VineSpring is tightly integrated with MailChimp to make communicating with your Customers as simple as possible.
Table of Contents
- Before You Begin
- Understanding the Sync
- Synchronizing your Mailing List with MailChimp
- Sync Errors and how to fix them
- Common Sync Questions & Scenarios
- Authorization (Auto Login) Tokens
- Testing your Authorization (Auto Login Tokens)
- Troubleshooting Authorization (Auto Login) Tokens
Before you begin
It’s important to understand there is only one ‘List’ that you should be concerned with in your MailChimp account. VineSpring syncs to this one list. This master list is the umbrella under which all of your Customer Groups live.
Segmentation should *always* originate within VineSpring.
- Any groups of Customers that you'd like to communicate with should be created within VineSpring first, and then synched to MailChimp.
- Upon synching, any Customer Groups you create in VineSpring will be created for you as static Segments in MailChimp.
When in doubt, remember that when it comes to the VS > MC sync, “VineSpring is king”.
Understanding the Sync
What the Sync DOES:
- Customers added to VineSpring since the last time you synchronized will be added to your MailChimp list.
- Customers who have unsubscribed since your last sync will be marked as Unsubscribed in VineSpring. (This is specific to those customers who have clicked the 'Unsubscribe' link at the bottom of your email campaign). This action makes it so that MailChimp emails cannot be sent to these customers in the future. This does not inactivate them within VineSpring. If you want to inactivate Customers who have Unsubscribed, you must do so manually within VineSpring at the Customer's Profile. Can you resubscribe them? Yes, here's how.
- Customers who have been ‘Cleaned’ by MailChimp since your last sync will be marked as Unsubscribed in VineSpring, with a reason of ‘MailChimp Sync Error’. 'Cleaned' generally refers to email addresses which have bounced multiple times. This action makes it so that no MailChimp emails can be sent to them in the future. Can you add them back to your list by reconfirming them? Yes, here's how.
- All Customer Groups within VineSpring are synced over into MailChimp as 'TAGS'. If you are sending to a specific Customer Group, you will see this corresponding Tag within MailChimp. The Tag is what you will tie to your campaign on the Recipients tab within your campaign.
- Customers who are marked as 'Inactive' within VineSpring, will not be synchronized in the future. Only your Actives will be added to your MailChimp List. Having said that, the sync doesn't pull people out. Meaning - if a current customer calls and wants to be unsubscribed, you will need to manually log into MailChimp and unsubscribe that person. Simply Inactivating them in VineSpring will not unsubscribe them in MailChimp.
What the Sync does NOT do:
- Find/Replace addresses: If you edit an email on a customer’s profile within VS, the NEW address is added during the sync. To delete the OLD address from your MailChimp list, you must log in directly to your MC account and delete it from there.
- Other than unsubscribes, any changes made directly within MailChimp will not flow back into VineSpring.
Synchronizing your VineSpring Mailing List with MailChimp
- Navigate to the Customers tab within VineSpring.
- Click on Mailing List.
- Click the Synchronize button.
Common MailChimp Sync Questions & Scenarios
What if I want to send my email campaign to just one of my Customer Groups?
Overview of Steps:
- Create your Customer Group(s) within VineSpring.
- Synchronize your list.
- Tie your campaign to the Master List > Applicable Static segment within your MC campaign.
If a Customer calls or emails me that they'd like to be unsubscribed, how do I handle that?
There are a couple of ways to handle this, depending on the circumstance:
- If they want to unsubscribe from your campaigns, but want to continue to be an Active customer, then you will need to log directly into your MailChimp account, locate them on your list and unsubscribe them from there.
- If they want to unsubscribe from your campaigns *and* be inactivated as a customer, then go ahead and Inactivate them within their Customer Profile in VineSpring. Then you will need to log directly into your MailChimp account, locate them on your list and unsubscribe them from there.
Why do I have more Customers in VineSpring than I do in MailChimp?
This has to do with several factors:
- Only Active Customers are synchronized.
- Unsubscribed and Cleaned email addresses are not included in the MailChimp list.
