What is MailChimp?
MailChimp helps you design email newsletters, share them on social networks, integrate with services you already use, and track your results. It's like your own personal publishing platform. Basically it's a very advanced tool that lets you send out great looking newsletters to your patients and track the level of activity.
Email is pretty easy, why do I need such a fancy system?
Email marketing is a surprisingly difficult task to do well, and also very hard to do legally. There are a lot of laws in place to prevent SPAM and also systems in place to trap junk email. Getting a high delivery rate and abiding by the law isn't as simple as it sounds. MailChimp includes an unsubscribe link on all of your emails and has a compliance team to help make sure your email campaigns are legal. They also have a very sophisticated delivery system to ensure your emails actually get to your recipients.
Also, how do you know if your email campaigns are worth the effort if you can't track the results? MailChimp has some great analytics available so you can measure the performance and improve your marketing campaigns. They also have some pretty nice templates too so you can have great looking emails even if you aren't a designer.
What does connecting Cliniko to MailChimp do?
Once you have integrated MailChimp, Cliniko will update your MailChimp account with all of your patients names and email addresses. Cliniko will also constantly update MailChimp every-time you add a new patient or make a change to an existing one. Cliniko will make sure your MailChimp account always has a complete and up to date list of your patients so that you can send newsletters or campaigns out at any time with minimal effort.
What will it cost?
At the time of writing this, MailChimp has a free account that allows you up to 2,000 patients, and up to 12,000 emails p/month (only patients with email addresses will count). If you go above these limits then you will need to go on a paid plan with MailChimp. There is no cost implication to Cliniko. Also, we have no affiliation with MailChimp other than we think it's a great service and a great way to improve the functionality of Cliniko for our customers.
I don't have a MailChimp account, how do I get started?
- Head on over to www.mailchimp.com
- Click on Sign Up Free
- Fill in your information
- Click Create my Account
- You will get an email from MailChimp, click to Activate Account
- Confirm your humanity
- Click Confirm Signup
- Log In
- Fill out information form (I am only putting part of it here to save space)
- Click Save Setup
- Now that you are signed up, just a few more steps!
- Click on Lists
- Click on Create List
- Fill out the form, note the List Name you choose, you will need his later
- Click Save
- Click on your name, then Account
- Click Extras then click API Keys
- Under API Keys click Create a Key
- Copy the API Key, it should look something like this 99fc7021d0c72efab2fa3f000b32675e (do not use this one, it is invalid)
- Log into Cliniko, click on Settings then Integrations
Note: You must have "administrator" access in Cliniko to do this.
- Input your MailChimp API key from step 19, and your list name from step 14
- Click Save integrations settings
- Wait! It will take a bit of time before your list shows up in MailChimp. Depending on the number of patients you have it may take a few hours.
- Keep in mind we only send over patients with email addresses on file. If the count seems to differ between what you have in Cliniko and what shows up in MailChimp this is why.
Now, breathe a deep sigh of relief, because you are finished!
Anything else I need to know?
If you already have a MailChimp account, you can provide Cliniko with the name of an existing list. Cliniko will then update your list and the details of patients within it. This is the best way to avoid resubscribing someone that has unsubscribed in the past.
Your list will not instantaneously appear in MailChimp. Due to MailChimp rules we need to push the list over in batches which will take some time depending on the size. Wait a few hours before you check back into MailChimp and you should see your list count start to increase slowly as it is pushed over.
What about unsubscribes, how should I handle those?
If you have a patient that wishes to unsubscribe they have a couple of options.
- Click unsubscribe on the email they received. This will automatically remove them from future mailings. Keep in mind this only removes them from your marketing mailings, they will still receive appointment confirmation and reminder notices.
- If the patient wants you to manually unsubscribe them this is best handled in the MailChimp interface. Follow the steps below.
- Log into MailChimp
- Click on Lists
- Select your list
- Click Manage subscribers
- Click Unsubscribe People
- Enter the patient's email address
- Click the Unsubscribe button
This will permanently remove them from the mailing list. MailChimp will ignore any future updates including email addresses changes.
There are many things you can do with Mailchimp, from mass emailing to automations, all of which can be great to help you grow your business. We are excited to help you achieve this!