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Integration with external email systems like Constant Contact, Mailchimp

Constant Contact just launched AppConnect -- a destination for software providers, and developers who want to integrate or connect an application to Constant Contact. AppConnect gives others access to their web service APIs so they can create tie-ins with their contact and reporting data. Constant Contact gives their service away to many non-profits and chambers of commerce. At present, companies export email lists out of W/A and into Constant Contact. The downside is the extra work involved with moving the data and keeping both data sets up to date; plus the "email history" is being lost from the member's record. The upside is Constant Contact's ability to track deliveries, opens, click throughs, etc. It would be great if it were possible to link the two programs using this new AppConnect capability.

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    Kenn Penn shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    49 comments

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      • JBiggerstaff commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Agree with others that it is a "no brainer" to have integration with 3rd party email providers. WA is great at helping us manage our website, automating member signup & renewals and event signup. But the email platform is very outdated and difficult to work with. Not great when you rely on volunteers to help with tasks.

        I would vote for MailChimp at the very least.

        Please, please, please - make this a priority!

      • shepherddp commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Easy integration with a fully powered autoresponder (MailChimp, aWeber, etc.) seems like 101 for most sites. As many things as I like about WA, I can't quite figure out why this one is so hard for them. The whole game for me is getting new members educated on how to use the site and on the value, so that they will convert to paying, long-term members. The best way to do this is a series of 10-15 emails over the first 60 days, each with a different highlight. That must be "triggered" upon sign-up or it's impossible to keep track of. I can put a sign up link in the welcome email from WA, but as we all know, every extra step takes a toll in response rates.

      • Teri commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Mail Chimp has a superior email blast service, with marketing automation which is tremendously helpful and effective at growing membership and customer base. Instead of waiting for WA to catch up, why not just integrate?

      • AdminApricot Kernel (Product Manager, Wild Apricot) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hi K Gane, thanks for the feedback. This particular request is not in our priority list and there are no expectations so far. The Wishlist forum is where we give our customers opportunity to voice their requests, we it does not mean that we're implementing all the requests right away. Currently, we're working on other things - you can see them if you filter the Wishlist by "Work in progress" status.

      • k gane commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        So...July 2015, it is now mid-August 2017. I am an incoming president of an organization and I already use Mail Chimp for all my other newsletter needs. I need to be able to create a newsletter in a format I'm familiar with and share it with our current and past member list. TODAY. I want to be able to link that newsletter to our member site. That's why you need newsletter integration with all the biggies. Because busy people like me aren't going to learn something new. And saying that you hesitate because you can't control pricing, etc., is nonsense. You are failing to deliver what your customers need. I'm very comfortable in online spaces. I tried to learn your platform when I first came into this organization as its communications chair. For me, it wasn't user friendly, not compared with so many other platforms I've used, like Weebly and Wordpress. So no. I won't be learning a WA newsletter platform that doesn't integrate with my existing Mail Chimp account.

      • Lawrence P. commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Disappointing to see that this integration request has been ignored for so long. By integration, I refer to two differ things... 1) synching Wild Apricot segments with thrid party mail platform lists, and 2) simply allowing embedded newsletter subscription forms on WA pages.

        No disrespect to Wild Apricot. Your email history tracking is a useful record on member profiles. And the automation fetures, for renewals and events is also spot on.

        But Wild Apricot is not up to contemporary standards for mobile compatible email design, and most importantly, delivery. Third party providers like MailChimp, Constant Contact and others are way ahead, and keeping up with them is simply not the best focus for your dev resources.

        An association typically needs to send newsletters to a much wider audience than just its membership. I sense the lack of support for these features is based on Wild Apricots pricing based on contacts, not out of regard for customer needs. Very disappointing...

      • Lauren commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        If WildApricots could get on Zapier, orgs could choose their own integrations, so to speak. MailChimp and many other providers are available on Zapier to sync contacts, etc.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We continue to use our Mailchimp account (which is free for us as we have less than 2,000 peeps on it) because WA has been terrible at delivery. 10% of our sends are blocked as spam with WA, which doesn't happen with Mailchimp. I agree with those who say you cannot be all things well. Would much prefer you focus on improving your purchasing event services. Currently, you can only register for a single event at a time, which is a big negative for us. Cannot recommend WA to the 100s of orgs like us until that is fixed.

        Bottom line: voting for integration, and for a shopping cart system that allows multiple purchases at one time.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I see some mentioned Constant Contact here. Used to be the tool for my email marketing campaigns for several clients, but as the number of clients expand, their needs and demands expand as well, I need the tool that would allow me to manage RSS Campaigns. Recently I found this comparison (https://www.mailerlite.com/constant-contact-alternative), has anyone tried Mailerlite before?

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Email list in WA to automatically connect and update with MailChimp email lists.

      • AdminApricot Kernel (Product Manager, Wild Apricot) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Matt - thanks for sharing.

        I actually agree with you in general and we will get there. I still think that there for quite a lot of organization internal email system is good enough and easy to use, but for others integration with MailChimp and similar systems will work much better.

      • Matt commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It is a waste of time developing the integrated e-mail service in WA. There is really no argument here, when there are other services like MailChimp which are actually usable that you could leverage. That is their product, their main product. They put their entire focus on being good at just that one thing. When you try and do everything yourself you will limit your success in the one thing YOU should be focusing on. I am not here to tell you your service stinks, I'm telling you that in order to be successful sometimes you have to outsource your weak points and coming from someone who has used your e-mail service, it is a significant weak point. A working API is an absolute must in the industry right now. Integration is not the future, it is the present.

      • Ed T commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        One of the uses I have for mail chimp is to send out Happy Birthday reminders - if WA had the functionality I might not need mail chimp anymore!

      • AdminOnboarding Team (Onboarding, Wild Apricot) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We've traditionally been reluctant to do this because, it limits our ability to control the monthly fees our users would have to pay and it's difficult guarantee the reliability/availability of external providers.

        So, if anyone has any thoughts on those two specific topics (e.g. added cost and reliability of integrations) we'd love to hear them.

        And of course, traditions can always change :)

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