ChimpBlast Plugin for MailChimp

ChimpBlast is a companion plugin to RSVPMaker for use with the MailChimp broadcast email service: Download it from WordPress.org.

Enter your MailChimp API key, and you will be able to edit the content for email broadcasts from within the WordPress administration screens, using the familiar post editor.

You can also import the content of existing posts and RSVPMaker events. When you send out event invitations with ChimpBlast, the RSVP Now link in the invitation will automatically be coded to include a reference to the recipient’s email address, allowing RSVPMaker to retrieve that person’s profile details so they don’t have to be reentered manually.

You can import a your MailChimp template and add CSS to help your WordPress content display better, such as the markup for WordPress photos and captions, or your own stylings. The MailChimp service automatically inlines the CSS code to work better with email clients, which don’t always respect CSS in the header.

MailChimp templates must include some required tags, according to their template language, and should use table formatting (grit your teeth, CSS fans) for compatibility with email clients that don’t handle CSS alignment well.

I’ve also made it possible to include WordPress shortcodes in the template. For example, you could use an RSVPMaker placeholder like [event_listing format="headline" title="Upcoming Events" limit="10"] to include all event headlines in the footer of your message, while featuring a particular event in the body.

Example: Here is the archive of a message, together with screenshots showing how it was prepared.

http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=98249af77569f1d331f14fb25&id=c08ffc95ef&e=

Editing

Editing an Email Broadcast

Preview

Previewing a Broadcast to Submit to MailChimp

New in Version 1.3: I’m including a sample cron script that can be used to send a weekly newsletter containing the latest blog posts and RSVPMaker event listings from your website. I use this approach on several of my community-oriented websites, but I’ve just gotten around to generalizing the principles from what until now have been one-off hacks.

From the ChimpBlast settings screen, you can now designate the day of the week for your newsletter broadcasts, as well as the template, list, and subject line that will be used. The newsletter will go out using the default Email From address and Email Name display name.

It you run the cron script on any day other than the designated day of the week, it sends a preview version of the broadcast to the Email From address. The way I use this is to configure cron to run on Saturday and Sunday, where Sunday is the actual publication day. By sending myself a preview, I get a reminder to make any updates or corrections prior to publication day.

Cron is the Unix scheduling utility, and many web hosts provide a simplified utility for configuring it through Cpanel (shown below) or an another admin system.

ChimpBlast Cron Job

A ChimpBlast Email Newsletter Set to Run Saturday and Sunday

 

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  • Yanick L.

    Hi! Looks like a terrific plugin but for the life of me I cannot find the Option Panel to enter my MailChimp API key.

    • Anonymous

      Settings -> RSVPMaker

      You’re logged in as administrator, right?

      • Andre

        I would like to use the mail component but do not have a Mail-chimp API key.
        It is for a club , do you have to buy or is there a free version available ?

        Thank you

        • Anonymous

          The MailChimp API is free. Accounts on the service are also free up to 5000 recipients (small ad in the footer if you go that route)

  • Philippe Leysen

    Where can I find the ‘chimp class’ of my mailchimp account. I need iturgently for completing the chimpblast settings. Thanks!

    • Anonymous

      That ought to be filled in by default. In fact, I really ought to eliminate that user setting entirely (the original reason for making it configurable has gone away).

      Meanwhile, the value to enter is simply the path to the file to be included, which will be something like 

      /home/myaccount/public_html/wp-content/plugins/chimpblast/MCAPI.class.php

      • Philippe Leysen

        Yes it was filled in by default, but I deleted it by accident.

        When I delete and reinstall the plugin however, it doesn’t come back!

        It was also different from what you describe as it started with ‘customers/1/3/9…’ or something like that. Is there a place on my computer or the internet where I can find the exact name of my file?

        Many thanks!

        • Anonymous

          I just put out an update that eliminates the requirement to configure this field. Update the plugin, and the issue should go away.

  • Jens Peter

    I’ve just run a testdrive on Chimblast, just what I needed!
    Has anyone made a Danish translation or will I be the first? 

  • Stephen

    Hi and thanks for this fantastic plugin. One question/problem: Every time I update the blast, it creates a brand new campaign in my mailchimp account, instead of updating the existing one. Is this by design or is there anything I can do about it? 

    • http://www.carrcommunications.com David F. Carr

      Sorry for the slow reply. That’s just the way it works, at least for now.

  • Jens Peter

    After working som time with the plugin, I’ve got a minor problem.
    If I have created a list in Mailchimp and made two groups in this list, can I then send mails to one of the two groups or do I have to make two separate lists to do this ?

    • http://www.carrcommunications.com David F. Carr

      ChimpBlast doesn’t have that kind of targeting built in. It’s something I could consider adding, but not sure when I could get to it. ChimpBlast has not attracted a large user base, and I don’t have anyone else contributing code.

      The best you could do currently is use ChimpBlast to create a draft of the blast, then log into mailchimp.com to refine the list/group targeting.