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Integrating Cliniko with your MailChimp Account

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?

  1. Head on over to www.mailchimp.com
  2. Click on Sign Up Free
    Send_Better_Email___MailChimp2.png
  3. Fill in your information
    Screen_Shot_2013-10-18_at_10.02.42_AM.png
  4. Click Create my Account
  5. You will get an email from MailChimp, click to Activate Account
    Screen_Shot_2013-10-18_at_10.05.17_AM.png
  6. Confirm your humanity
    Screen_Shot_2013-10-18_at_10.06.41_AM.png
  7. Click Confirm Signup
  8. Log In
    Screen_Shot_2013-10-18_at_10.09.14_AM.png
  9. Fill out information form (I am only putting part of it here to save space)
    Screen_Shot_2013-10-18_at_10.10.34_AM.png
  10. Click Save Setup
  11. Now that you are signed up, just a few more steps!
  12. Click on Lists
    Dashboard.png
  13. Click on Create List
  14. Fill out the form, note the List Name you choose, you will need his later
    Lists___MailChimp.png
  15. Click Save
  16. Click on your name, then Account
    Account___MailChimp.png
  17. Click Extras then click API Keys
    API Extras
  18. Under API Keys click Create a Key
    API_Keys___MailChimp.png
  19. Copy the API Key, it should look something like this 99fc7021d0c72efab2fa3f000b32675e (do not use this one, it is invalid)
  20. Log into Cliniko, click on Settings then Integrations
    Note: You must have "administrator" access in Cliniko to do this.
  21. Input your MailChimp API key from step 19, and your list name from step 14
    Cliniko__Settings-1.png
  22. Click Save integrations settings

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.

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.
  1. Log into MailChimp
  2. Click on Lists
    Lists___MailChimp_and_dashing_redguava-apps_com_redguava-2.png
  3. Select your list
    Lists___MailChimp_and_dashing_redguava-apps_com_redguava-3.png
  4. Click Manage subscribers
  5. Click Unsubscribe People
    Unsubscribe
  6. Enter the patient's email address
  7. 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!

Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

  • Avatar
    Cameron

    Done and set up :-) boom!

  • Avatar
    Joel Friedlaender

    I assume it all went smoothly then?

  • Avatar
    Cameron

    Went very smoothly thsnks

  • Avatar
    Matt Jeffers

    Worked a treat! Thanks!

  • Avatar
    Joel Friedlaender

    Great to hear!

  • Avatar
    Ian Lawson

    How regularly does Cliniko sync across to mailchimp? If someone unsubscribes from my mailchimp list (or we manually delete them) but their address remains attached to their file in Cliniko, will it simply add their address back into mailchimp next time it does a sync?

    I can imagine that if patients unsubscribe from our list (which they do from time to time) and then they end up back on the list straight away again they might get a bit annoyed....

  • Avatar
    Joel Friedlaender

    Hi Ian,

    Sorry for the delayed response, the alert for your message went to my spam folder somehow.

    Cliniko syncs as you make changes, so it should be updated within seconds.  If a patient has unsubscribed from your list, Cliniko will respect that and not add them again. 

    Joel

  • Avatar
    Jean-Paul Thuot

    A feature that our current scheduler has that has become rather essential is to be able to send emails specifically to patients who have become inactive for an amount of time.  What I do is create an email that says "Hi, we miss you blah blah" then "filter" the recipients:  No appointment within the last x weeks and does not have a future appointment.  This feature brings back approximately 8% return every month, which makes it very worthwhile.

    Will there be a way to do this in Cliniko?

  • Avatar
    Joel Friedlaender

    You can use our patients data export for this currently.  It exports all patient details including their last visit and upcoming visit.  You can then use excel to filter it and load it into MailChimp or any other mail program you like.

    We will also be adding this extra information into the MailChimp integration at some stage so you can segment it.

    It is also quite likely we will try to automate this type of thing, ie. automatically send an email of your template to any patient that hasn't been in for X weeks and has no upcoming appointment.

  • Avatar
    Ian Lawson

    Is it possible for Cliniko to export date of birth information to mailchimp as well? We use the date of birth function in mailchimp as it sends an automated birthday email to every patient just before their birthday. Presently when a new patient gets entered into Cliniko, their name and email address get synced to mailchimp but not their date of birth, so we need to go into mailchimp and manually enter this data.

    Or is there a way for me to tell mailchimp to drag this data across from Cliniko as well as name and email address?

  • Avatar
    Joel Friedlaender

    We need to do it from our side, will add to our todos.

    Thanks for the feedback.

  • Avatar
    Rachel

    Just a warning regarding DOB and Mailchimp - I imported DOB into Mailchimp a while back (not from Cliniko) and it did something weird to the format and I think it ended up reading my DDMMYY data as MMDDYY, I can't remember if that was exactly the issue, but there was a problem.  So it would pay to do some investigating around data formats for this if you haven't already.

  • Avatar
    Sarah Stevenson

    I agree with the above comments that adding additional info into the MailChimp integration would be useful - DOB, Last Appointment, etc would be excellent for birthday, reactivation etc. Everything would run so smoothly if it could be automatic, and take out the need to manually input this data. Can't wait for it to be a current feature! :) 

  • Avatar
    Joel Friedlaender

    Thanks Rachel, good to know.  Sarah, we have had this requested pretty often lately, so we will try to get to it soon.

