What is Mailchimp?
Mailchimp lets you design pretty cool 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 related to those newsletters!
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 with 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. Basically, Cliniko will make sure your Mailchimp account always has a complete and up-to-date list (audience) of your patients so that you can send newsletters or marketing campaigns out at any time, with minimal effort!
What will it cost?
At the time of writing this, Mailchimp has a free plan that allows you to have up to 2,000 "subscribers" (patients) in an audience, and up to 12,000 emails sent per month. If you go above these limits then you will need to subscribe to a paid plan with Mailchimp. You can check out their pricing structure here. (And there won't be any additional cost on the Cliniko side to integrate with Mailchimp—you'd still just be paying your normal monthly subscription fee on with us!)
☝️ Note: We have no affiliation with Mailchimp; we simply think it's a great service, and provides a great way to improve the functionality of Cliniko for our customers!
I don't have a Mailchimp account. How do I get started?
First, sign up with Mailchimp! It'll only take a few moments. Head to their website (https://mailchimp.com) and click the Sign Up Free link (which will bring you here: https://login.mailchimp.com/signup).
Fill in the details, and wait for an email from Mailchimp. You'll need to activate your account from that email, and confirm yourself as a new user.
Once you're confirmed and logged in, Mailchimp will ask you to fill out a few details about yourself, and once you've done that, you can get started with the fun part—connecting Cliniko!
I'm already using Mailchimp. What do I need to do?
If you already have a Mailchimp account, you can provide Cliniko with the name of an existing audience. Cliniko will then update your audience and the details of patients within it. This is the best way to avoid resubscribing someone that has unsubscribed in the past.
Let's get started with the integration! There will three main things to do:
Step one: review your audience settings in Mailchimp
When you set up your Mailchimp account, you will be given an "audience"—this is essentially going to be a list of "contacts" (patients) that your emails will be sent to. Mailchimp automatically creates an audience for you upon creating an account. To view its settings, select View audiences:
That will provide you with a list of all audiences (if you're a new Mailchimp user, there should only be one, and it would have the same name as the "business name" you set up when creating your account:
☝️ Note: If you're on the free plan, you will see a message telling you that you've hit your audience limit:
This is nothing to worry about unless you wish to create additional audiences (other lists of people that you want to send emails to). When it comes to integrating Cliniko with Mailchimp, though, you will only need one audience!
Next, you'll want to review your audience settings. On the main "Audiences" page, select your audience (the one in the example here is named "Cliniko", but yours will be your business name):
Under Settings, select Audience name and defaults:
You'll be able to modify the "default" information for your audience, such as the name, the default "from" email address, and the defaul subject:
☝️ Note: It's very important to remember what your audience name is—including whether or not it's case-sensitive (such as "My Clinic" or "my clinic"). The exact audience name will be required when it comes to setting up the Cliniko integration!
MailChimp will also allow you to enable double opt-in and/or GDPR fields for this audience while editing the audience defaults, as well (but don't worry, you can set this up later if you want):
Finally, be sure to save your settings if you modified anything on that page:
Now that you've reviewed your audience settings, the next step will be to create an API key—in Mailchimp.
Step two: create an API key in Mailchimp
Now that you've created your audience, you'll need to create an API key in Mailchimp—this is what you'll need to provide to Cliniko to connect the two programs!
In Mailchimp, click on your initial in the lower-left corner, and then click on Account, like in the video below:
Click Extras, and then API keys:
Click Create A Key:
The page will refresh, and you'll see your new API key:
Copy it (highlight it, and press
command + C if you're on a Mac, or
Ctrl + C if you're on a PC).
Now, hold onto that API key, because it's on to step three—getting Cliniko and Mailchimp to talk to one another!
Step three: connect Cliniko to Mailchimp
☝️ Note: You must have the administrator role in Cliniko to be able to access this part.
Head over to Cliniko, and go to Settings, and then Integrations:
Under Integrate with Mailchimp, paste the API key into the API key field (top) and write your audience name into the audience name field (bottom):
☝️ Note: Remember earlier, when we talked about how important it was that you remember your audience name exactly as you typed it out? You will have to be sure that when you enter it into Cliniko, it is an exact match as how you typed it out in Mailchimp—even a rogue space will cause it to not work!
Click the Save integrations settings button. You'll see that Cliniko and Mailchimp are now connected:
Done! 🎉 Now, when you head back over to Mailchimp, you'll see that there are people in the Cliniko audience you've just created!
☝️ Note: It may take a bit of time before your audience shows up in Mailchimp. Depending on the number of patients you have, it may take a few hours. Sit tight!
Keep in mind that Cliniko will only send over patients with email addresses on file. If the subscriber count seems to differ between what you have in Cliniko and what shows up in Mailchimp, this is why. (For example, you may have 1,000 patients in Cliniko, but only 750 show up in your Mailchimp audience. This would mean that only 750 patients have email addresses.)
What about unsubscribes?
If you have a patient that wishes to unsubscribe from receiving emails, there are a couple of options.
They remove themselves from your audience
They can 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 that are sent from Mailchimp. They will still receive appointment confirmation emails and reminders from Cliniko—if they don't want to get those, either, then you'd need to change their user preferences on the Cliniko side of things!
You remove them from the audience
You can manually unsubscribe people from your audience in Mailchimp. Mailchimp talks about how to do that here. When you manually unsubscribe someone, they will be permanently removed from the mailing audience. Mailchimp will ignore any future updates you might make on this patient's profile, including email address changes.
🎉 You're now integrated with Mailchimp!
There are a lot of cool things you can do with Mailchimp, from mass emailing to automations—all of which can be great to help you grow your business. We're excited to help you achieve this!
Some of the articles you might find helpful include:
Happy emailing! 📥