Fundraise smarter and more effectively by automating your email marketing. Learn how you can go beyond the native Bloomerang and Mailchimp integration with Zapier and how workflow automation with Mailchimp can be an integral part of your fundraising efforts.
Diana: My name is Diana Otero. I’m the Product Engagement Manager at Bloomerang. You might recognize me from attending some of our Bloomerang Academy classes, or listening to our release and help videos. And today, we’re talking about “Bloomerang + Zapier: Marketing Automation with Mailchimp.”
I would like to introduce our presenter today, Jessie Gilchrist. Jessie is a Zapier Certified Expert and Bloomerang Integrations Consultant at Sidekick Solutions. Sidekick Solutions is a Bloomerang partner specializing in system automations for Bloomerang. Sidekick Solutions has been a Bloomerang user since 2013, so almost since the very start, and most recently was part of the Bloomerang team that launched the Bloomerang Zapier app, which is a key component of today’s webinar. We’re excited to have Jessie here today to share her expertise and explore how you can use the Bloomerang Zapier app with Mailchimp to automate your marketing efforts. Welcome, Jessie.
Jessie: Thank you, Diana. And hello, everyone. It is great to be here. I’m very excited for this topic today. So the goal of our webinar today is to show how a Bloomerang integration with Zapier and workflow automation with Mailchimp can be an integral part of your fundraising efforts.
Our webinar today we’re going to cover a few things. We’re going to start by highlighting the benefits of Mailchimp’s native . . . Oh, sorry. Bloomerang’s native Mailchimp integration. Then we’re going to talk about Bloomerang and Zapier, how they work together, and why Zapier integrations are a key feature not only of your Bloomerang system, but also your fundraising strategy. And then, actually, the bulk of our discussion today is going to explore and demonstrate how you can use the Bloomerang Zapier app to segment donors in Mailchimp using tagging and then to automate emails in Mailchimp using what are called custom events.
So we have demonstrations throughout the webinar to show you how to set up these automations for your organization. And as Diana mentioned, feel free to submit any questions during the presentation. We’ll take a couple of breaks to answer questions along the way. And then we’ll open up for more questions at the end. So, to kick us off, we actually want to start with a poll to see how many of you are currently using Bloomerang’s native integration with Mailchimp. So we’re really just trying to get a sense of how familiar you are with the pre-built integration that Bloomerang already has with Mailchimp. I’ll give a couple of more seconds here.
Diana: Thanks, Jessie. We have a couple of responses coming in. Folks, you can let us know if you currently use the native Mailchimp integration that Bloomerang has, or if you haven’t yet, but plan to do it soon, or if you’ve heard of it but aren’t really planning on using it anytime soon, or if this is the first time that you’ve heard of it. So far, it looks like 35% haven’t used it yet, but are planning on using it soon, 32% haven’t heard of it yet, 19% have used it . . . Oh, sorry, 19% have heard of it, but aren’t planning on using it. And we have 13% who are currently using our native Mailchimp integration. Thanks, everyone.
Jessie: Perfect. Thank you, Diana. So, while the focus of our webinar today is on integrations between Bloomerang and Mailchimp using Zapier, we do recommend native integrations as your first option before proceeding to automated workflows with Zapier. So the native integration in Bloomerang is a solution you can implement today as part of your fundraising strategy and requires minimal setup. And since it sounds like there’s a few of you that are either just now hearing about Bloomerang’s native Mailchimp integration or planning to use it in the future, let’s start by doing a high-level overview of the key functionality that comes with that native integration.
So the most important thing to note is that Bloomerang’s native Mailchimp integration allows for data to flow in both directions, meaning, data can flow from Bloomerang to Mailchimp, and then from Mailchimp back to Bloomerang. So, when we’re talking about how data flows from Bloomerang to Mailchimp, there’s some key functionality to keep in mind. So first is that you will actually build templates of constituents in Bloomerang and push them to your desired audience in Mailchimp. And the reason why the native integration is set up this way is because all of your fundraising data lives in Bloomerang and can be used to segment your constituents before pushing them to Mailchimp that allows you to do really targeted email campaigns based off of past giving or other custom fields or values you have set up in your system.
Now, the native integration with these templates of constituents also allows you to map Bloomerang constituent data to merge fields in Mailchimp. So this includes standard fields on the constituent profile in Bloomerang as well as custom fields you have setup, and even includes giving history information. So you can map data such as lifetime revenue, first transaction date and amount, or even latest transaction date and amount to merge fields in Mailchimp that will allow you to perform some really easy segmentation as your audience grows in Mailchimp.
For each template of constituents that is pushed from Bloomerang to Mailchimp, it actually creates a unique tag in Mailchimp for that template. And so this allows you to then when you hop over into your Mailchimp database, you can create a list for a targeted solicitation really easily by selecting that tag for that batch of constituents you just synced to Mailchimp.
And then the last piece of functionality that’s really important to note is that the constituent’s email interests in Bloomerang actually update and can map to your groups in Mailchimp. So you can have that kind of overlap between your email interests and Bloomerang and the groups that are set up in Mailchimp, which are similar to what most people would consider an email preference. And that is just the functionality for syncing data from Bloomerang to Mailchimp.
So, as I mentioned, the native integration also allows for data to flow from Mailchimp back to Bloomerang. Now, it only syncs back to Bloomerang for subscribers in your Mailchimp audience who were synced to Mailchimp as part of one of those Bloomerang templates.
So, for subscribers who were sent to Mailchimp through one of your Bloomerang templates, the integration will also update email interests in Bloomerang. If the constituent makes changes to their group preferences in Mailchimp, it’ll update their Bloomerang email interest to opted out if they unsubscribe in Mailchimp.
