Today we’re continuing our series on segmenting member emails, and we’ll be focusing on using MailChimp with MemberPress to send targeted member emails.

Earlier in this series, we’ve talked about how important segmentation can be to your membership site; you can give members plan-specific information, and target emails to only active members. This keeps your members engaged and gives them a reason to keep renewing their memberships.

We’ll look at how to get member data from MemberPress into MailChimp, then segment emails using these membership fields.

Set Up MemberPress MailChimp List

The first thing we’ll need is a list for our site members. While MemberPress can allow your members to hold multiple memberships, you can still use one MailChimp list for all of your members. We’ll determine which membership a member has based on a MailChimp merge tag.

Within your MailChimp list, add a text field for each membership for which you plan to segment emails. For example, if I have a “Silver Membership”, I’ll add a list field (type = text) for this membership. MemberPress will update this field automatically if someone becomes a member with either active, or if they expire / pause the membership, inactive.

MemberPress MailChimp List Merge Tags

You’ll also notice a field for “Site Member” on my list. You can have one “catch-all” merge tag as well. This field will get an update for anyone who becomes a member, regardless of status, to give you a quick way to email any one who is, or has been, a site member.

Once these fields are set up in MailChimp, you’re ready to move onto the MemberPress side of things.

Set up MemberPress MailChimp Add-on

MemberPress has some useful documentation around getting members into MailChimp that I’d recommend checking out. We’ll go over the basics of integrating MailChimp here.

When you purchase a MemberPress license ($99-$199), you’ll have access to several add-ons for free in your account. As not every user will integrate with every email list, this gives you a way to pick which email service you want to use without running a lot of unneeded code on your site.

I downloaded and installed the MailChimp add-on from my account, and was able to get my MemberPress site connected pretty quickly. You can go to MemberPress > Marketing and enable the MailChimp integration. You’ll enter your MailChimp API Key here, and set some site-wide settings.

Segment Member Emails: MemberPress MailChimp Settings

Select your email list that all members should be subscribed to, along with the “catch-all” merge tag for site members you have set up. This will take effect for anyone who purchases a membership.

Now you can set up some membership-specific rules. Any membership for which you’ve created a MailChimp merge tag can be viewed and updated now. Go to MemberPress > Memberships, and select the membership you’d like to sync with MailChimp. Under the “Advanced” options for the membership, select the merge tag you created in MailChimp.

MemberPress Membership level merge tag

Now any time a user purchases this membership, they’ll be added to your MailChimp list, and will also have this merge tag updated to active. If the membership ends, then this field will automatically update to inactive, ensuring that you’re able to easily email all active members only (or all inactive members to win them back).

Set Up Member Email Segments

Now when you view your MailChimp subscribers, you’ll see MemberPress values for your merge tags.

MemberPress MailChimp subscriber

We can use these values to schedule targeted emails for member communications.

1. Email All Active Members
Sometimes new content is available to all members on your site, and you want to inform everyone of this new benefit. Rather than emailing members of each plan individually, you can email all active members at once.

You’ll create a new segment where subscribers match any of the conditions. This acts as an “or” scenario; in my example below, anyone who has an active silver membership or an active gold membership will get this email.

MemberPress active members segment

Just be sure you use “{membership} is active” for your rule, not something like “{membership} contains active”, as this would include inactive members 🙂

2. Email Active Members of a particular plan
Sometimes your announcements are plan-specific, and you want to let only people with that membership or plan access know about updates or changes. You can create segments for specific memberships in the same way.

This would let me email all active gold members:

MemberPress active membership segment

However, I could add another “any” rule if I wanted to email both active and inactive members about new benefits.

3. Email All Members
If you have broad announcements that you’d like to share with all members, you can do this in a couple of ways.

First, if you only want to inform active members, you can follow example one. However, let’s say you want to email anyone who’s been a member — the announcement or email may have the potential to entice some expired members to re-subscribe. While you could check for all active / inactive merge tags, a quicker way to segment emails with this is to use your “catch-all” tag.

If someone on your list has purchased a membership, this tag will be equal to 1, so you can use this to segment the email.

MemberPress email all members

Creating Advanced Segments

You may want to create segments based on other data, such as a sign up date. However, this becomes trickier with MemberPress since a member can have more than one membership. For example, if you have a “signup date” field in MailChimp, there’s no way to know which membership this signup date belongs to — is it for the silver membership? The gold one?

If you’d need more advanced segments, you could consider coupling member exports with multiple lists in MailChimp. You could create one list per membership, and then import your members via CSV to MailChimp. This would let you use more member data for segments, since the list would be tailored to one membership alone.

This process is definitely more complicated and manual (as opposed to the really useful automatic syncing with one list), so I wouldn’t really recommend going this route unless it’s absolutely necessary.

If you do need to have more advanced segments, you can add more merge tags into your membership-specific lists, then export members to CSV from MemberPress > Subscriptions. You can manually sort and break this CSV up by membership type to then import into MailChimp.

Segment Member Emails with MemberPress

MemberPress gives you a simple way to sync your members with external email services, including services like MailChimp. While you can’t segment on anything other than membership type or status, for many sites this will be all that’s needed in terms of segmenting member emails.

The ability to keep members in one list is useful, as you’ll save money on subscriber count (when subscribers are in separate lists, they’re counted towards your account total multiple times). The fact that the membership status is synced to your site is a huge bonus as well, making this integration simple and efficient to use.


Cover Photo Credit: Kate Ter Haar (CC BY 2.0 license)

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Posted by Beka Rice

Beka Rice manages the direction of Sell with WP content and writes or edits most of our articles to share her interests in eCommerce. Or she just writes as an excuse to spend more time jamming out to anything from The Clash to Lady Gaga. Who knows.

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  1. *Beka Rice follower. Who knows more than Beka Rice? No one I know.

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