Mailchimp (MC) recently changed their business model when they went public. One of those changes included the reduction of the resources allowed on the free tier. MC offered a very generous free plan for years. They still do, but they’ve limited the number of “audiences” [previously called “lists”] that you can create.
The number of audiences went from unlimited to only 1 audience for the free tier (used by many church partners). This significantly impacted your options for managing and segmenting your data.
On the flip side, each audience in MC was meant to be self-contained, and they allowed you to segment your audience using groups and other static or dynamic segments/filters. Data wasn’t shared between audiences no matter which plan, free or paid. If you did decide to use multiple audiences, they counted as additional subscribers towards your total subscribers count, even if the emails were the same.
Having recognized these challenges and along with their changes, Mailchimp introduced TAGS. We now are offering an option to sync your CCB saved searches and groups with tags.
What are tags?
Just like tags (or labels) on clothes give you information about the garment, the CCBChimp integration with MC TAGS allows you to “pin” information on your people. Specifically, we would tag your synced people by their CCB campus and CCB group or CCB saved search names. Additionally, you can add or assign additional tags per sync which gives you an unlimited way of segmenting your audience(s) since you can use as many tags as you want.
One Audience or Several? How to Organize Your Contacts to Optimize Your Marketing
We recommend you check out this article on this exact question. MC believes that in general, one audience is better, especially when you combine that with multiple tagging.
This is going to save you money, making your contacts easier to manage without the limits of using groups as discussed below.
Why not just make another MC group?
First of all, did you know that you cannot have more than 60 MC groups in an audience?
So, for larger churches, this means if you have more than 60 CCB groups or saved searches, you would need to start a new audience to add more.
Secondly, MC groups always had a different purpose versus their other segment types. With the introduction of tags, they have now given users true flexibility to to segment their lists.
Here’s how it works specifically in CCBChimp.
The option to choose to sync a CCB group or saved search as tags instead of groups in our app feels like the same process. You would now have the option to either sync as a group or as a tag.
Additionally, we add the campus name and the group name automatically for you while allowing you to add or assign additional tags to the synced pair.
E.g. If you are syncing a group called Newsletter from Campus 1, then the tags we would assign to the people in the CCB group, when displayed in Mailchimp, would be the two tags: Newsletter + Campus 1. If you wanted to assign additional tags to that group, you could. In Mailchimp, under that one audience, you could then use those tags to create additional filters or send emails only to a specific tag or tags. If you wanted to send a message to all people from Campus 1, then you would choose that tag. Or if you wanted to send a message only to the newsletter group, you can choose that tag instead.
Here’s a basic walkthrough…
Step 1: When syncing from CCB to Mailchimp, you now have the option to sync by groups or tags (see black arrow below).
Step 2: When you choose the sub-groups for syncing, you specify either the group or tag you wish to use (see black arrow below).
Step 3: Syncing back from Mailchimp to CCB is the same process in reverse (see black arrow below).
This article has more details.
Here’s our best recommendation
***Use one audience with multiple tags.***
Note: Tags are not shared across your entire MC account. It’s per audience. You can create the same tag for each different audience, but this can lead to possible confusion.
There is, however, one disadvantage with using tags: If someone opts out from one audience, they are opted out from all. But with each audience, you can now choose to sync to tags (unlimited options) vs groups (limited to 60).
Overall, tags give you added flexibility and management.
Tag names can be up to 100 characters. You can tag any number of people.
Are you ready to take your church email “marketing” to the next level?
CCBChimp TAGS have actually been around for months. We’ve been letting some people try it out in order to remove as many kinks and bugs as possible. Now we are ready to roll it out to a wider audience, including you and your ministry.
You will need to be on the MED plan or higher to take advantage of the TAGS feature. If you are, you are ready to roll and should see this option when you edit your sync options. If you are not, check out our pricing to see if it will work for your budget.