Mailchimp Dashboard

This new module allows you to see at a glance the number of subscribers in your list, the last send date and the number of subscribers you have gained/lost since that last send.

It looks like this:

It is a Dashboard module for osCommerce admin, so it installs very easily – simply upload it, turn it on, and insert your parameters (in this case, your Mailchimp API Key and List ID):

Want it?

GOOD FOR:
All osCommerce versions from v.2.3.1 onwards.
Including Responsive (Community Edition) osCommerce Gold or Edge.

REQUIREMENTS:
You must have a Mailchimp List!

Make a donation of £3 at this link, the donation can be anonymous and goes via Paypal – please let me know (in the Paypal Comment Box) that the donation is for “MC Dashboard” – thanks.

By making a donation, you are helping to support the future of the Responsive osCommerce project. Within 24 hours of your donation, I’ll get the zip to you. THANK YOU.

Mailchimp Users: Update you integration to v3 API

Mailchimp are sunsetting their v2 API at the end of THIS MONTH.

As of December 31, 2016 all previous versions of the MailChimp API will no longer be supported, but will continue to be operational. Documentation and support for the older APIs will no longer be available. As such, we can no longer guarantee the availability of these older endpoints after that date. Any integrations built on these APIs will continue to function, but we’re strongly encouraging all developers to move off of the older APIs before the end of 2016.

What this means, in English:

At some point in 2017, your v2 integration will simply stop working.

Suggestion:

Update your Mailchimp integration ASAP.

Using Mailchimp at your shop?

For those shopowners who have my Mailchimp integration, get in touch [ oscshops at gmail dot com ] for the v3 version. It uses totally different code and takes about 15 to 20 minutes to remove the old and replace with the new. This can be done yourself or by me if you do not feel confident to do this yourself.

osCommerce and Mandrill

Lots of hosts have now placed rules and limits on emails, so if you are one of those shopowners having problems with emails being sent and received, maybe it’s time to use Mandrill to send and receive email…

What is Mandrill

A system that allows you to send Transactional Emails (eg; contact us, order updates and so on) via the Mandrill App, completely bypassing your hosts email system. The “from” address is still your own email address, so it is completely transparent to those who receive emails from you. Read more about Mandrill.

Upside:
You can track emails.
You can resend emails direct from the MandrillApp interface.
Better uptime than your host!

Downside:
There is a cost attached.
1 off cost to me: £20 for installation of the system to cover my coding time.
Ongoing to Mandrill: It is (as of todays date) $9.95 for 25000 emails per month, however the first 2000 emails are free so that you can test the system before deciding to continue with it.

Interested? Get in touch.

Working With Mailchimp – Advanced …

Some time ago, I created a Mailchimp Module that allows osCommerce and Mailchimp to work hand in hand, with some very nice features (eg, ajaxy sign up for both registered customers and non-customers). As this module is a superior approach to all the other available osc<>mailchimp efforts, I was approached to write a new version of Mailchimp that allowed the possibility of working with Groups.

In Mailchimp, Groups are used as “sub sets” of the Main List, which allows you (the list owner) to send email to one or more subsets.

Typical Example: Let’s imagine that you own a Pet Shop, where you sell products for a number of animals; Dogs, Cats, Rats, Hamsters, Gerbils

You must agree that only a very very few of your clients are interested in all 5 of those Animals. It is far more likely that a customer has 1 or 2 of those animals…

In Normal Mailchimp: You have 1 list. You have no idea what animal(s) the subscriber is interested in. You send an email to tell people about a super new offer for Gerbils. How many uninterested people will read your email ?

In the ALL NEW Grouped Mailchimp: You have 1 list with 5 subsets (each of those Animals). You can now send an email only to those on the list who have signed up to “gerbils”. 100% of your readership is now interested.

I’m certain you can think of more examples that can be applied to your own shop. Please comment if you can think of any examples that could be good for your shop…and I will update this post with your ideas (and a link to your shop if you want it)…

Here is how it looks on the Newsletter Page:

mc-groups

This can also (very easily) be plugged into the Account Creation page, to allow people to sign up to your Mailing List at that point.

Conclusion

By utilising the Groups feature in Mailchimp, you can target your customers with pinpoint accuracy – and avoid the usual scatterbomb approach. Work smart, work better.

Interested to purchase

Email me or get me on the Forum.

Mailchimp osCommerce Integration

One of my clients needs the ability to send professional HTML Newsletters and keep tabs on open rates, subscriber levels and all the rest of that data that should be interesting to every shop owner.

So, he set out to find a Mailchimp integration that;

1. works
2. has modern code
3. looks good
4. has the ability to talk both ways (osc > MC and MC > osc)

There are NONE that are made for osCommerce. So…let’s get started;

What is needed?

a. ability for new customers to tick the newsletter box in create_account.php
b. ability for existing customers to add themselves onto the mailing list
c. ability for existing customers to remove themselves from the mailing list
d. ability for admin to add or remove customers from the mailing list
e. if a subscriber deletes themself via the unsubscribe link (in the newsletter) their shop account is changed to reflect this
f. ability for NON customers to sign up

Let’s look at each in detail;

a. newsletter box in create_account.php

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If this is ticked, I initiate a call to the Mailchimp API and the customer is added to the mailing list.
If this is not ticked, do nothing.

b and c. existing customer can sub and unsub

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Simply by unticking this box to unsub and ticking it to sub.

d. admin can sub and unsub individual customers

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This is at customers > {select customer} > edit

e. MC to osc, if an unsub occurs via the mailchimp API using a webhook.
Or, in english, if the subscriber leaves via the email unsub link, a signal is sent from Mailchimp which updates the customer record – and sets b/c and d to “unsubscribed”.

f. guests

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A nice little infoBox that is ajax enabled, so the customer does not have to leave your site.

Bear in mind that all these changes (subbing, unsubbing) are done silently in the background – so they will not take away the main emphasis of your shop, which is to sell your goods/services.

Conclusion

Working with the Mailchimp API is fairly straightforward if you are able to think logically about what you require. It’s my opinion that all shops should be making use of a newsletter system be that Mailchimp, the inbuilt osCommerce system or whatever is suitable for your needs. If you don’t send Newsletters, you are missing out on a good way to garner sales.

And now the Sales Pitch

If you are using Mailchimp and want this modification for your osCommerce Shop – get in touch. Feel free to post any questions in the comments.