And then one of the key features and functionality that I really want to highlight is that if you send a targeted solicitation in Mailchimp based off of or built from one of those Bloomerang templates, it will actually create an interaction on the constituent’s timeline in Bloomerang. And so that interaction that it’s going to create for that constituent who is part of that email not only includes, you know, what the email was, what the content was, but also includes open and click data for that email campaign in Mailchimp, so you can see in Bloomerang if that constituent opened the email, if they clicked on any of the links in the email. So provide you with some of those email marketing metrics right in your Bloomerang database.
Now, if you’d like more information on how to set up the Bloomerang native Mailchimp integration and configure those templates, we recommend you visit the Bloomerang knowledge base and YouTube channel. Now, Diana is going to share a link to Bloomerang intermediate class that talks about the native Mailchimp integration through the chat. So go ahead and copy that link. You can save it. View the recording later. And I really do recommend watching this recording if you are interested in setting up the native Mailchimp integration as it walks you through the whole process.
And so before we move on to talking about automating email marketing using Zapier, I thought it’d be a great time that we could take a break for a couple of questions about Bloomerang’s native Mailchimp integration. So, Diana, have we had many questions come in about the native integration?
Diana: None yet.
Jessie: Perfect. I’m going to take that to mean that we’ve covered most of them. So I’m going to go ahead and move along to talking about the bulk of our focus today, which is those automated integrations between Bloomerang and Mailchimp. So we want to start then with another poll to find out how many of you are using Zapier now, and if you are using Zapier, if you are using it with Bloomerang. So, again, we’re really just hoping to see how many of you possibly are using Zapier and if you are using Zapier, are using it with Bloomerang, and if this is brand new to you, that’s helpful to know as well.
Diana: Thanks, Jessie. We have some responses coming in. It looks like we’re neck and neck. Forty-three percent have heard of Zapier before but have never used it, and another 43% have not heard of Zapier before. There are 10% of our respondents today who have used Zapier your before but not with Bloomerang and only 3% use Zapier and have zaps currently running with Bloomerang.
Jessie: Okay. Perfect. Thank you, Diana. And this feedback is really helpful and leads us right into our next section. So, since there is a majority of you that are either brand new to Zapier or have heard of it, but are not currently using it, let’s start with a high-level overview of what is Zapier and why we believe this is a key feature for your Bloomerang system and fundraising strategy.
So, if you’re new to Zapier, you might be wondering why we’re talking about Zapier when the focus of this webinar is supposed to be on Bloomerang and Mailchimp. And it really is a fair question that offers an exciting answer. So Zapier-enabled integration between Bloomerang and Mailchimp can supplement Bloomerang’s native Mail . . . Excuse me. Native Mailchimp integration and provide you with additional functionality for marketing automation to set up email marketing workflows and drip campaigns, and for automated list building.
So Zapier is the software that enables additional Bloomerang integration and fundraising opportunities. You can think of it as a middleware that sits in between your Bloomerang database and other applications like Mailchimp, helping them talk to each other. So, at its core, Zapier is an automation software. And with Zapier, you can build one integration or many, automating hundreds of tasks around your Bloomerang system with a single platform.
And so if that’s not enough, let’s dive into the three main reasons why we get excited about Bloomerang and Zapier integrations. So, first and foremost, Zapier connects to over 2,000 other applications. So any application in Zapier’s directory can be connected to Bloomerang, and if it’s on Zapier’s list, it can be connected really easily with . . . Excuse me. Any app on Zapier’s lists can be connected really easily with Bloomerang. And so this includes Mailchimp.
So I’m actually going to hop over real quick and show you Zapier’s directory here. So, if you go to zapier.com/apps, this will take to their app list and you can search by different categories of applications. You can also search by name. So we can look up the Bloomerang Zapier app or Mailchimp’s Zapier app. So you can really look up and see if the other applications your organization is using are on the Zapier platform, which means they should be able to integrate easily with your Bloomerang system.
So the second reason why we get excited about Zapier is that Zapier was designed for anyone to build integrations. You don’t need to know how to code to build zaps. And anyone can build and maintain a workflow. We’re actually going to walk through some builds today so you can get a feel for what that looks like and how easy it is to set up those integrations yourself.
And then last, Zapier really is designed to allow you to build custom integrations. You aren’t limited to one-size-fits-all workflows, mapping, or formatting. And you can build the integration that is perfect for your organization and your workflows.
So let’s go ahead and dive into how you can use Zapier to automate your workflows between Bloomerang and Mailchimp. Now, the primary use case for Bloomerang’s Zapier app to integrate with Mailchimp is an automated sync. And in its simplest form, an automated sync can add or update subscribers in your Mailchimp audience for newly created or updated constituents in Bloomerang. But we’re actually going to take this a step further in our first use case here and we are going to demonstrate how you could do this same automated sync, but we’re going to pair it with tagging for fundraising activity. And you’ll see as we go through this that this is going to allow us to easily segment our Mailchimp audience for targeted solicitations based on past giving.
So, for each new transaction in Bloomerang for constituents with an email address and who are not opted out, the workflow is going to add or update the subscriber in Mailchimp before adding the subscriber to the tag for the campaign on the transaction. So we’re going to be tagging subscribers in Mailchimp based off of the campaign that’s assigned to recent donations. Adding this tag in Mailchimp for each campaign a constituent gives to really supports your fundraising efforts because it allows you to segment your Mailchimp audience easily for target solicitations based on past giving.
