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ActBlue + MailChimp (or other email tool) advice?

  • 1.  ActBlue + MailChimp (or other email tool) advice?

    Posted Jan 07, 2018 21:41
    in brief:
    Looking for pretty basic information on how to get ActBlue donor info integrated with email list and segmentation, probably using MailChimp, no CRM (manual import-export fine initially, as long as I can figure out what I'm looking at)

    longer:
    I am starting a volunteer project working with a group of state-level candidates to set up their mailing list/email program/email outreach strategy for their joint fundraising and volunteer coordination this year. I am experienced in list segmentation and strategy but new to political campaigns. Also, the vast majority of my email strategy and list management work has been in Luminate Online, which for the most part has all the donation data easily query-able for building email audiences, but I do know my way around a csv and at least while we build the list up to the first few thousand I am comfortable wrangling things by hand if I can get the right exports and figure out how to import them.

    We're leaning toward using MailChimp, but are open to other platforms if you have suggestions there, especially if there's a tool that works well with whatever info ActBlue spits out. I've been poking my way through the ActBlue help docs but can't seem to find examples of what donor and transaction info we have access to, and I want to get the MailChimp (or other tool) and our segmentation plan worked out before we start soliciting donations.

    Can you give me some advice, or point me to stuff I can read up on how we can integrate the donors and donation data with our mailing list? Specifically, I need to know how we can funnel donors to our mailing list - opt-ins with donation? Export of emails that we can import? Embed a signup form in ActBlue confirmation screen or email? Something else? Also, once we have donors in our email lists, how best to keep in sync - I'm assuming exports of data that we can then use to create groups?

    I have also sent a help request to ActBlue, and if I get good help I'll post it here too in case anyone in the future needs it.

    Thanks a bunch,

    Adrienne
    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 2.  RE: ActBlue + MailChimp (or other email tool) advice?

    Posted Jan 08, 2018 06:05
    Adrienne,

    I recommend looking at a tool called Zapier.

    Actblue has the ability to send a webhook for certain transactions.  You can setup Zapier as the destination of these webhooks.  Once you have it in Zapier, you can add or update contacts on a list in Mailchimp or update any other platform that is supported (there are many).

    Happy to provide more detail if you have questions on using this method.  We use Zapier for these types of updates a lot.






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    James Stewart
    Chief Information Officer
    NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 3.  RE: ActBlue + MailChimp (or other email tool) advice?

    Posted Jan 08, 2018 22:48
    Thanks, I'll check it out!
    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 4.  RE: ActBlue + MailChimp (or other email tool) advice?

    Posted Jan 08, 2018 10:45
    Greetings,
    Here at the AFT we use Action Network for email advocacy and our e-newsletters. AN is focused on partnering with progressive organizations. We find it to be a great tool.  It does offer integration with ActBlue. Check it out:  https://actionnetwork.org/

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    Barbara Tobias
    Web Specialist
    American Federation of Teachers
    Washington, DC
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 5.  RE: ActBlue + MailChimp (or other email tool) advice?

    Posted Jan 08, 2018 22:51
    Ooh, this looks like it might be perfect for what we're trying to do. Any insight on pricing tiers? We have some budget but trying to conserve most of it for ad buys right now. While we can probably afford to pay more per month as the list grows I don't want to tie us to something that will end up jumping super high in price as we hit a certain threshold...
    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 6.  RE: ActBlue + MailChimp (or other email tool) advice?

    Posted Jan 08, 2018 19:53
    Edited by Gregg Banse Jan 08, 2018 19:53
    If you're serious about funnels and segmentation then look into ActiveCampaign instead of MailChimp. And I agree with James - Zapier to help glue things together.

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    Gregg Banse
    Director of Marketing & Business Development
    Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
    Vergennes, Vermont
    http://www.lcmm.org
    https://greggbanse.com
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 7.  RE: ActBlue + MailChimp (or other email tool) advice?

    Posted Jan 08, 2018 22:56
    Well, in theory I'm serious about segmentation, but as a one-volunteer shop for the email and donor data end right now I don't want to bite off more than I can chew... ActiveCampaign looks really interesting and I will check them out. Thanks!
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  • 8.  RE: ActBlue + MailChimp (or other email tool) advice?

    Posted Jan 09, 2018 09:37
    It sounds like you are really talking about how to coordinate political advocacy across a number of allied groups in digital channels. While the specific issues you raised can be solved with Mailchimp and Zapier and so forth, as you go forward you'll encounter lots of different challenges and opportunities that wont' be resolved with those techs alone.

    I suggest that you look into the tools that political campaigns and orgs use to manage use-cases like yours. Nationbuilder, Action Network, EveryAction, and Engaging Networks are all options to consider. I think NB is probably the easiest to use and deploy, Action Networks is the most technically complex and powerful, and Engaging Networks and EveryAction are somewhere in between.

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    Isaac Shalev
    http://www.sage70.com
    Stamford CT
    @Sage70
    isaac@sage70.com
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 9.  RE: ActBlue + MailChimp (or other email tool) advice?

    Posted Jan 09, 2018 19:13
    Ahhh! Thank you Isaac for articulating for me in useful terms what I've been groping around for. You are quite correct that is what I'm looking for. Having compared features and pricing I'm now leaning very strongly toward Action Network as it is very affordable and has features that will really come in handy when we get into the real crunch time in the Fall.

    Also, I was just pulling out my notes from your NPTech Certificate Core class to incorporate in my presentation for 18NTC, and realize that of course a lot of it is extremely applicable to what I'm trying to put in place for this project. So thanks for that too!
    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 10.  RE: ActBlue + MailChimp (or other email tool) advice?

    Posted Mar 31, 2018 17:32
    Overdue update:

    We've been using Action Network for a few months now, and it's meeting our needs quite nicely. For a variety of reasons we haven't gotten the API hookup done with ActBlue yet, but the exports are very easily tweaked and imported into Action Network along with imports of constituents from other sources. I'm a fan!

    Thank you all for your help on this.

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    Adrienne Figus
    Membership and Online Fundraising Manager
    Yiddish Book Center
    Hadley, MA
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline