Drupal can already send email, and there are plenty of contributed modules that allow you to maintain a mailing list within Drupal. But there are some distinct advantages to using a service like MailChimp to maintain your mailing list and send your emails. In this tutorial we’ll talk about what MailChimp is, look at the benefits of using MailChimp with Drupal, cover some terminology that you'll want to be familiar with, and take a really high level look at how the MailChimp module goes about accomplishing its integration.
What is MailChimp? MailChimp is a web based service for designing and sending email marketing campaigns, and maintaining one or more lists of subscribers.
Why should you choose MailChimp? There are a lot of reasons to choose MailChimp as the tool to use for managing your email marketing efforts. At a really high-level it boils down to the fact that a service like MailChimp, which has an entire team dedicated to improving it's application, can potentially create tools and manage infrastructure that would be hard for you to develop on your own. In addition, MailChimp has a strong track record, and great integration with Drupal via the MailChimp Drupal module.
The MailChimp Drupal module allows you to tightly integrate your Drupal site with the MailChimp service by leveraging the MailChimp API. You can allow users to subscribe to your mailing lists, and manage their subscriptions, from within Drupal. Values collected for a field attached to a Drupal entity can be synchronized with merge fields for contacts in a MailChimp list. Administrators can send email campaigns right from within the Drupal UI, and monitor their performance. And much more.
By the end of this tutorial, you should be able to explain to someone why they might want to use MailChimp with Drupal. You should also be able to list the various types of integration provided by the MailChimp module.
Take your learning further
- In one paragraph answer the question: What is MailChimp?
- List the modules contained within the MailChimp project on Drupal.org.
- Describe two ways that MailChimp helps prevent you from being flagged as a Spammer.
- How does MailChimp aid content creators who are trying to create and send email campaigns?
- Further exploration: Can you generate a pros/cons list to use when deciding wether or not you should use MailChimp for your project?