So let’s actually hop over to Zapier and set up this workflow. So I’m in my Zapier database or my Zapier platform and I’m going to click Make a Zap. And so all zaps start with a trigger, which is an event that happens in one application. And the trigger is what prompts the integration to run. So we’re actually going to use Bloomerang’s new transaction trigger because we want to sync constituents to Bloomerang and . . . Oh, sorry. Sync constituents to Mailchimp and add or update their subscriber anytime they give. So we’re going to select New Transaction as our trigger. I’m going to select my Bloomerang account that’s linked to Zapier.
And when I click Continue, I’m actually provided with some filters where I can select what types of transactions I want to sync constituents to my Mailchimp audience. So I’m going to select that I only want transactions that have revenue to sync to Mailchimp, so donations, recurring donation payments, and pledge payments. And I’m also going to add a minimum amount of one cent so that it filters out those in-kind donations that typically don’t have an amount. We really want to only sync constituents to Mailchimp if we received a donation in hand and we have that revenue.
Now, later in the workflow, we are going to map the constituent’s giving history to merge fields in Mailchimp. So we need to set this cumulative giving history option to True because we want to include that cumulative giving information. But we can leave the household information blank or even set it to False as we don’t need this information to map to Mailchimp.
So, once we’ve set up our trigger, the next step is to pull in a sample transaction. So, based off of the filters that we set up, if I select Test Trigger, it’s going to pull in recent donations in my Bloomerang database that meet these criteria. So it’s either a donation, a recurring donation payment, or a pledge payment. And you can see that we’ve got a few options here. I’m going to go with this first one. But one thing you do want to make sure is since we are going to be tagging based on the campaign on the transactions, we want to make sure that the donation we’re selecting as our sample for our trigger actually has a campaign value, so you can see all the details for that transaction. But we want to make sure a campaign was assigned because we’ll need this later for our mapping step.
So, once we have set up our trigger that we are going to trigger on a new transaction in Bloomerang, the next step is to add a filter because we only want to sync constituents to Mailchimp if not only they have a primary email address, but also their email interest is not set to OptedOut.
So the filter serves with your standard kind of logic statements. So the first thing we’re going to do is we’re going to pull in from our new transaction in Bloomerang, our sample transaction, we’re going to pull in the primary email. And we’re going to set our logic which is the center field to say it exists. So our first thing is that we’re only going to continue if the primary email exists. So, if there’s no primary email, the workflow will stop and it won’t sync anything to Mailchimp.
Now, we’re also going to use some And logic here because, in addition to the primary email existing, we also want to make sure that our constituent email interest type, which is either you can see right here that . . . Oops. Let me pull that back up again. It’s set to All, so the options are all Custom or OptedOut. So we want to make sure that the email interest does not match OptedOut. And OptedOut when it comes through with the transaction payload and that trigger is actually one word, so there’s no spacing and the O in both opted out and out are capitalized. So we want to set that so that, again, we’re only continuing at the primary email exists, and the constituent has not opted out of email. So I’m going to go ahead and click Continue.
And so the next thing that we will do is we will actually add our first real action step, which is that we’re going to add or update a subscriber in Mailchimp. So I’m going to select Mailchimp as my application. And for my action event, I’m going to select the . . . We are going to add or update the subscriber. I’m going to select my Mailchimp account. This is our Sidekick Solution Sandbox. And when I click Continue, you’ll see that the fields pop up so that we can customize the subscriber. So first I’m going to select my audience. And then I’m going to map the subscriber email which, again, is going to be that primary email from the constituent in that new transaction trigger.
There is an important piece right here to make sure Update Existing is set to Yes because this means that if it finds an existing subscriber in Mailchimp already, it’s going to update the merge fields with any new data that we’re mapping below. So now we can move on to looking at our merge fields.
So starting right here with first name are the different merge fields we have set up in our Mailchimp Sandbox. So I’m just going to start mapping data from the constituent that got pulled through with this new transaction trigger. So I’m going to pull in the constituent’s first name. We’re going to map the last name. You can see I also have field set up here. I could map the address, phone number, birthday. What I really want to focus on is the constituent’s first and last name. We’re also going to map the Bloomerang account number. This makes it really easy to reference if we ever need to do an import from Mailchimp back to Bloomerang.
And I’m also going to add the Bloomerang constituent ID. There are other more advanced workflows that can be developed using the constituent ID. It’s similar to an account number. It’s another unique identifier for that account, but it is different from the account number and can be used for, again, more advanced integration workflows. So, as a best practice, we like making sure that the account number and the constituent ID are mapped to merge field in Mailchimp so that data is there if we need them in the future.
And as I scroll down, you’ll see that there’s a couple of fields here where we might want to use that cumulative giving history that we pulled into our new transaction trigger. So I’m going to go ahead and pull in the lifetime revenue for this donor. I’m going to pull in their latest transaction date and the latest transaction amount. Okay. And the reason why mapping the latest transaction date and amount are so useful is, again, we can use these to segment our audience in Mailchimp using these merge fields as criteria.
Now, these last two merge fields of major donation date and amount, I’m going to leave these blank as we’ll tackle these in our next use case. So I’m going to go ahead and click Continue. And before we move on, the importance of doing an add or update subscriber before any other action in Mailchimp, is that the subscriber needs to exist in Mailchimp before we could take any additional actions such as tagging the subscriber or creating a custom event which we are going to cover in the next use case. So that’s why we’re doing this add or update subscriber first.
So now that we’ve added or updated our subscriber, we’re actually going to add another filter. So similar as we did for filtering out people who don’t have an email or have opted out, in this case, we’re only going to continue if the donation actually has a campaign. So, for every transaction with revenue, it’s going to add or update the subscriber, but we only want to tag if a campaign actually exists on the transaction. And the reason why this filter is so important is because if we don’t add this filter, you will receive an error in Zapier if it’s trying to look up that campaign or type for that campaign, but no campaign was assigned in Bloomerang. And since campaign is an optional field in Bloomerang, we want to make sure we set up this filter so that we’re only proceeding with the tagging steps in our workflow if that campaign value actually exists.
