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How does "Sync with MailChimp" work in TntConnect 3.0? from Bob!

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First published by:
Troy Wolbrink
on 24 May 2013
Last revision by:
Troy Wolbrink
on 28 Feb 2017
24 people found this article useful.

100% of people found this useful
How does "Sync with MailChimp" work in TntConnect 3.0?

(Note:  Before reading this article, you should first read about how TntConnect 3.0 helps you manage your paper and email newsletter lists.)

I'm going to walk through how TntConnect syncs with a list in MailChimp step by step.  Hopefully this will demystify the process and give you more confidence to use this feature.  To get started, under the "Tools" menu click "Sync with MailChimp":

You'll see this (if you've never synced before):

Selecting your MailChimp List and Setting Options

Click "Select" to select a MailChimp list.  Then click "(What's my Api Key?)" to discover your MailChimp API Key.  You'll need to copy and paste this into TntConnect:

The MailChimp website doesn't always redirect you to the "MailChimp API Key" page after logging in.  So if you don't see this page, click that link from TntConnect again:

Back in TntMPD, click "Next" and you'll see a list of MailChimp lists.  Select the MailChimp list you want to sync with:

 Notice the two check boxes below:

  • Sync Email Newsletter Recipients
  • Sync Email Newsletter Allowed

The first option is required.  You can't uncheck it. 

The second option (Sync Email Newsletter Allowed) is for advanced users only.  By default it's turned off.  If you check the box, any newsletter recipient that has a valid/preferred email and is not "Paper Only" will be included in the sync process.  This option is there in case you want to send an email to everyone that receives your newsletter, even if you normally send it as paper.  You can do list segmentation within MailChimp on the "Receives Email Newsletter" and "Receives Paper Newsletter" to customize your mailings.

 Click "Next" and you'll have one last page of options:

Here you can select all the fields you might want to include in MailChimp.  The default fields are: Email, First, Last, Greeting and Salutation.  The fields marked with (for partner to review/edit) are marked as "public" in MailChimp, and you can include these in sign-up forms and any other form where partners can edit their information.  TntConnect will watch these fields for changes and bring them to your attention within TntConnect.

A new feature in TntConnect 3.0 is that you can change the field labels (and if the field is required or not) within MailChimp.  You just can't change the "merge tag" as this is what TntConnect uses to know what the field is.  The ability to change the field labels might be really nice if it the label came from TntConnect in English, and your partners don't speak English!

Click "OK" after you make your choices.

Automatic Sync Actions

Click "Sync" and some actions will be automatically performed:

While you wait, you'll see some progress bars.  But what's going on?  TntConnect is looking at actions that occurred on your MailChimp list since you last synced:

  • Bounces ... emails that came back undeliverable
  • Unsubscribes ... partners chose to unsubscribe from your email newsletter
  • Updates ... partners changed their own information:
    • Email Address
    • First Name
    • Last Name
    • Mailing Address
    • Phone Number
    • Feedback


When an email bounced (came back undeliverable), TntConnect:

  • Marks the email as not valid
  • Logs a history
  • Schedules a task to investigate


When a partner unsubscribes from your email newsletter, TntConnect:

  • Marks the email as not preferred
  • Logs a history
  • Schedules a task to investigate

Updates (from MailChimp)

When a partner changes their email address via MailChimp's forms, TntConnect:

  • Changes the email within TntConnect
  • Logs a history

When a partner changes their First Name, Last Name (or the optional Mailing Address or Phone Number), TntConnect:

  • Logs a history
  • Schedules a task to investigate
  • Resets their changes back to what's in TntConnect (so be sure to check your tasks to investigate)

When a partner submitted "Feedback" (an optional public field TntConnect can include in your list options), TntConnect:

  • Logs a history
  • Schedules a task to investigate
  • Clears the feedback

Updates (from TntConnect)

After handling Bounces, Unsubscribes and Updates (since the last sync), TntConnect will update all the fields in MailChimp (where the email address is also in TntConnect).

Deleting from MailChimp when no longer in TntConnect's email newsletter list

When you mark an email address in TntConnect as invalid, not preferred or change their newsletter preference to not include email (or perhaps they no longer need an email backup to their paper newsletter), TntConnect will prompt you to remove that email address from your MailChimp list.  It only does this when it can positively identify that the email address was previously synced with MailChimp for this same database.  And as a precaution, it will log a history (so you could undo the action) and it gives you a chance to veto this action:

This covers automatic actions.  Now on to manual actions:

Manual Sync Actions

After automatic sync actions take place, if there are any further discrepancies between your email newsletter list and your MailChimp list, TntConnect will bring this to your attention.

For our example, we'll start off with an email newsletter list like this (based on the "Email Newsletter List" lookup):

 Our list in MailChimp looks like this:

There is some overlap.

Only in TntConnect

Now the MailChimp sync dialog shows email address only in TntConnect's email newsletter list:

You could click "Next" and leave it alone.  But if you want your email newsletter list in TntConnect and your MailChimp list to match, click "Check All":

Then click the button "Add to MailChimp" (notice it's in bold ... the recommended action).  Wait a few seconds:

Now it shows that there's no longer any TntConnect-only email addresses, so you can click "Next":

Only in MailChimp

Next you'll see email addresses that are only in MailChimp.  This could be because people have signed up to receive your newsletter via a sign-up form:

Click "Check All":

Now click "Import into TntConnect" (the button in bold ... the recommended action).  Notice the "Import Action" column.  This tells you what will happen.  Three things can happen.  If the email address already exists, but the contact is not in the email newsletter list, it will include them in the email newsletter list by changing their preference.  If the contact exists, but not the email address, it will address.  If the contact does not exist, it will create a new contact.  (note: you can right-click on "Create New Contact" to manually select a matching contact).  No matter what, it will ensure that the contact is in the email newsletter list, and that the email is valid and preferred.  It will also log a history.

After the import, you'll see an empty list to confirm that there are no longer any MailChimp-only email addresses:

Click "Next":

It mentions two things:

  • A reminder to check your history view (if you want to lookup the contacts where action took place).
  • If there are any fields in MailChimp not managed by TntConnect (you can right-click to delete the fields if you want).

Let's check the history:

Notice the three import actions resulted in a history.

On the task list, a task is scheduled to confirm the Bugs Bunny's newsletter preference change (from Paper w/ email backup):

Here's what Bugs Bunny now has for an newsletter preference (Paper and Email):

Finally, here's our MailChimp list after our first sync:

Hopefully this step by step walk through will help you better understand what's going on and give you confidence to try out this feature!

Recent Comments

By: Sam Posted on 16 Nov 2015 7:18 AM

I would agree with Matt Martin's suggestion above to let MailChimp sync automatically any phone, street address, etc. changes into TntMPD. I have 72 contacts to go thru manually after doing an annual update request of addresses. I think the history feature to review such changes already made would save a lot of time. Thanks!


By: troy Posted on 19 Apr 2016 6:46 PM

Hey Troy! Would it be possible to add a field that updates with the most recent gift date?

I use merge tags in MailChimp and I on every newsletter, I thank people for the most recent gift (i.e. Thank you for your gift of $100 given on 4/18/2016). The reason I do this is two reasons:

1) that special/annual gift partners can see the last time they gave (a year can fly by really fast)

2) that monthly partners can see the last time they gave (in case there is a lapse)

Currently, I am doing this manually, but it would be AMAZING to automate this by adding it as a field.

By: Troy Wolbrink Posted on 21 May 2016 3:39 AM

Troy, I'll keep this idea in mind for a future version.  Thanks!

By: Patricia Ludvicek Posted on 28 Dec 2016 9:06 PM

I am having some trouble with this. When I complete all the steps it says that it was successful, but then nothing is actually added to MailChimp. Do I need to upgrade my MailChimp account to make this work?

By: Patricia Ludvicek Posted on 28 Dec 2016 11:06 PM

I am having trouble with this. After I complete all the steps it tells me that the sync was successful, but nothing has imported into MailChimp. Do I need to upgrade my Mailchimp account to make this work? Or maybe there is something else that I am missing.