  • Avatar
    Bartosz Pochodaj

    Hi Everyone,

    I start working on import new fields from Cliniko to your MailChimp Lists. DOB is definitely on  however if you would like us to import other fields too please let me know about it here :)

    Bartosz 

  • Avatar
    Mitch Lawrie

    Hi Bartosz!

    I think this is the most important feature we need automated ... or at least made easy:

    A feature that our current scheduler has that has become rather essential is to be able to send emails specifically to patients who have become inactive for an amount of time.  What I do is create an email that says "Hi, we miss you blah blah" then "filter" the recipients:  No appointment within the last x weeks and does not have a future appointment.  This feature brings back approximately 8% return every month, which makes it very worthwhile.

    Thanks!

    Mitch

  • Avatar
    Kerrin Sullivan

    Great!
    Thanks to you, I was already using Mailchimp, but didn't know how was going to keep track of remembering to add every new email without doing the merge every time and then having the Unsubscribers join the list again.
    Your team is very cleaver!

  • Avatar
    Edward Roper

    Hi Bartosz,

    Its been a few months since your last post, but if you are still working on this, It would be good to be able to have an email opt out field (separate to that of email reminders), reason being as we are looking at doing some email marketing / newsletters on a regular basis and to do this we need to have an opt out function within Cliniko for those that we do not want to receive further information from us. Some don't want to receive email appointment reminders but like our newsletter, hence keeping it separate to reminders.  To have something of this nature for each patient integrated into Cliniko that sync's with mailchimp would be of great benefit ( tick a box and it excludes them from that mail chimp category, say, newsletters).  I am sure there are some other categories that could be of benefit such as last appointments, possibly occupation, then people could target builders, or mothers etc.  Just throwing it out there.

    Many thanks

    Ed

  • Avatar
    Wenqiw57

    Hi, Joel,

    I found that the mailChimp can found the DOB of some of our patients, but not others. It seems not consistant. I check the record in the Cliniko side, it is ok, every DOB is there, but cannot find it on the mailChimp side. For instance, we want to send out Birthday greeting email to those of patients whose birthday is July 24, 2013, the MaiChiimp found zero record, though we have record on the Cliniko of 11 records (of course they have email address). How come like this?

     

  • Avatar
    Bartosz Pochodaj

    @Mitch - I think you can use MailChimp to filter those patients using Latest Appointment Date. Would it do the job for you?

     

    Thanks

    Bartosz

  • Avatar
    Bartosz Pochodaj

    @Ed - Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Avatar
    Bartosz Pochodaj

    @Wenqiw57 - I investigate the problem you have but I wasn't able to reproduce it yet. I'll keep you updated with the progress. 

    Thanks!

    Bartosz

  • Avatar
    James Love

    Not a complaint, just a word of warning: if you 'archive' a patient on Cliniko, that won't change your MailChimp database, as I found out recently to my cost.

    I had "archived" a patient on Cliniko who had passed away, assuming the integration with MailChimp was a "synch", unfortunately it wasn't, so they remained on the MailChimp list and they, or in this case, their widow, (he used her email address) were sent a newsletter with my realising...

    Just remember to delete them from your MailChimp database when you archive them from Cliniko!

  • Avatar
    Joel Friedlaender

    Sorry you had trouble with that James.  We could unsubscribe them when you archive/delete them, but I'm not sure that's the behaviour everyone would expect/want.  Any other thoughts would be great.

  • Avatar
    James Love

    No worries Joel! To be honest, I'm not sure there is a simple solution here. I agree: you may want them to remain subscribed to MailChimp after you've archived them.

    I just figured it would be smart to let other users know that taking a file out of Cliniko, doesn't change your MailChmp list.

  • Avatar
    Joel Friedlaender

    We should probably have a "Surprising Tidbits" forum or something like that for things like this.

  • Avatar
    James Love

    Yep, that would do it! Thanks Joel.

  • Avatar
    Edward Roper

    Hi Joel & James,  If there was a separate opt out check box within cliniko separate to the sms and email setting this could solve this problem, it can be used when they are an active patient if they don't want communication such as your newsletters, and also when you archive somebody you can choose to archive them and opt them out for further communication ( in the case of somebody who has passed away), then you could continue to send communication to those who are archived as a marketing tool and those that opt out can be removed at their request.

  • Avatar
    Head2toe Health

    Edward, that is an awesome and simple solution! Often I get emails sent from clients to "unsubscribe" from the list rather than unsubscribing themselves off the list, and then I go in and delete the email off the email window, and put it in the notes. This is really useless though as often we want to still email them the invoices/statements etc, so Edward's solution for a simple tick box would work GREAT!

     

    Simone @ Head2Toe.

  • Avatar
    Jim Sadusky

    I would imagine we should be able to unsubscribe a patient in mailchimp through their API, though I would need to investigate further. If so, that could definitely be an option.

    Keep in mind Simone, that you can already unsubscribe patients in mailchimp directly. But doubling up on work is counter to an integration...

    Thanks for the suggestion Ed!

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