So, when adding a subscriber to a tag in Mailchimp, Zapier actually requires that we assign the tag using a unique ID number for the Mailchimp tag, not the text value. So, to convert the Bloomerang campaign to the ID number, we’re actually going to use this Zapier app called Formatter. And this allows us to do a lookup table that way we can convert the Bloomerang campaign to the ID for the tag we want to assign in Mailchimp.
So I’m going to select Utilities as the action event for that Formatter step. And we’re actually going to then select the Lookup Table. So our lookup key is going to be that campaign from the transaction. And then we have our lookup table. Now, for the lookup table, the values on the left are going to be all of our Bloomerang campaigns. So I’m going to add a couple in here. We’re going to have our 2019 Annual Campaign. I’m going to add our 2020 Annual Campaign. So, for every campaign you have in Bloomerang, you’ll want to add that to your lookup table. Maybe we have our Capital Campaign, we have our 2020 Gala, and our 2020 Virtual Wine Tasting.
So you can see that you can really expand this list based off the number of campaigns you have in your Bloomerang database. Now, once we’ve populated our Bloomerang campaigns on the left-hand side, now we need to pull what’s called the API ID for each of the tags that we want to assign in Mailchimp. And so in order to pull this unique ID number for each tag, we actually need to go ahead and add the Mailchimp step where we will assign the tag because that’s where we will identify the ID number.
So we’ll add this step to add a subscriber to a tag. Select our Mailchimp account, our audience. And then you’ll see that there’s a dropdown menu here for tag. And so all of the tags that are in our Mailchimp database are going to show up here in this dropdown list. Now, you could select one of these values from the dropdown list and skip the lookup step, but that means for every transaction that comes through your workflow it’s going to be assigned that same tag. It’s more of a static workflow instead of being dynamic and adjusting based on the campaign that’s actually assigned to the transaction.
So we want our workflow to be dynamic, and so we’re actually going to note this little gray number below each of these tags is that ID number that we need. So, for example, annual campaign is 682940. So, for campaigns in Bloomerang that we want to assign the annual campaign tag in Mailchimp we’ll use that ID, or for the capital campaign, we’ll do 684372.
So, once you note these ID numbers for your different tags, we will go back to our lookup table and add those ID numbers in. So, for each Bloomerang campaign, you can only assign one tag in Mailchimp. So, for example, 682940 is the ID for the annual campaign tag in Mailchimp. So we can only assign one tag, but the same tag could be assigned to multiple campaign values.
So, for example, while we might have a 2019 Annual Campaign and a 2020 Annual Campaign in Mailchimp . . . Oh, sorry, in Bloomerang, we can assign the same single annual campaign tag in Mailchimp that’s a bit more generic. So we have the same ID map for both of those. And then we would just continue down our list to assign the appropriate IDs for the different campaigns in our list and the tag that we would want to assign in Mailchimp. So I’m not going to complete this whole list, but you can get the sense that your Bloomerang campaign values are on the left and this is the text value. And then on the right is that unique ID number for each of those tags in Mailchimp.
So I’m actually going ahead and once you’ve built your lookup table, you actually need to test your step. That’s going to take me one second here. Okay. Okay. So, on our lookup table, we need to test our steps. So, we’ll click Test & Review, because that generates an output or essentially an output field that then we can map when we’re adding the subscriber to a tag.
So, once we’ve tested that lookup table, in the tag field, instead of selecting from that dropdown menu where it’s going to assign, again, a single value, we can select Custom, and then in our lookup table step, which is the step five, we can select the output. And so whichever campaign it looks up in our table, it’s going to pull that ID number and spit that out as our input. And so when we’re mapping it to this field, It’s going to create that dynamic workflow where the correct tag is going to be assigned in Mailchimp based on the campaign in Bloomerang. And then the last step is just, again, to map the primary email address from the constituent into this email address field.
Now, I already have one of these set up and is live, but all you would do would be click continue and you’d toggle your integration to on. But let’s actually hop over to Bloomerang. And we’re going to open one of my constituent accounts in Bloomerang and we are going to submit a new donation.
So, for Milo Gilchrist, I’m going to go ahead and submit a new donation. We’re going to say this is $100 donation to our unrestricted fund. It’s part of our 2020 Annual Campaign. So this is going to convert our 2020 Annual Campaign to the annual campaign tag in Mailchimp. I’m going to select my appeal if one applies, select my method. And when I save this donation, so the most recent donation date should be today, July 28th, and the amount should be $100. And if I hop over to my Mailchimp audience and refresh it, it should update the subscriber record for Milo Gilchrist. Here it is right here. Looks like it’s still refreshing here. Just one second. There is sometimes a slight delay, but usually, within a few seconds it will update that subscriber profile.
Here we go. Okay. So Milo’s subscriber record in Mailchimp. And again we can scroll over. We can see his Bloomerang account number and constituent ID that we’ve mapped. We can see his lifetime revenue, latest transaction date, latest transaction amount. Again, we’re going to touch on these two additional merge fields for major donation data here in a moment. And then you can see that he does have a tag for that annual campaign. So a pretty useful way to get all of that data over here into Mailchimp.
And so adding tags and updating merge fields in Mailchimp are one of the easiest ways to create segments for targeted email campaigns. So let’s actually set up a new segment in Mailchimp using those campaign tags that we’ve set up. So, for manage contacts, I’m actually going to click Segments. And then we’re going to go ahead and create a segment. And so we can set up criteria for our segment similar to how you would build a report in Bloomerang.
