Getting started with Mailchimp

MailChimp is a tool that helps you design email newsletters, share them on your social networks and track your results. 

You can sync your customer list from Timely to MailChimp and send your customers automated (or manual) emails. You can use Mailchimp to send special offers or discounts; business news, information and announcements; or general newsletters.

Still need more convincing? Check out our case study on 'How SMS and Email Marketing helped UK Salon ‘The Hair Boutique’ Flourish!'

In this guide we'll cover:

  1. How the integration works.
  2. What information is sent to MailChimp.

Want to send rebooking reminders or follow up messages after a customer's booking? Check out our Getting started with automated customer messages guide.

How the integration works

When you first connect Mailchimp to Timely, we will automatically sync across all of your customers to your designated list in Mailchimp. 

If you  add, modify or delete customers in Timely, any changes will be automatically synced to the Mailchimp list. As a heads up, the syncing process can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on volume.

Customer information only syncs from Timely to Mailchimp, so if you make a change to a customer's data in Mailchimp, these changes won't be reflected in Timely. 

There are a couple of scenarios in which a customer won't be synced to Mailchimp:

  • The customer doesn't have an email address listed.
  • If more than one customer uses the same email, the address will only be subscribed once.
  • They have already been unsubscribed from the list in Mailchimp.
  • If two customer records are merged, the email address of the merged (secondary) customer is unsubscribed in Mailchimp. If both merged customers share the same email address, they are both unsubscribed.
  • When the customer is deleted in Timely, we'll also unsubscribe them from the list.

Once a customer is synced to MailChimp, you will need to manage their subscription in MailChimp directly. if the customer unsubscribes through an email, or you unsubscribe them in Mailchimp, we will sync this subscription info through to Timely. This is the only data that syncs both ways between Timely and Mailchimp.

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.

What information do we send to MailChimp?

As part of the process, we'll send a bunch of useful information about that customer to their record in MailChimp:

Merge tags

Merge tags are the customer fields we have recorded in Timely. There are 17 fields that we send to MailChimp and you can segment your subscriber list in MailChimp based on any of the following fields:

  • Email address 
  • First name 
  • Last name 
  • Company name
  • Birthday (Date)
  • Last booking date (Date and doesn't include future bookings)
  • Completed booking value (Currency)
  • Last booking staff member (Staff name)
  • Timely MailChimp tag (see above)
  • Last completed booking date (Date)
  • Last service booked
  • Last class date (Date)*
  • Last class booked*
  • Completed class value *(Currency)
  • Last class value *(Currency)
  • Has future bookings (True/False)
  • Has future classes*(True/False)

Classes are no longer available in Timely.*

If your account was created after the 1st of September, or you haven’t used classes in your account before then, you will no longer be able to access or use this feature. If you have already have classes in your account, you will be able to continue using them.

Customer groups

We also have some default groups, which you can use for the MailChimp integration. When you first set up the integration, you can choose which of these groups you'd like to send to MailChimp (All, Male, Female, VIP).

You can update this setting at any time:

  1. Head to  Setup > Add ons from the main menu.
  2. Click Email marketing (Configure) next to the Email marketing (MailChimp) option.
  3. Click the Edit settings button.
  4. Check/uncheck any boxes as desired:

Using this field in MailChimp

  1. Login to your MailChimp account.
  2. Go to the Lists tab and click on the list to open it.
  3. Go to the  Manage Subscribers option from the menu and choose Groups:
  4. You'll then be able to view a list of Timely groups: 

The Timely MailChimp tag

Tags are a specific tag field that you can use to segment your customers. You can enter any value you wish into this field, such as "facial clients" or "bootcamp attendees". 

The MailChimp tag field has a total character limit of 50 (including spaces or separators such as commas or semi-colons). If you are unsure of your total character count, feel free to refer to this  character counter tool

To add information to the MailChimp tag field:

  1. Head to the Customer record on the Customers tab:
  2. Click Edit in the top right corner of the customer's record.
  3. Go to the More Info tab: 
  4. Update the MailChimp tag field:

Using this field in MailChimp

If you would like to segment your subscriber list in MailChimp based on this field, then you can select this specific field when creating a new segment.

You will need to ensure you use the " Contains" option (not the "is" option) when creating a segment based on the MailChimp tag. This is especially relevant if you have entered multiple tags for each customer:

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