First, we’ll want to know the order range(s) that you will need pulled. If you have “gaps” in orders, please let us know.
For example, say you went from order #1001 and then you increased the count for “marketing purposes” and the next order number became #10002. It’s important to nail down your order ranges so we’re not pinging your store’s API unnecessarily, as it’s tough on bandwidth and server resources.
If you’re not sure of the order range, do a quick export to .csv file from your store’s admin area.
We only facilitate data pulls for current subscribers, and depending on the number of records you need to bring into MailChimp, we’ll try to work out a fair price. Frankly, we’re not looking to get rich off of these data pulls, but we’ll need to cover our bandwidth, server and engineer resource costs.
Line Up Your Merge Tags
Standard Merge Tags
If you have existing data or merge tags in your MailChimp list, they will not be overwritten. However, you will want to rename the following fields so they are properly mapped with the data coming through:
- First Name – *|FNAME|*
- Last Name – *|LNAME|*
- City – *|CITY|*
- State – *|STATE|*
- Zip – *|ZIP|*
- Country – *|COUNTRY|*
- Subscriber – *|SUBSCRIBER|*
- Last Order – *|LORDER|*
- Company Name – *|COMPANY|*
Other Merge Tags
If you have more information outside the standard merge tags listed above, let us know ahead of time so we can put that into the workflow. Unfortunately, adding a “minor” merge field after the fact forces us to re-pull the entire feed again. For example, some of our clients have asked us to include fields like discount level, rewards customer, private customer, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
What information is brought in?
We bring in data from the transactions that have occurred in your store and the customer information that comes with it. Please note, transactions that have occurred via Amazon are not brought into MailChimp.
Who gets added to my MailChimp list?
We use the sending filter preference in the Vextras’ MailChimp app settings to decide if a subscriber makes it into your MailChimp list. For example, if your filter is set to send only those who have opted into your newsletter, we only transfer those customers over who have specifically opted in. You may also set your sending filter to “send all”, but we don’t recommend it for CAN-SPAM compliance.
Does the data pull include customers who haven’t bought anything?
No. It’s only those customers who have placed orders. If you want those imported into MailChimp, you can manually export/import from your store to MailChimp. Also, you may want to modify your sign-up form to POST data to your MailChimp list automatically.
Does the custom data pull include ‘Canceled’ orders?
No, we do not bring this information into MailChimp.
What if I already have a subscriber in my MailChimp list?
In this case, we’ll simply file any previous order data and merge values aligned with this user’s email address if it is already there. We won’t add an additional email to your MailChimp list.
What if a user has already unsubscribed from MailChimp?
If a user has already unsubscribed from your MailChimp list, we will not import the user.
Why do I see blank data in my merge values during the pull process?
This is a normal behavior in MailChimp. We’re bringing in data to their respective containers in real-time, usually refreshing the page after a few seconds will show the values.
How does this affect my MailChimp subscription?
Bringing in more subscribers could impact your existing subscription level with MailChimp, so you’ll want to think about that before moving forward. Adding ecommerce data and additional merge values have no effect.
What MailChimp API is supported?
We currently support the MailChimp 3.0 Ecommerce API.
All set now? Go!
When you’re ready to start the pull, we’ll charge your card on file and initiate the process on a slow trickle from your store to MailChimp. This will run quietly in the background until the process is finished. How long it will take will depend on how many orders need to be processed.