So we’re actually going to set up a segment that’s going to capture any subscribers who have given to one of our event-related campaigns. So we have the option of using any or all criteria logic. So we’re going to set it to Any. And we’re going to select Tag as our value and say that the contact is tagged for our Annual Breakfast Celebration, or is tagged for our Gala, or is tagged for our Virtual Wine Tasting. So I’m going to be pulling in subscribers that have a tag for any of these different campaign values or different giving focuses.
And so when I preview my subscriber list here. Now, again, this is a Sandbox, so it’s a small list of subscribers. But you can see that we are pulling in this subscriber who’s given to the Gala and the Virtual Wine Tasting. And then the second subscriber has given to the Gala and the Annual Celebration Breakfast. So we really can customize those segments based off of any of the merge fields set up in our system and different criteria for those or even based off of those tags. And so we would just click Save Segment and call this our Event List, or let’s call it Event Donors. And so now we have the segment. It’s very easy to then send target solicitations in Mailchimp.
So, before we move on to our next use case, I’d like to take a quick break for questions. Diana, do we have any questions that have come up through this section?
Diana: Yeah. Well, we have one question here. Is it possible to be using both the native integration and connect Bloomerang with Mailchimp through Zapier?
Jessie: Great question. And the answer is yes. You can use both the native integration and Bloomerang integrations using Zapier for all of your email marketing needs. The Bloomerang native integration has great functionality. If you’re new to automations, it’s a great place to get started. If you’re looking for that automated sync and possibly some additional tagging functionalities or even the next use case we’re going to show which is using custom events in Mailchimp, then Zapier is a great add-on to even expand the functionality you can have between Bloomerang and Mailchimp. So, yes, you can use both. You are not limited to one or the other. They can work simultaneously together to really create a well-rounded fundraising strategy and email marketing strategy between Bloomerang and Mailchimp.
Diana: Wonderful. Thank you. And how important is that filter step? Is it really necessary? What are the benefits of using it and is it really necessary?
Jessie: Yeah. So I think that there was two filters that we showed, one was filtering saying only sync to Mailchimp if the constituent has an email and is not opted out, and then the other was adding a filter step if the campaign exists. So both of these steps are important for a few different reasons.
So the first filter set, the one that filters saying only continue if the constituent has an email and is not opted out. If the constituent does not have an email, you will experience errors in Zapier. So that piece is kind of a non-negotiable. I would consider it pretty close to required. If you’re going to set up an automation between Bloomerang and Mailchimp using Zapier, you’ll want that filter saying only continue if a constituent has an email address.
The piece in that that would be optional would be to filter out anyone that has an email interest status of opted out in Bloomerang. We consider it best practice as that’s, you know, essentially a constituent who has asked not to be contacted by your organization via email. But if that’s something that maybe was used historically by your organization, but you’re not sure how valid it is, you could take that piece of criteria out and just keep that filter saying only continue if the constituent has an email address.
Now, when it comes to the second filter of filtering and only continuing if the campaign exists, that’s another one that I would consider required if you are wanting to tag for the campaign on the donation. And the reason why I consider it required because if that campaign doesn’t exist on a transaction that comes through, you will experience an error in Zapier when it’s trying to convert from the Bloomerang campaign to the Mailchimp tag because it needs to have a value or it’s going to try to use that lookup table. And if there’s no campaign value on that transaction, you will get an error message in Zapier.
Something to be aware of, you know, we always tried to design these use cases so that it minimizes any errors you may see in Zapier, and so that’s why we’ve added that filter step. If you wanted just these simple sync of donors to Mailchimp, you could stop after the add/update subscriber step and skip the tagging for campaign. And so you wouldn’t need that campaign step or the adding the subscriber to a tag or even the lookup. You could essentially just trigger on a new transaction in Bloomerang, add a filter to only continue if the constituent has an email address, and then add or update subscribers from that. So there’s a lot of options, but based on your workflow, those filters often are a required piece in order to ensure that you’re not getting repetitive errors in Zapier.
Diana: Wonderful. And for this example, we used campaigns, but you can use the same workflow for other transaction characteristics like funds or appeals.
Jessie: Yes. Yeah. Absolutely. You could use fund. You could use appeal. You could use a custom field that you’re putting on transactions. It’s really customizable. We use campaign, again, in this use case, but you can customize that to what would work best for your organization.
Diana: Wonderful. Thanks, Jessie.
Jessie: Perfect. Okay. So the use cases for segmentation in Mailchimp are nearly endless, but Mailchimp’s ability to support fundraising efforts doesn’t stop there. Instead of merely segmenting subscribers, you can actually take advantage of Mailchimp’s automation functionality to trigger an email or an email series based on subscriber activity. So Mailchimp’s automation tools can trigger emails when a subscriber is tagged, a subscriber joins a new group in your audience, a date-based merge field meets certain criteria, so such as your last transaction date. If it meets certain criteria, you could trigger off of that. Or if a specific event is added to the subscriber.
So we’re actually going to focus on this last trigger in our next use case, which is using Mailchimp events, and this is something that actually can only be tapped into for Mailchimp if you’re doing automations through Zapier or through Mailchimp’s API. So it’s not something you can manually do in Mailchimp. Using Mailchimp events is something that only can be used via automation with another application or integration with another application. So this is a big benefit of being able to connect Bloomerang with Mailchimp is using this event feature.
So events in Mailchimp are similar to timeline activity in Bloomerang. And they’re used to log certain activities the subscriber has with your organization. So different events on a subscriber’s record in Mailchimp can trigger different automated emails or email series. And we are going to showcase a workflow today that will create a custom event on the subscriber in Mailchimp when a major donation is received. And this event will trigger an automated email to the subscriber recognizing the major gift and illustrating the impact of this donation on the organization. So it’s a little bit simpler of a workflow, but the impacts are, you know, huge with using this custom event functionality.