- Malformed email addresses are not included in the MailChimp list.
Is there a place in VineSpring where I can see who has unsubscribed or cleaned addresses?
Yes - Go to the Customers tab and click on the download icon in the upper right.
This will download all of the Customers within VineSpring (Choose the 'Standard' export). Scroll over to Columns AW and AX for details.
Here are what the different Unsubscribe reasons mean:
Unsubscribed - the person used the Unsubscribe link at the bottom of your email campaign.
MailChimp Sync Error - More often than not this is referring to a 'Cleaned' address. Click here to learn more about Cleaned addresses.
Bounced - Address hard-bounced in the last campaign.
How to read the Sync error log within VineSpring:
Every time you sync, you will see an associated log appear on the Mailing List page.
When you read it, you'll be able to quickly tell if you have malformed or fake email addresses. Once you correct these addresses, they should have no trouble making it into MailChimp upon the next sync.
If there is even one address that is malformed within a Customer Group, the associated Segment within MailChimp will *not* update.
Customer Groups with these issues are presented at the bottom of the log. Once you correct the problematic address(es), the Group/segment should update successfully upon the next sync.
Using auth tokens (auto login)
Auth tokens automatically log in your customer to your website.
What is an auth token?
Auth tokens are unique alpha-numeric strings that exist with each customer account in VineSpring.
What can I do with it?
When embedded in links (such as a MailChimp campaign), the recipient can simply click the link and be automatically logged in to their account. This makes completing a purchase easier and the customer experience more enjoyable.
How do I create one?
- In VineSpring, Navigate to Customers
- Click on any Customer in the list. This will take you to their Profile.
- Click on the Key icon in the upper right of the Customer Profile.
- Navigate to the page you’d like your Customers to land on from your Campaign (Examples:Allocations, Store, Account).
- COPY the entire URL, including the http or https.For the allocations page, it would look something like this: http://demo.vinespring.com/account#allocations
6. In VineSpring, navigate to the Customers tab > Mailing List.
7. Click the Link icon (or on mobile, click Generate Auto Login Link.
8. In the Send user to this page box, PASTE the entire URL from above.
9. Click the Generate Link button.The link will look similar to: https://platform.vinespring.com/auth?key=*|AUTH|*&returnUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fdemo.vinespring.com%2Faccount%23allocations
COPY this link in its entirety. You may want to save it to your clipboard or notepad.
10. Open up your MailChimp campaign and locate your Click here to Purchase link. Highlight it, and click the link icon.
11. In the Web Address (URL) field, paste the link you generated in Step 3 and click the Insert button.
NOTE: If you are creating a campaign for the express purpose of asking your Clubmembers to update their Club profile info, you cannot land them directly on their profile using the token. Instead, you will want to use the link that looks like this. Enter that link into the link generator: http://www.yourwinery.com/account#clubs
Testing your campaign to ensure the Auth link is working properly
- While viewing your email in MailChimp, click Preview and Test, then Enter Preview Mode.
- In the popup window, slide Enable live merge tag info to on.
- Click any of the links containing auth tokens in your campaign to see if the login works.
Note: You cannot simply ‘send an email test’ to see the link work.You must test it as described above. Alternatively, you can send a live campaign to your internal test group.
Why doesn’t the auth token work in my MailChimp campaign?
While testing your MailChimp campaign, you may encounter the following error:
“We’re sorry. This link is no longer valid. For security reasons, authentication links expire after a specified period of days. If you feel this is an error, please contact us for more assistance.”
To resolve, enter Preview Mode within MailChimp campaign and click the Live Merge Info button. This will merge your list with the campaign, populating values like ‘Dear First Name’ and ‘AuthToken’ properly while previewing.
PLEASE NOTE: The Send a Test Email tool in MailChimp should be used for checking content and formatting only. There are no merge values included, so values like ‘Dear First Name’ will not populate, and clicking on the embedded AuthToken link will return an error.
For help creating and testing Authorization Tokens for your MailChimp campaign, please see Using Auth Tokens.