By: Matthew_Edelen Posted on 9 Jan 2017 2:51 PM

First time Tnt-MailChimp Sync:  I have large Tnt and Mailchimp lists which have not been synced yet, and have a lot of overlap.  From the instructions and forum entries I've read, I'm not yet clear on what happens when there's a discrepancy between email addresses in each list.  E.g. Joe Smith has 2 email addresses in Tnt marked as Preferred, and 1 (different) email address in MailChimp.  What happens at the sync?

By: Matthew_Edelen Posted on 9 Jan 2017 3:35 PM

Also, regarding the question above, will my next MailChimp campaign send them an email to each of the three addresses?

By: Troy Wolbrink Posted on 11 Jan 2017 9:33 PM

Patricia, make sure you have contacts with "Send Newsletter" checked, and "Email" as their preferred newsletter type.  TntConnect syncs your "Email Newsletter List" with MailChimp.

By: Troy Wolbrink Posted on 11 Jan 2017 9:33 PM


This FAQ article goes into detail on how the MailChimp Sync feature works:

  How does "Sync with MailChimp" work in TntMPD 3.0?

When TntConnect has a contact with two preferred emails, both emails get synced with the MailChimp list.  If the sync process matches up a different email address to that same contact, they'll have three preferred email addresses, and all three will get synced with MailChimp.


By: Joshua_Goshert Posted on 1 Aug 2018 4:57 PM


Is there a way to sync MailChimp's "Marketing Permissions" field with TntConnect's "Newsletter Media Preference"?

If a new user signs up though my MailChimp subscribe form and permits both email and direct mail marketing, the "Marketing Permissions" field value is set to "Email, Direct Mail", but when I sync to TntConnect and import the user from MailChimp, the "Newsletter Media Preference" is set to "+E" and does not include the paper backup. So it doesn't appear that they are connected, so it's resorting to some kind of default.

In TntConnect>Options>Newsletters the default setting for new contacts is "Email (w/paper backup)", but that's clearly not happening either.

Am I missing a step somewhere or am I asking it to do something it's not meant to do?

By: Joshua_Goshert Posted on 1 Aug 2018 6:26 PM

I wanted to add a couple of other settings that I'm using (in case one of them is creating the issue).

When I'm syncing with MailChimp in TntConnect, I open the Options dialog, accept the API link, and then:

-On the next page below where I select my list, I have "Sync Email Newsletter Allowed" checked; and

-On the next page in the list of fields to include, I have "Newsletter (Paper, Email)" checked.

When I look at the subscribe form builder in MailChimp, it shows corresponding hidden fields imported TntConnect:

-"Receives Email Newsletter" default value is "No" (saves as "Yes" by default in MailChimp); and

-"Receives Paper Newsletter" default value is "No" (saves as "No" by default in MailChimp).


By: Joshua_Goshert Posted on 1 Aug 2018 6:30 PM

*Correction* By default the two hidden fields for receiving email & paper newsletters save as empty in the MailChimp database. After I sync with TntConnect, the fields are updated. Email marked as Yes, and Paper with a No.

By: Troy Wolbrink Posted on 21 Aug 2018 5:16 PM

Hi Joshua,  The "Marketing Permissions" field in MailChimp is not sync with TntConnect, although it certainly sounds like a great idea.  When you set TntConnect to include "Receives Email Newsletter" and "Receives Paper Newsletter", it is a one-way sync where MailChimp is updated with the reality in TntConnect.  This way you can use it for segmenting your list in MailChimp before an email campaign.  If a new user signs up in MailChimp, I'd assume those fields would be blank ... until next time you sync with TntConnect.

By: MAST Global Posted on 25 Feb 2021 5:48 PM


This was really helpful, thank you.

When I sync with Mailchimp and then send a campaign, the sent campaign used to automatically get logged in my TNT, yet it does not anymore. Where is the setting to automate that feature?

Many thanks,


By: Troy Wolbrink Posted on 9 Mar 2021 9:21 PM

TntConnect has never (yet) automatically logged a history for sent campaigns.  This sync feature only syncs your email lists.  It's up to you to log the history after sending a campaign.  More info:

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