So let’s hop over to Zapier and let’s set up a new workflow for this use case. So we’re going to go ahead and we’re going to make another zap. And similar to the last one, this is going to start with a new transaction as our trigger. We’re going to select our Bloomerang account. We’re going to select our revenue-related transaction types. So, again, donation, recurring donation payment, or pledge payment. And for this one, we’re going to set our minimum amount to $5,000. We’re going to say that that is what we are considering a major donation. And so we want to make sure that we are only triggering to use this custom event workflow if we get a donation of $5,000 or more.
Now, it’s important to note that you can do this workflow in conjunction with the last use case we just showed, or if you have both of these setup, if you get a donation that is over $5,000, it actually will trigger both workflows. So important to note that you can use these simultaneously or they can be standalone based on your organization’s needs.
We are going to click to include the constituent’s cumulative giving history because I’m going to showcase this as if you were setting only this workflow up, not in conjunction with the prior one with the campaign tagging. But similar to that last one, again, we’re going to include the cumulative giving history and exclude the household information as we don’t need that. So I’m going to click Continue. And again, we’re going to test our trigger to bring in a sample transaction that we can use for the mapping in our workflow.
Okay. So I’ve got a sample one here. We are good to go. Just make sure. Okay. I’m going to click Continue. And then our first step is similar to our last one. We’re going to add a filter and we’re going to do the same filter step. So we are going to say that the primary email exists and that the email interest is not opted out. Again, the second piece of criteria the email interest opted out piece is optional. You could get rid of that and just say only continue if the constituent has an email address. But again, at Sidekick we consider it best practice to honor if someone has an email interest exclusion that we go ahead and honor that and do not include them in the sync to Mailchimp. So I’m going to go ahead and click Continue.
And so after we’ve set up our filter, again, same as the last time, we’re going to add our first action, which is to add or update our subscriber in Mailchimp because we need to make sure that subscriber exists in our Mailchimp database before we try to add that event for their major donation. So we will select our audience. Again, we’re going to map our primary email from that new transaction trigger. Make sure Update Existing is set to Yes.
And then we come down to our merge fields. And same as the last time, we can do our first name, our last name. And then I’m going to roll down here. And we’re going to map our Bloomerang account number, our constituent ID. And then we have our cumulative giving history field. So we can pull in our lifetime revenue. Again, this is why we include that or set that cumulative giving history piece to Yes, so we can include this. We’re going to pull in our latest transaction date and amount.
And then we can also pull in, or we’re going to map to the latest major donation date and amount. And since we’re triggering on major donations, I’m actually just going to pull the date and amount from our transaction that is triggering this workflow. Because this is a helpful way that instead of only being able to segment on the last transaction date and amount from Bloomerang, which may or may not be a major donation, we can also set up separate merge fields to do the same type of segmentation but for major donors only. So I’m going to go ahead and click Continue.
So then what we’re going to do is after we have our add or update subscriber right here, we’re going to add another step in Mailchimp. And so this one is to actually add a custom event in Mailchimp. So I’m going to select my action, which is to create a custom event. Select my Mailchimp account again. Select my audience. And map my primary email address.
Okay. So now that we have this customized event set up, we can name our custom event. So Mailchimp does have some limitations on how you could name your custom event. It likes for it to be less than 30 characters. And then they do also recommend that if you have spacing to use an underscore instead. So we’re going to call this major_donation. So this is going to be our custom event name.
And then we can add properties. So I actually want to have the date and the amount of the donation that is creating this custom event. And so we’re going to . . . Again, we’re going to map our date from that transaction, new transaction trigger, and the amount. So not only is it updating our merge fields when we’re adding or updating a subscriber, but we’re also going to have this data living in this custom event in Mailchimp. So, at this point, our workflow would be set up and we could click Continue and then turn our workflow on.
Now, I actually want to show you what this will look like and how this will show up in Mailchimp. So I’m going to hop over to Bloomerang and I’m going to open my constituent account here and we’re going to add a new major donation. So we’re going to say that Sherlock gave a donation of $6,000. We’re going to say it’s to our building fund. Oops. Sorry. Not a building fund. We’re going to do temporarily restricted. We do a campaign of 2020 Annual Campaign. Our appeal, we’re actually going to leave blank, say it was cash, and click Save.
So now this major donation from Sherlock should not only have a $6,000 amount, should update those major donation fields for today’s date in this donation amount. We’ve also mapped to latest transaction date and amount, so those should update. Again, if we also had that workflow set up that had campaign tagging, he would get a tag for the capital campaign. But most importantly, we’re going to see an event on Sherlock’s subscriber record for this major donation. So, if we hop into Mailchimp and refresh our audience here . . . And actually go back to our full audience list because this is going to refresh that event segment that we set up. Okay. So we want to view all of our contacts. Get out of the way. There we go.
Okay. So we have Sherlock right here. I’m actually going to click into his subscriber record to show you this event. So, on the right over here under Profile Information, this is where we see his lifetime revenue, last transaction date and amount, latest major donation. And then we can also see the event right here. So this activity feed is where this custom event we set up gets added. So you can see it’s going to operate very similarly to a timeline in Bloomerang where you could have different types of events populating this activity feed, and those different events could trigger different emails in Mailchimp.
So we could create a segment for subscribers with a major donation event, so similar as we did for our events segment. We also have the ability to create a segment. Let’s say we’re going to add a segment, triggering off of that event. So that’s more of a static list where then we can choose to send an email. And this actually falls under a . . . I’m going to highlight this because then it gets a little bit hidden.
