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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
23 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: 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: Shanthi Means Peace Posted on 29 Sep 2018 8:25 AM

Is there a way to sync MailChimp opens with history in Tnt?  I typically do this all manually, but if there's a way to do it automatically, that would be helpful.

By: Troy Wolbrink Posted on 18 Oct 2018 4:19 PM

Syncing MailChimp open history is a planned feature for the next major version.

By: James Loewen Posted on 28 Jan 2019 9:14 PM

Hi Troy, I run two Mailchimp lists, one for quarterly letters and one for up to the minute prayer alerts. There can be overlap of group 2 on group 1, while not all of group 1 is in group 2. What is the impact of using one TntConnect database for the two Mailchimp lists? I'm hesitant to try it out.



By: Timur Posted on 12 Feb 2019 4:36 AM

Hi Troy,  syncing Mailchimp created a lot of new fields in Chimpmail's "Add New Subscriber" .

How do I unsync TNT from Chimpmail so as to remove those fields in Chimpmail?  (I already tried to "unsync" in tnt but the fields remain in Chimpmail

Also, I should lose the contacts which were created automatically (imported from Chimpmail), right?


By: Robin Munn Posted on 7 Mar 2019 7:03 PM

Hi Troy, MailChimp just sent me a notification saying that Mailchimp API 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3 will be shut down on April 2, 2019, and that they encourage all developers to switch to API 3.0 for their apps. Which version of Mailchimp's API is TntConnect currently using? If it's 1.x, then you may need to update the Mailchimp integration API soon so that the feature will continue working.

By: ObedHanisch Posted on 12 Apr 2019 2:19 PM


Is there a list of mailchimp mergetags and the correspondent TNT-Fields?

I have the problem that the address field isn´t synced correctly with mailchimp. In the journal it says after syncing with mailchimp: research changed email.. And then it shows a changed postal address... city and postalcode is the same, but street and house-nr. are omitted.

(after the update to 3.5.r19 )

In mailchimpo I used these fields for the address:

Mailchimp: EMAIL

Mailchimp: CITY

Mailchimp: ADDRESS

Mailchimp: STATE


Mailchimp: COUNTRY

Now I also saw this tag in mailchimp: MMERGE7 (this includes all address fields as Street, City, Postalcode etc..)

Is TNT syncing with this merge-tag? Or does it use for each Address-field the correspondent field as mentioned above?

Greetings and Thanks.

By: Troy Wolbrink Posted on 3 May 2019 6:38 PM

@James Loewen, TntConnect can only sync with one list at a time, and it will only sync your Email Newsletter List, so what you're suggesting is not something TntConnect's MailChimp Sync feature is designed for.  Maybe you can come up with a user field in TntConnect, sync that with MailChimp, and use that to segment your *one* list.

@Timur, when you pull up the Sync with MailChimp screen, click "Options" to specify which additional fields you want (or don't want) to include.  Next time you sync, TntConnect will clean up after itself and remove any of the fields it previously created which are no longer being synced.

By: Troy Wolbrink Posted on 3 May 2019 6:39 PM

@Robin Munn, the latest versions of TntConnect support the new API versions.

@ObedHanisch, TntConnect only really looks at the merge tags.  The human readable labels are more for your donors to see, but you can change these labels (or translate them), and TntConnect won't even notice.

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