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Use MailChimp as a data source

Use MailChimp as a data source

MailChimp is an online marketing solution that is used to manage marketing lists, send email campaigns, and track results. It's a service that's been around since 2001, and is a bona-fide heavyweight in the email marketing space. Each campaign sent out is meticulously tracked, and all that data is accessible via the MailChimp API and ready to be used to build an email marketing dashboard. But, before we jump into the "how-to," let me share some first impression of this service.

MailChimp: First impressions

MailChimp nails it on user experience. From the first time you log into the app to creating custom email templates, the process is smooth and intuitive. The drag-and-drop email design tool not only makes it easy to design custom emails, it makes it fun to explore the different possibilities available to you. The cherry on top is the built-in reporting tool that allows you to see opens, clicks, and geographies at-a-glance. Best of all, it's easy to integrate with 3rd party tools such as a Google Analytics and Salesforce.

Verdict: You'll go bananas for MailChimp.

Connecting to MailChimp

I'm only going to briefly touch on connecting to Mailchimp via the API. If you get stuck, please consult the following documentation:

Crafting your request

MailChimp's RESTful API allow you to craft a POST request to retrieve data from your MailChimp account. The API request uses the following format:

  • https://{dc}.api.mailchimp.com/2.0/lists/list.json

You will also need to specify your API key in the body section of your request. Use the following format:

  • { "apikey": "API-Key" }

Here's how the POST request should look in Klipfolio:

MailChimp Data Source: Format of the POST request in Klipfolio

When you click the Get Resource button, you will get a simple JSON file that shows data based on your POST request. This data source can then be set to automatically refresh at a specified interval and be used to build a visualization for your email marketing dashboard.

3 sample requests

After playing around with the MailChimp API, I found 3 requests particularly useful. You can use these requests for your own account, provided you substitute {dc} for your own unique id. Check them out:

  • List data: https://{dc}.api.mailchimp.com/2.0/lists/list.json
  • List growth history: https://{dc}.api.mailchimp.com/2.0/lists/growth-history.json
  • Campaign performance: https://{dc}.api.mailchimp.com/2.0/campaigns/list.json

Creating a dashboard with MailChimp

Once you've plugged your MailChimp data into Klipfolio, you can start using that data to build your email marketing dashboard. The example that I've designed displays 3 Klips: the top two Klips draw data exclusively from MailChimp, while the bottom chart Klip pulls data from MailChimp and Google Analytics. I'll walk you through each Klip in a moment, but let's start by looking at the finished product:

MailChimp Data Source: An example dashboard created in Klipfolio

Email list growth

This bar/line chart shows how much your email marketing lists have grown over the past 6 months. The bars are used to show the current number of subscribers each month, while the lines show the number of new subscribers added to the list through imports or using the opt-in form.

Know-how

Here's a brief overview of how to build this Klip:

  • Use multiple Y-axis. Display "Existing" subscribers on one axis, and "Imports" and "Optins" on another axis.
  • Use custom colours to help distinguish between each series of values.

MailChimp Data Source: An email list growth visualization

List Performance

This Klip uses a drop-down menu to sort through list and campaign metrics. By selecting a list from the drop-down, I can see metrics associated with that list such as # of campaign sends, open rates, and click rates. I've also set up indicators to change the background colour of table cells based on the performance of that metric.

MailChimp Data Source: An email list performance visualization

Know-how

Here's a brief overview of how to build this Klip:

  • Use a drop-down menu to select which values you want to view. Docs
  • Use indicators to change the background colour of cells to show when values are in a positive or negative state.

Email & web performance

This bar and line chart combines data from MailChimp and Google Analytics to show the number of visits and leads resulting from an email campaign, as well as the date of campaigns are sent. The idea is to being able to spot increases in traffic and lead volume, and associate it with your email campaigns to calculate ROI.

MailChimp Data Source: Combining Google Analytics and MailChimp in Klipfolio

Know-how

Here's a brief overview of how to build this Klip:

  • Use a Google Analytics data source that tracks the number of leads and visits from your email campaign. Docs

MailChimp, the lynchpin of your email marketing dashboard

What's the benefit of integrating MailChimp with Klipfolio, you ask? For me, it's all about being able to combine MailChimp data with other services like Google Analytics, Salesforce, Facebook and more to get a clear view of your campaign ROI. By integrating with Klipfolio, you can get insights and analytics that you simply get out of the box, not to mention the ability to create custom visualizations that speak directly to your team's reporting requirements.

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