But if you scroll down to this app engagement behavior, this is actually where they hide the custom event functionality in Mailchimp. So you would select App Engagement, and then you could select your event type. Again, this is a Sandbox, so we have two similar event types. But you would select the event type and say that it has occurred, has not occurred or the date range within it should have occurred. So you can create segments in lots of different ways using that event. But again, a segment is more of a static list where you have to go in and manually select to send an email campaign.
Now, I want to show you how you could set up an automation with Mailchimp using that event as your trigger. So, up here at the top, you’ll see that Mailchimp has a section for automations and customer journey. Now, this used to be called Automated Emails. They recently renamed it over the weekend to Customer Journey. But if we click Create and go to Classic Automations, we can select the API and the Event API as our trigger. And so we’re going to call this our Major Donor Acknowledgement and Impact Statement. So we’re going to call this automated email that we’d be sending out.
Now, this is going to take us to kind of the campaign design screen where we get to design our automated email for Mailchimp. So the most important piece is this trigger right here. We want to edit our trigger and save that. Let’s say we want to wait three days after the event occurs and then we need to enter the event names. So the same way as we set it up to name the event, we want to type that the exact same way right here. So major_donation with our underscore. We’re going to update our trigger. Now, we can schedule these to send in batch, you know, as soon as possible when it meets that criteria only at certain hours, only at certain times of the day or certain days of the week. So a lot of customization there.
And you also could add different segments or tagging. So you could add additional criteria to only . . . Maybe you have different acknowledgments you’d want to send for a capital campaign major donor versus an annual campaign major donor. So you can add additional criteria for what’s going to trigger along with the instance of that event occurring to receive this automated email or email series.
So, once you’ve actually customized how and when your email is going to be automated to send, you’d click Design Email and follow through Mailchimp’s prompts to design the email and customize the look and feel of that. We’re not going to go through that on this call today, but you customize things like the name of your email, subject, who it’s coming from, all the way down to the design and the content. So I’ll show you real quickly just what that looks like.
So you can select one of their templates. Let’s just take a blank one. Oops. And then you can see you have all of these full customization suite of what you want that to look like. And then you can save and continue and launch your automation. So the design piece, again, we’re not going to walk through all that today. The primary piece for triggering on your automated email and that event is going to be this trigger step where when you edit that, you select how many days if you want a delay, and then enter that event name.
Now, you might be curious about other events or other instances where you may want to send an event or create an event in Mailchimp. So some examples may be when someone makes a first donation to your organization. So their first donation, you want to create an event in Mailchimp and kick off a welcome series. Perhaps they donated to a specific campaign, they were assigned to a specific primary solicitor. Maybe they registered or attended a class or an event you’re hosting, or maybe they volunteered at your organization. So these are just . . . Again, these examples are just the tip of the iceberg. We really encourage you to think about events specific to your organization where an automated email or email series would not only strengthen your fundraising efforts but save you time and effort.
Now, to wrap up today’s presentation, I’ll leave you with a few thoughts on the power of Bloomerang integrations with Mailchimp. Now, we truly believe that Bloomerang is your central system for donor and fundraising activity. Whether you choose to pursue the native Mailchimp integration, automation using Zapier, or both, it’s always important to start from the lens that Bloomerang is the core of your donor management and fundraising technology. Integrations support and supplement your Bloomerang database. They don’t replace it.
And as we mentioned earlier, we do recommend native integrations as your first option before proceeding to automated workflows with Zapier. It’s always best to look to Zapier for advanced workflows and additional automation opportunities, but the pre-built functionality in the native Mailchimp integration can help you get started today with minimal setup and minimal design needed.
For harnessing the power Bloomerang’s native Mailchimp integration and automation with Zapier, you can segment your subscribers with ease, create targeted campaigns to support your cultivation efforts, and save time by tapping into Mailchimp’s automation features.
And so the next step is really getting started. First, link your Mailchimp account to Bloomerang today and begin creating templates for targeted email campaigns using the native integration, then consider whether automation using Zapier is right for you. You can sign up for a Zapier account to automate your Mailchimp integration. It’s free with a trial and free up to certain limits. And nonprofits do get a discount.
Then connect your Bloomerang database and Mailchimp account to Zapier and set up simple zaps to build your comfort and confidence in your workflow. Turn your zaps on, monitor them, watches your tasks, queue in your task history, resolve any errors, and hi-five yourself for successes.
The road to automation, there’s a learning curve, but you are not alone. We’re here to help. As I mentioned or as Diana mentioned at the start, my name is Jessie Gilchrist. My email is here and my door is always open. We’re pretty excited about the possibilities that are nearly endless with linking Bloomerang and Mailchimp through Zapier as well as the native Mailchimp integration in Bloomerang.
If you’d like to work with a consultant to set up automated workflows in Zapier or develop a custom Bloomerang integration to address unique use case, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re really here. We’re here to help. The Sidekick team is, Bloomerang team is. And I’m actually going to hand it off to Diana here for a quick poll before we open it up for more questions. But please, keep in mind that this isn’t something where you have to do this on your own. You do have the support. If you would like consulting support, you know, we’re happy to help you reach your automation and integration goals.
Diana: Thank you so much, Jessie. I’ve just launched the poll. Please let us know if you’re interested in having someone reach out for additional consulting services regarding setting up these integrations. It doesn’t have to be with Mailchimp. It can be with other integrations that you may have seen on Zapier that you might want to connect with your Bloomerang database. We love working with Sidekick Solutions. They were part of building the integration or Bloomerang’s integration with Zapier, and they’ve been using Bloomerang since 2013. So we love that they’ve built expertise with Bloomerang and Zapier as well.
