MailChimp Implementation Guide

MailChimp is an email service provider (ESP). Salesforce Audience Studio collects data from MailChimp campaigns by having the Audience Studio trackers included in the emails. This guide will walk you through the basics of how to do this in MailChimp. For more information, you should consult the MailChimp Knowledge Base.

User Matching

User matching lets Audience Studio understand how another platform identifies a person/browser. It's normally done by having the partner send Audience Studio subscriber information through user matching pixels in your email campaigns. Unfortunately, while MailChimp does assign a unique ID to subscribers, it doesn't have a way to populate this information in the user match pixel when you're using their web interface. If you are using the MailChimp API, please speak to your Salesforce Audience Studio Solutions Team about how to include user match pixels.

Merge Tags

MailChimp's Merge Tags let you insert personalized or dynamic content from your list into the campaigns you send. You can use Merge Tags to dynamically insert values into the pixels or click trackers, as well. For the full list of the standard Merge Tags, please see MailChimp's documentation. In addition to the standard Merge Tags, there are the Merge Tags for the custom fields that you may have added to your MailChimp list. To see these fields, navigate to your list in MailChimp and select "List fields and *|MERGE|* tags" from under the Settings menu.

Fig 1. List fields and *|MERGE|* tags screen in MailChimp

If you use a custom Merge Tag with a Salesforce Audience Studio tag, it is a good idea to add in a default value in MailChimp so a value is always sent to Audience Studio. It's also important that the values you send meet the requirements for that field.  Since the data is sent to Audience Studio via a URL request, you should also make sure that the values are appropriately URL-encoded as well. If you have any questions about what can be included in the Audience Studio tags, your Salesforce Audience Studio Solutions Team would be happy to help.

If you had information in your list about the type of pet your subscribers had, and called it PET when you created the field, you could have that information dynamically pasted in to an Event Pixel as an attribute using the string *|PET|*. If you had a Salesforce Audience Studio Event pixel with an attribute called CurrentPet (and the event_id was xxxxxx), then the tag for the Event Pixel in MailChimp would look like:

<img src='*|PET|*' width=0 height=0 style='display:none;' />

For more information, please see MailChimp's Knowledge Base.

MailChimp's Campaign Builder

To collect the data from your email campaigns, you need to either include Audience Studio Campaign Trackers or Audience Studio Event Trackers. The Email Campaign Implementation Guide outlines which trackers you should use, depending on how you would like to use the data in Audience Studio. For the purposes of this guide, we will assume that you have the trackers that you need to add to your email campaigns.

Your trackers may have placeholder strings in them, like REPLACE_WITH_ADVERTISER_ID. If so, you need to replace those strings with the values you want to collect into Audience Studio. The Salesforce Audience Studio Impression Trackers have a series of standard fields that you would normally see associated with a media campaign, such as Advertiser ID, Campaign ID, or Placement ID. You need to map these fields to the email campaign data that you would like to collect. You can either hard-code values in, or use Merge Tags to have MailChimp dynamically populate the values when an email is sent. In either case, you need to make sure that the values inserted into the Audience Studio Trackers only include characters that are accepted for those fields - typically alphanumeric characters (Aa-Zz,0-9) with underscores (_) and dashes (-).

To add the Audience Studio Trackers to an email in MailChimp, you need to add the appropriate pixels as image tags in the HTML body of the email. To do this through MailChimp’s web interface, login to MailChimp and navigate to the Campaigns screen. Then click on the campaign you're interested in or create a new campaign.

Fig 2. MailChimp's Campaign Builder

Click on the arrow tab on the right hand side of the screen to show the code behind the email. Scroll through the code to find the opening <body> tag, and paste in the image tags for the Salesforce Audience Studio pixels. You do not need to place theAudience Studio tags in a particular location, but we do recommend placing it as close to the top of the email as possible. The pixels, however, should be added to the <body></body> section, because the <head></head> section can be stripped by some email clients.

Fig 3. Viewing the email code in Campaign Builder

With the Click Trackers, you should find the appropriate <a href tags in the code that you want to track, and paste the Click Trackers in. Make certain that the Click-through URL follows the lasst &clk= field in the Click Tracker, and that the Click-through URL is URL-encoded as is needed.

Fig 4. Example email code with Salesforce Audience Studio Impression Tracker

Once you have added the Audience Studio Trackers to the email, click the "Save" button, and you're all set. When you send the email campaign, Audience Studio will be able to gather data from the emails when they're opened by your consumers. 

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