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Duplicate groups to create a master list and email list

Email marketing and outreach campaigns can be important for many small businesses, and Less Annoying CRM has built an integration with industry leader Mailchimp to help make it easier to connect with your contacts. With this integration you can create a two-way connection between LACRM and MailChimp, allowing you to manage email campaigns through MailChimp while automatically logging this activity in the CRM.

This integration works by syncing a group in LACRM to an audience or tag in Mailchimp, so any contacts added or removed in Mailchimp or LACRM will be passed to the other system. There are two important reasons you may not want to sync a master group list with Mailchimp:

  1. If a contact does not have an email address, they will be removed from the group syncing with Mailchimp.
  2. If a contact unsubscribes from a Mailchimp audience or tag, they’ll also be removed from the group in LACRM.

Both of these can be problematic if you’re trying to maintain a group of contacts in a certain industry or area, but they don’t all have email addresses or tend to unsubscribe from lists. In order to prevent changes to group membership in LACRM, you can duplicate your groups before syncing. Then only one group will be synced with Mailchimp and be affected by unsubscribes or missing emails, while the other group will maintain group membership.

There are a few different steps you’ll need to take to duplicate your groups and sync with Mailchimp to make sure that you can maintain group members, and still sync data with Mailchimp.

Step 1: Setting up your Groups

There are a few simple steps you can use to duplicate your groups in LACRM to preserve membership when syncing with Mailchimp. If you haven’t yet, you’ll first need to tag the desired contacts into a group to sync with Mailchimp. If you’re not sure how to group your contacts you can learn how to group contacts here.

Once you’ve created the desired groups, you can duplicate those groups to sync one group with Mailchimp and maintain a master group list. Simply jump to the desired group by mousing over the Contacts tab and clicking on the group name. Next, tick the “Select All” box at the bottom left of the page. A bar will pop up at the bottom of the screen and you can select “Add to a group” and enter a new group name. Please note: if you have more than 500 contacts in the group, you’ll need to select the link in the red bar above the “Add to a group” option to select all contacts before adding them to a group.

Using a naming convention here can be helpful to keep track of which group is syncing with Mailchimp and which group is not. For example, the original group may be called “Vendors,” and the duplicated group that will be synced with Mailchimp “Vendors - MC.” Repeat these steps for each group that you would like to sync with Mailchimp.

Now that you have duplicated groups, you will need to add new contacts to both of those groups in LACRM. This will allow the contacts to be synced with Mailchimp to receive email campaigns, while still allowing you to track original membership in case the contact unsubscribes later.

Step 2: Preparing Mailchimp for the Integration

To get started, you'll first need a Mailchimp account. You can sign up for free from their homepage. Be sure to check out their pricing page -- depending on the amount and type of mail you need to send, you may need a paid subscription.

Next, you'll need a basic understanding of the Mailchimp product. Mailchimp has some great training tools available at their help site, and there are far too many features available for us to delve into here. For the Less Annoying CRM integration, the key Mailchimp features you need to understand are audiences and tags. Audiences are basically groups of contacts to whom you plan to send email using Mailchimp's tools. You can send multiple campaigns to a given audiences, track information about the contacts in an audience, and much, much more. Tags are like sub-groups within an audience that you can use to further segment your audience.

Step 3: Setting up the Mailchimp to LACRM Integration

Now you’re ready to set up the integration! Navigate to your  Integrations page in LACRM under the Settings tab and click the Mailchimp Integration link. You'll need to start by authorizing the Less Annoying CRM integration on Mailchimp's site -- click the big green button to log into your Mailchimp account and get started.

You'll need to log into your Mailchimp account on the next screen, not your Less Annoying CRM account! Once the connection is established, you'll be taken back to Less Annoying CRM and asked which group you'd like to sync with your audience in Mailchimp. Be sure to sync the duplicated group here, for example syncing your “Vendors - MC” group rather than the “Vendors” group.

If you only have a single audience in Mailchimp, you just have to select the LACRM group you'd like to sync with that Mailchimp audience.

If you have more than one audience in Mailchimp, you'll need to select which audience you'd like to sync with each specific group. Again, be sure to sync the duplicated group here rather than the original group.

If you have multiple audiences in Mailchimp, you need to select which Mailchimp audience you'd like to sync with each LACRM group.

Once you've connected your audience with your LACRM group, you can decide if you'd like to sync tags within your Mailchimp audience. If you choose to, you can sync each Mailchimp tag to a separate group.

Choose which LACRM group each Mailchimp tag should sync with.

Once you've selected the appropriate options, you can save settings and start syncing. A dialog will then appear that includes some additional detail regarding the integration. These details are very important, so be sure you read and understand each point.

Once you're sure you understand each point, you can select "Finalize the integration." The dialog will show a loading bar to indicate the sync has begun. If you'd like you can wait and the dialog will indicate when the sync is complete, or you can close the dialog and it'll continue running in the background.

There are some additional details about the integration that you should understand. Here are some of the details about the integration, along with some important tips:

  • New contacts added in Mailchimp will sync to the CRM. This is great for those instances where you are adding subscribers to a particular mailing list with a subscription form or that kind of thing. All new contacts added to synced audiences will appear in your CRM and the synced group.
  • Only names and email addresses will sync between Mailchimp and the CRM. Other fields in the CRM (title, phone numbers, and custom fields, for example) won't come across. This means that if you've set up your data in Mailchimp before the sync, you can only expect names and email addresses to be pulled into the CRM.
  • If you edit a synced contact in Mailchimp, only the email will be saved in the CRM. The reason that only the email address will be changed in the CRM is that we always worry about overwriting data. In the interest of being as conservative as possible about the potential loss of data, only the email will change when you edit contacts in MailChimp.
  • Your activity on Mailchimp is subject to their Terms of Use. Don't spam people. Spamming means sending unsolicited email. Mailchimp takes spamming very seriously, and if you upset them and get your account blocked, there's nothing we can do. If you have questions about whether something is allowed, ask Mailchimp directly or check out their help/resources section.
  • Only contacts added by you or a connected web form are likely to sync to Less Annoying CRM. If you're using another service to sync with the same list as Less Annoying CRM, it's unlikely that those contacts will make it into the CRM. This prevents circumstances where infinite data loops can occur.
  • If a contact unsubscribes from an audience in Mailchimp, they'll be removed from the CRM group, but not deleted. If you're emailing people with Mailchimp, those people will have the option to unsubscribe from a particular mailing list. If that happens, they'll disappear from the group in Less Annoying CRM. Creating duplicate groups as described above can help you track the original group membership, and you can still pull up their contact record if they are removed from the group syncing with Mailchimp.
  • If you remove a contact from a group in the CRM, they will also be removed from the synced audience in Mailchimp.
  • Only one email address from the CRM can be synced to Mailchimp. You can enter as many email addresses as necessary on a single contact in Less Annoying CRM, but we can only sync the first one over to Mailchimp, so enter the most important one at the top!
  • Only new campaigns are shown in the CRM. If you sync an audience you've been using for a while in Mailchimp we cannot import historical data for those contacts. You'll see all your activity going forward, but you'll have to check Mailchimp for any information from before that point.

That's it! You're off and running. Open Mailchimp and you'll see your audiences and tags populated with your CRM contacts so you can get started sending email campaigns. In LACRM you will need to add new contacts to both your Mailchimp syncing and non-Mailchimp syncing group to ensure that you can keep track of all group members even if they unsubscribe later. When you send an email to your audience or tags in Mailchimp, that information will automatically be captured and sent to Less Annoying CRM, and it will appear on the profiles of each contact involved.

Next up:
Duplicate groups, Mailchimp list
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