Introduction

The integrated solution of MailChimp and Optimove helps increase customer engagement and loyalty by using predictive customer modeling to personalize retention campaigns.

Marketers use Optimove to plan their customer marketing campaigns based on advanced customer segmentation available in the product. Using Optimove’s customer modeling system, marketers are able to easily define and discover interesting groups of customers to target groups that the company’s marketers would not have been able to identify and target otherwise.

The next step is for the marketing team to develop the particular offers or incentives they want to send each target group of customers.

Every night, the Optimove software generates the specific lists of customers to receive each pre-planned marketing campaign – along with the MailChimp email template ID, subject line and scheduled send time. Optimove pushes the lists to MailChimp via API and then MailChimp sends out each personalized campaign at the specified time.

During and after the campaign’s execution, Optimove reports on the financial success metrics of each campaign (compared to a pre-selected control group) or the winner of an A/B campaign test, and incorporates email delivery, open and click metrics acquired via MailChimp’s API.

To summarize, the Optimove software connects to MailChimp via API for two purposes:

  1. To instruct MailChimp to send out a particular email template to a specified segment of customers
  2. To receive from MailChimp email campaign metrics (delivery rate, open rate and click rate)

How it Works

1. Prepare the Customer List in MailChimp

Once the marketer has opened the MailChimp account, his first step is to import the required customer data into MailChimp. At a minimum, this data will include first name, last name and email address.

It is important that the freshness of this data be maintained on a daily basis, e.g., when new customers join, their information must be promptly updated in the appropriate MailChimp List.

Who does it: the marketer, with support from MailChimp.

2. Prepare Customer Data for Import into Optimove

The marketer, usually with assistance from internal IT staff, prepares the company’s raw data into specific formats required by Optimove. These customer profile tables, which describe each customer's attributes, will be imported daily by Optimove. Optimove uses this data to segment customers into a variety of dimensions (lifecycle stages, micro-segments, etc.) and to track the behavior of customers and target groups over time.

Important note: In order for Optimove to send campaigns via MailChimp, the customer data received daily by Optimove must include the customer’s email address (as of v3.0 of the MailChimp API, MailChimp IDs are no longer supported as customer identifiers).

Who does it: the marketer, with support from internal IT staff and Optimove integration staff. When required, Optimove staff can take a leading role in this stage.

3. Connect Optimove to the MailChimp API

In order for Optimove to connect to the MailChimp API, the marketer needs to supply Optimove with:

  • Login credentials to the client’s API instance
  • MailChimpAPIKey
  • The ID of the particular customer list to be used by Optimove

All communication between the Optimove and MailChimp servers is via RESTful API. For the technically inclined, MailChimp’s API guide is available here.

Who does it: The marketer supplies the above details to Optimove and Optimove configures the software.

4. Create and Send Customer Campaigns Using the Joint Optimove-MailChimp Solution

Providing Email Subject Lines for Email Templates

Optimove retrieves a list of all available email templates via the MailChimp API. When scheduling a MailChimp campaign using the Run Campaign wizard, the marketer selects the desired template for the campaign from a drop-down list, and can also view a preview of the email itself from within Optimove.

Because MailChimp email templates do not contain the email subject line (which is unlike most other email service providers), the marketer must go to the Manage Templates page and specify the subject line for all templates that will be used from within Optimove.

Important note: Only email templates for which a subject line has been provided will be available for selection in the Run Campaign wizard.

Sending an Email Campaign

Each time Optimove actually sends an email campaign via MailChimp, Optimove connects to the MailChimp API and performs the following steps:

  1. Optimove creates a MailChimp “segment” containing the list of customers to receive the email. Note that this list of customers is automatically generated by Optimove according to the selection criteria defined within Optimove for the Target Group that will be receiving the email.
  2. Optimove instructs MailChimp to send the email by providing the following parameters:
    • The MailChimp segment created by Optimove (already populated with the reciepients).
    • The ID of the email template to use (this is selected by the user, in Optimove’s Run Campaign wizard, from among all the email campaign templates created by the user inside MailChimp)
    • The date and time of day when MailChimp should deliver the email (this is also specified by the user in the Run Campaign wizard)
    • The subject line specified for the selected template in the Manage Templates page

Retrieving Email Campaign Metrics

Once each day, for a period of one week following the sending of each MailChimp mailing, Optimove connects to the API in order to retrieve delivery rate, open rate and click rate metrics for the campaign. These metrics are displayed within Optimove’s Campaign Analysis page for each executed campaign.