Feb 3, 2015

Managing Recurring Payments

Now I Know, Dan Lewis’ popular daily newsletter, drops a factoid into 116,000 inboxes every morning. The main newsletter is free, but Lewis offers an additional weekly newsletter for readers who chip in $5 a month. His weekly newsletter engages a smaller, more specialized audience of superfans, and in turn, their support allows him to keep the whole operation running.

Lewis isn’t the only MailChimp user who’s turned his most invested readers into subscribers. Conveniently, we partner with a variety of apps that make it possible to manage payments with your list. Whether you’re looking to set up recurring subscriptions for newsletters, digital downloads, or for selling physical goods, these tools take the legwork out of managing a payment system.


If you’re looking for a full-featured subscription management service that doesn’t require much hands-on work, Campaignzee is the way to go. Campaignzee uses Stripe‘s secure system to manage recurring payments to your MailChimp list. Use a form hosted on Campaignzee’s site, or copy their code to embed into your own. You can also set up coupons and discount codes.


We also like how Campaignzee handles subscriber confirmation. When a new reader signs up, Campaignzee sends them MailChimp’s double opt-in process. And if they forget to click the confirm link in their email for a week, Campaignzee sends them a reminder. Meanwhile, if a payment attempt fails 3 consecutive times, Campaignzee will automatically unsubscribe that reader from your list.


ChargeBee’s model is slightly different than most other recurring payment options. Instead of just syncing subscribers who’ve successfully completed a transaction, ChargeBee syncs all of the members plus some additional merge fields to indicate their current status and plan.

This makes ChargeBee one of the most flexible options available. Let’s say your subscription newsletter  has a couple different pricing options. Because ChargeBee syncs each member’s status and plan type, you can segment your MailChimp campaigns to send to specific subscriber groups or even use our conditional merge tags to display premium content for those paying for it.



ChargeBee doesn’t unsubscribe members for failed payments, so you can easily re-engage those members on your own terms. Using our drag and drop editor, you can even build your "Payment Failed" email to let the subscriber know where to go to update their payment information or maybe change their plan type.

Configure your automation workflow


If you’re looking for something a little less involved, setup-wise, MoonClerk’s MailChimp integration might be a good fit. MoonClerk offers a hosted signup form and allows you to customize the messaging and basic payment options. Users can set a one-time payment up front, a list of recurring payment types, or explicitly manage which recurring options are available. When a new subscriber checks out and opts to join your email list, they’re subscribed through MailChimp’s double opt-in process.



Other options

We’ve also got a bunch more payment options in our Integrations Directory:

  • Gumroad allows users to add customers who purchase from their store to a MailChimp list
  • Accumulus offers tiered-pricing options, free trials, and list management for failed or canceled credit cards
  • Tugboat is a CRM and recurring payment management system rolled into one, Tugboat handles subscribing and unsubscribing members so you can focus on publishing great content.
  • Zapier lets you easily connect a number of services to your MailChimp account, including Coinbase, PayPal, and Xero

Are you a developer who’s built an integration with MailChimp or Mandrill? Give us a shout. We’d love to hear from you.