Feb 4, 2013

Unbounce Form Integration With MailChimp

MailChimp offers a built-in form editor to take the pain out of coding your own signup forms. While this may work for most people, some users need a bit more than what’s offered inside our application. For that, we’ve got a variety of options available in our Connect Directory. We’ve blogged about several of these options in the past, like Wufoo and CoffeeCup‘s Web Form Builder. Another great option is Unbounce, which allows users to create beautiful landing pages/signup forms with no HTML or CSS experience needed.

Unbounce is a great fit if you want your signup form to be a little bit more like a landing page, with information about you and your newsletter. Unbounce also makes it easy to do more sophisticated stuff, like A/B testing two different signup form designs or creating multiple signup forms for a single list. Plus, their integration with MailChimp helps you do some pretty sweet stuff.

Integrate With MailChimp

To connect an Unbounce landing page to MailChimp, from the Page dashboard (the one with the reports and conversion rates), choose MailChimp from the list of Leads & Form Integrations.


From there, you can connect to a MailChimp account by either entering an API Key or using your MailChimp username and password.


In addition to email addresses, Unbounce will allow you to match up fields in your MailChimp list with any fields that were added to the signup form. By default, they’ll also send over information about which Unbounce page and form were used for the signups.


So, how might you use an Unbounce landing page and the MailChimp integration to do more with your signup form? Here are some ideas.

Updating Subscriber Information

Let’s say you operate a gym that’s getting ready to roll out some new programs (yoga, pilates, bootcamp) targeted at a specific subset of your members. You want to let all of your members know that you’re adding the new programs, but when it comes time to send out more detailed info, you don’t need to bother your members who just want to get on the elliptical machine and be left alone.

Technically, you could send an email to your subscribers with a link to sign up to another MailChimp list. But that’s a bit clunky, and creating new lists isn’t always the best option. Instead, you can send them to a landing page with more details on the new programs, and a form allowing them to indicate if they’re interested in getting more info when the programs launch.

Here’s how to do it:

First, using MailChimp, send your subscribers a campaign letting them know about the new offerings.


Within the campaign is a link to an Unbounce landing page, where subscribers can get more details and indicate if they’re interested in receiving more information about those programs.


After that, their subscriber profile is updated as a merge field or as an interest group, with no new double-opt-in confirmation needed.


Now, you can send out an email targeted to the segment of subscribers who expressed an interest in specific classes without having to bug the entire list.


Triggering Autoresponders

Speaking of merge fields, with our 7.7 release, we made some big changes to the way they function.  As a result, you can now trigger an autoresponder based on a merge field’s value (groups are a bit different and won’t currently trigger autoresponders).

Since you can use Unbounce’s integration with MailChimp to have existing subscribers update their profile (and thus, a specific merge field’s value), you can create a series of autoresponders that are triggered when new or existing subscribers visit your Unbounce landing page and update their information.

For example, let’s say you run a yoga studio and you’ve heard from some members that they really want to learn more about the history of yoga. You could develop a short, introductory autoresponder series on yoga that would be triggered when a subscriber’s merge field changes to "Yoga."


Then you could create a campaign letting them know about the special "History of Yoga" email series and point them to your Unbounce landing page where they can sign up if they’re interested in receiving those emails. Just like before, instead of creating a new list, their profile is simply updated, adding the merge field ‘Yoga’ which will trigger the autoresponders. You could even use this as a non-spammy incentive for new people to subscribe to your list. Just point them to the Unbounce page and of course make sure they know what they’re signing up to receive.

If you’d like to learn more about getting started with autoresponders, check out this short video and article:  How do I create an autoresponder? or read a blog post about the power of autoresponders.

Segmenting by Signup Source

If you’re connected to Unbounce through OAuth (the "username and password" way), another neat feature is that they pass information to MailChimp about where a new subscriber signed up.  This means you can drill down even further in your list and see how many and, more importantly, who is coming from an Unbounce page.  The benefit here is that it allows the user to see what their most popular signup points are.  Having a subscriber’s signup source allows you to send specific, targeted content to the subscribers based on that information.


One thing to note here is that Unbounce will only pass over information for new subscribers.  If a subscriber was on the list previously, their profile will not be updated with a signup source.

There are also other ways to track signup location, even when an OAuth connection that passes signup source hasn’t been implemented. You can manually track a subscriber’s signup location using hidden fields in a form. As Cass mentioned in a previous blog post, matching a hidden field with a pre-determined value to a field in your MailChimp list will help collect that information as well.

Other Options

MailChimp integrates with several form builders, giving you lots of options outside for creating signup forms. Unbounce, Wufoo, FormStack, and Coffee Cup all allow the user to create hidden fields within their list for passing this information over.

FormStack offers users a 14 day free trial, where you can collect new subscribers or update existing ones through a custom form. Wufoo offers a free plan. CoffeeCup Form Builder stands apart in that it’s software that needs to be downloaded, as opposed to the previously mentioned web apps. You can buy it for a flat fee of $69.

Fret not, international users! All these form designers support international characters.