Troubleshooting | MailChimp

MailChimp is an awesome tool which helps you design email newsletters, share them on social media platforms, integrate with services you already use, and track your results. 

These are some frequently asked questions about the Timely/MailChimp integration. If you have a question that isn't answered here, contact us using the form at the bottom of this article.

  1. My customers aren't syncing to MailChimp.
  2. I want to manage my MailChimp subscriptions in Timely.
  3. How much does it cost to connect to MailChimp.
  4. I want to add a Book now button to my MailChimp campaigns.
  5. My customers are being unsubscribed.
  6. Can I see if a customer has opted in to receive Mailchimp emails in Timely?

My customers aren't syncing to MailChimp

If you have connected MailChimp and Timely, your customers will automatically be synced across to MailChimp.

It is common for there to be a difference between the number of customers you have in Timely and the number of subscribers you have in MailChimp. Some common explanations for customers not being synced are:

  • There is no email address in the customer's record.
  • The customer has already unsubscribed from the list in MailChimp.
  • More than one customer in Timely shares an email address (an email address will only be used once).
  • A customer that uses that email address has been deleted in Timely.
  • The customer record is merged. The email address of the merged (secondary) customer will be unsubscribed in MailChimp. If both merged customers share the same email address, the they are both unsubscribed.
  • The checkbox to opt them into email marketing (via MailChimp) has been unchecked.

If you are missing all or most of your customer list, or if your records aren't up to date, then you can try the following:

Refresh customers

This will refresh all synced customers and send any updates to MailChimp:

  1. In Timely, head to Setup > Add ons > Email marketing:
  2. Click the Refresh Customers button:

Force a manual MailChimp sync

By unchecking your Timely groups and reselecting them, this will automatically sync the customers in the selected groups to MailChimp:

  1. In Timely, head to Setup > Add ons > Configure Mailchimp
  2. Un-check all the customer segments and click Save
  3. heck all the segments again and click Save to apply and update.

Disconnect and reconnect

If you're still not having any luck, you can remove the integration and then set this up again from scratch:

  1. In Timely, head to Setup > Add ons > Configure Mailchimp
  2. Toggle the button to 'Off'

  3. You can then start the process of setting up MailChimp again: How to set up the MailChimp integration.

Disable required fields on MailChimp

Sometimes customer fields such as names, date of birth, etc. on MailChimp are inadvertently set to "Required". If any of these values are missing for a customer then the customer will not be synced over to MailChimp.

  1. Log into your MailChimp account.
  2. Click Lists from the main menu.
  3. Open the list that you use to sync customers to.
  4. Click on the Settings menu and choose List fields and *|MERGE|* tags from the options.
  5. We recommend that you uncheck the Required checkbox for all fields, except for the Email Address and First Name:

  6. Click Save Changes when you are done

Check how many list fields you have

MailChimp has a limit of 30 fields of subscriber information, for each List. Timely uses 17 of these fields to sync customer details, such as contact details, birthdays and recent booking history to MailChimp.

If you are using the same list to collect email signups from your website - or have a number of custom fields in place already - then you may reach the 30 field limit, preventing your customers from being synced to MailChimp.

We recommend creating a separate list for customers added via Timely, to make sure those customers are synced correctly. MailChimp have a guide that covers how to manage your list and signup form fields:  Manage List and Signup Form Fields

Note: You can find out more about merge fields and what information we sync to MailChimp, in our Getting started with MailChimp guide.

I want to manage my MailChimp subscriptions in Timely

We recommend managing your subscriber list in MailChimp directly. 

When MailChimp is connected, we will show an opt-in box during the online booking process that will allow customers to opt-in to receive email marketing messages:

If a customer checks the opt-in box while booking, this will be recorded in their Notification settings. Once a customer is synced to MailChimp, you will need to manage their subscription in MailChimp directly.

If a customer is accidentally unsubscribed, or wants to re-subscribe, MailChimp have a help article on adding these addresses back to your list. MailChimp have strict policies around re-subscribing customers in line with anti-spam laws, so make sure you get the customer's consent and follow those instructions accordingly

Important information for EU/UK customers

Under the new privacy regulations in the EU ( Privacy at Timely - GDPR), customers based in the EU and the UK will need to explicitly opt-in to be sent email marketing messages. 

When MailChimp is connected, we will give customers the option to opt-in to your email marketing when they are booking online. If the customer checks this box, then they will be synced to MailChimp. Check out our  How to record marketing consent in Timely guide for more information.

We are also working on making that checkbox available for all customers. This will allow you to manually opt in or out customers that are added to your account, outside of the online booking process. We will update this guide with any developments here.

The best practice would be to manage your subscriber list directly in MailChimp. This will allow you to unsubscribe any customers that haven't explicitly opted-in. You can then manually resubscribe any customers that give their consent directly in MailChimp.

The contents of this guide and other related GDPR guides are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. We recommend talking with your lawyer, or seeking legal advice, about what your business needs to do to be compliant.

How much does it cost to connect MailChimp

There is no additional cost to connect a MailChimp account to your Timely account. 

However, you will need to have an account with MailChimp to do so. MailChimp have both free (if you have less than 2000 subscribers) and paid plans available. You will be charged separately for a paid MailChimp plan, by MailChimp directly.

Check out MailChimp's website for more information and to find out which plan is for you:

Can I add a book now button to my email campaigns?

At the moment, MailChimp doesn't support adding custom codes or script to their email campaigns. However, you can add a Book now image to a campaign and link this to your online booking site.

MailChimp have a guide to creating linked images which you can use. You can use your own image, or use one of the Timely booking button images below. To save an image, right click the image and choose Save image as:

To find your online booking link, head to  Promote > Booking button and select the Book now link option (Take me there). Copy the link provided in The link URL (Right click and choose Copy link):

Using online booking links and eCommerce tracking

If you are wanting to add online booking links or a buy gift voucher link to your MailChimp campaign, you will need to make sure that the eCommerce link tracking setting is disabled (unchecked).

You can check/update this under Setup in the Campaign:

This setting will add tags to the end of any of your links, which interferes with the online booking process.

You can find out more about eCommerce link tracking in  MailChimp's guide.

Tip: When creating a MailChimp campaign that includes any links, make sure to send a test email (or preview the campaign) to make sure all links are working correctly.

My customers are being unsubscribed

Sometimes, customers will be unsubscribed from MailChimp via the Timely connection. When this happens, the customer will show up as being "Unsubscribed by admin".

The most common cause of this is when a customer leaves the box to opt-in to your MailChimp list unchecked, during the online booking process. For privacy reasons, customers will be required to give their consent to email marketing, whenever they book online.

There can also be other explanations for this happening. If you are seeing this happen in your MailChimp account frequently, without explanation, please  reach out to the Timely team directly so we can take a closer look!

Can I see if a customer has opted in to receive Mailchimp emails in Timely?

Yes! You can see on a customer's record whether they have opted in to receive marketing emails through Mailchimp or not.

This information syncs with Mailchimp, so if your customer unsubscribes from your connected mailing list by email, or you unsubscribe them in Mailchimp, this status will reflect that. All resubscribes need to be handled in Mailchimp directly. 

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