I’ll leave that poll up for a couple of more seconds, but we do have a couple of questions here. Can you connect your Bloomerang account to multiple Mailchimp accounts through Zapier? Is that a possibility?
Jessie: Yes. Yeah. You can connect multiple Mailchimp accounts to Zapier. You can set up workflows to those separate Mailchimp accounts and you can also if you use separate audiences in Mailchimp, you can set up workflows for those different audiences in Mailchimp. So it really is scalable in terms of your email marketing needs, you know, how many different Mailchimp accounts you have or different audiences you have set up in Mailchimp, Zapier can accommodate for that.
Diana: Wonderful. And someone’s asking about . . . Meghan here is asking about Autopilot. And is the process of connecting Bloomerang and Mailchimp through Zapier similar to connecting Bloomerang and Autopilot? I’m not familiar with Autopilot. Jessie, I’m not sure if you are.
Jessie: No. I’m not familiar with Autopilot either. I’m happy to . . . Diana, if you would like to share that attendee’s information with me after, in fact, I’m happy to reach out and see if we can answer that question further. But I’m not familiar with Autopilot and similarities or differences between that and Zapier.
Diana: Awesome. Thanks, Jessie. And like we mentioned, if you are using another tool apart from Mailchimp and they do have an integration with Zapier, that is something that you can explore and Jessie’s team can potentially help with as well. Just might need a little bit more research and information, but that’s something they can look into.
Diana: So, once you’re using Bloomerang with Mailchimp through Zapier, will you be able to get those interactions if you’re sending out those emails through Mailchimp? Is there a way to get those interactions back into Bloomerang?
Jessie: It’s a great question. Yeah. So similar to how . . . We hear this from a lot of organizations, if they are using Zapier to integrate Bloomerang and Mailchimp, they often want that data to flow back from Mailchimp to Bloomerang like the native Mailchimp integration does. So technically, yes, there is a way that with kind of some complex and advanced integration workflows we could create interactions and Bloomerang for email campaigns sent in Mailchimp. However, we don’t typically . . . It’s not typically our first recommendation and having those process through Zapier because Zapier is priced based off of volume.
So you can imagine if you send an email to even 1,000 or 2,000 subscribers in your Mailchimp list and you want to sync that back to Bloomerang, if you’re sending multiple emails a month or even just one large email a month, it can substantially impact your Zapier subscription costs. So that’s why when we talked about the merge fields, I highly recommended, adding the Bloomerang account number as a merge field and mapping that data from your Bloomerang system to Mailchimp because following any email campaign in Mailchimp, you can export really easily, I believe it’s a CSV file of recipients, and it will pull in that Bloomerang account number merge field that then you could use to re-import into Bloomerang and create interactions for constituents who are part of that mailing.
So, really, it’s a simple process that once you get comfortable with it would probably take less than 15 minutes, you know, per email campaign depending on size to export that list of recipients from Mailchimp and import it using that Bloomerang account number in the merge field into Bloomerang to create those interactions.
And so we tend to encourage organizations to look and lean into that functionality as it’s free other than maybe 15 to 30 minutes of your time versus trying to have that flow through Zapier and possibly seeing, you know, large increases in your Zapier subscription costs. But it is possible if you truly wanted to automate through Zapier and have it create those interactions. It likely is, yes, possible. But most organizations choose to take the 15 to 30-minute import and save on some of that cost.
Diana: And if you need any help with import, our support team can certainly help you with that. As the last question here, I think this is a great recap as well. What would be the pros and cons of using Bloomerang’s native email tool versus the native integration versus connecting with something like Zapier?
Jessie: Yeah, that’s a great question. And I think a lot of it really comes down to not only organization’s fundraising strategy, but your needs in terms of email marketing and automation. For many . . . or for some organizations, depending on size, sending emails directly from Bloomerang meets their needs. The design functionality, the ability to send emails is captured in that.
The next step up would be that Bloomerang and native integration with Mailchimp where you’re creating those templates that are essentially a push-up constituents to Mailchimp for those targeted solicitation, so you’re defining all of your criteria in Bloomerang before it pushes to Mailchimp, and then you go into Mailchimp and trigger an email from that template. So that’s more of a static workflow where you’re having to manually trigger an email to send. So it’s kind of that next step up.
The last step is using Zapier, which is where you’re not only having an automated sync, so an automated flow of constituents based off of certain criteria from Bloomerang to Mailchimp, but also being able to tap into Mailchimp’s Automation features to trigger emails or email series based off of updates to subscribers in Mailchimp. So, again, they’re added to a tag, a merge field is changed, a custom event is added. So it really is kind of, I guess, you know, from . . . Personally, from my experience, it’s kind of a tiered process based off of your fundraising strategy and your email marketing needs where Bloomerang emails, it’s kind of step one, you know, getting comfortable with mass emails, moving up to the Bloomerang native Mailchimp integration for more targeted solicitations, and some of that email marketing functionality in Mailchimp in terms of segmentation and then bumping up to Zapier and those automated integrations for the automated workflows and automated emails and drip campaigns.
Diana: Wonderful. Thank you so much, Jessie. That was a lot of wonderful information. Thank you, everyone, for joining us today. We’re very excited for the Bloomerang native Mailchimp integration and the extended capabilities through Zapier. We’re excited to see what all of you or where all of you will take it as well. Zapier enables integrations with over 2,000 different apps, and we’ve only just scratched the surface. So, if there’s other apps that you would like to explore connecting with Bloomerang through Zapier, please let us know or contact Sidekick Solutions if you need help setting that up. We hope that you all find a way to better automate your processes and work better with Bloomerang and Zapier. Thanks, everyone. Have a great afternoon. Bye.