MailChimp offers a powerful delivery API through Mandrill, our transactional email service. Mandrill can be used for personalized, one-to-one e-commerce emails, or automated transactional emails like password resets, order confirmations, and welcome messages.
Connect your MailChimp account to Mandrill to use your templates in your transactional emails, view Mandrill activity for your subscribers, and receive free, Mandrill-powered emails based on your MailChimp Monthly Plan.
Set Up a Mandrill Account
If you already have a MailChimp account, connect to Mandrill. You can create a new Mandrill account, or if you've already started using Mandrill, link to an existing account.
Every Mandrill account comes with 2,000 free trial sends. Once you’ve finished your free trial, it’s $9.95/month for 25,000 emails. After that, you're charged on a per-thousand-email basis. The Mandrill payment structure includes built-in discounts, so your per-email pricing automatically decreases as you send more email.
Calculate your monthly costs and view example volumes on the Mandrill pricing page.
If you have a Monthly MailChimp account connected to your paid Mandrill account, you get additional free emails in Mandrill as a thank you for using both services. The number of additional emails depends on your MailChimp Monthly Plan.You'll receive extra Mandrill sends each month equal to twice the size of your MailChimp Monthly Plan tier.
For example, if you're on the MailChimp Monthly Plan with 2,801-5,000 subscribers, you'll receive 10,000 extra Mandrill emails per month.
Calculate your Mandrill sending costs in your MailChimp account by following the steps below.
- In your MailChimp account, click your profile name to expand the Account Panel, and click Account.
- Click the Integrations option.
- Click the Mandrill option, where you'll see a billing calculator that factors in your current MailChimp plan.
Send Emails through Mandrill
With Mandrill, you can send emails through the Mandrill API or SMTP integration. If you're already sending transactional emails for your website through SMTP, you can typically change your SMTP credentials to Mandrill's and begin sending immediately. With the Mandrill API, you can send emails, get information about your account, and view or parse reporting data in your own app or system.
Point your developer to these resources to get started. You can also set up your desktop email program to send via Mandrill.
At this time, it's not possible to send MailChimp campaigns through Mandrill.
Lists in Mandrill
Lists can't be uploaded to Mandrill. Mandrill doesn't store recipient lists for later use. Instead, you provide recipients at the time of sending, along with all of their information, such as names or other items for personalization. Use merge tags with Mandrill to personalize your messages.
Mandrill provides an easy-to-use merge tag to automatically add an unsubscribe link in your Mandrill emails. The Mandrill *|UNSUB|* merge tag consists of the word UNSUB, followed by a colon, and a full web address (with http:// or https://) where recipients should be redirected when the unsubscribe is processed.
You can also provide a link to your own unsubscribe process.
It's not possible to add Mandrill recipients to the unsubscribed portion of a MailChimp list automatically. If you'd like recipients who unsubscribed in Mandrill to be unsubscribed in MailChimp as well, set up Mandrill Webhooks and then use the MailChimp API to remove people from your MailChimp list programmatically.
Use MailChimp Templates in Mandrill
After your MailChimp account is integrated with Mandrill, you have the option to export MailChimp templates to your Mandrill account. However, templates in Mandrill work differently than in MailChimp, so you may need to tweak your templates for Mandrill. Here are a few things to know.
Template Language and Editable Areas
Mandrill supports mc:edit regions from the MailChimp template language. Editable images, repeatable areas, and variants aren't supported in Mandrill templates. You can use an editable template area to define the body of your email, for example, and change the copy for different types of emails you're sending.
Mandrill Doesn't Inline CSS by Default
Mandrill does not automatically inline CSS styles included in the <head> of your templates like MailChimp does. However, you can opt to have CSS inlined for HTML documents under 256KB in size by going to the Sending Options page in your Mandrill account.
To inline CSS on a per-message basis, use the inline_css parameter (API) or X-MC-InlineCSS (for SMTP). CSS inlining can be an intensive process and since Mandrill is designed to get your emails out as quickly as possible, the additional processing time to inline CSS can add up. If you have a larger template or HTML document, you'll need to inline your styles manually or use a CSS inlining tool like this one from MailChimp Labs.
MailChimp Merge Tags
Most MailChimp merge tags won't work implicitly in Mandrill. For example, tags like *|ARCHIVE|*, *|LIST:ADDRESS|*, integration-specific tags, and RSS merge tags have a specific meaning in MailChimp because they're tied to a list or campaign.
You can use merge tags to personalize emails in Mandrill, but you must provide the information to populate merge tags at the time of send.
Mandrill supports dynamic data using merge tags and editable regions in templates. Use merge tags to define a placeholder where pieces of recipient information can be injected at the time of send. Provide global and per-recipient data through the API or SMTP integration.
A/B Split Testing
A/B split tests in Mandrill are a powerful and easy way to track and optimize recipient engagement with your emails. For example, you can create different versions of your website registration email and see which version gets the most opens and clicks over time.
Send Automated Emails
Create highly customized messages to send to recipients based on a specific action you're tracking in your application (registration date, purchase date, or product purchased). This is very similar to MailChimp's Automation feature, but with Mandrill all the logic about who should get an email, when they should get it, and what it should contain would be passed to Mandrill at the time of send in your API request or SMTP message.
For example, if someone registers on your website and you want to send them an email immediately, you'd need to program your system to send that information to Mandrill as it happens. If the recipient should get another email one month later, your system would store that information, and when it's time to send the second email, it would be passed over to Mandrill at that time.
Mandrill Support Options
All paid Mandrill account users have the option to send an email for technical support in their Mandrill accounts using the Support button in the site footer.
All free trial account users have an introductory period that includes 30 days of free support, also available using the Support button in their accounts. After that, free trial account users will continue to have access to the Mandrill Knowledge Base and API documentation only.
The Mandrill support team is currently available Monday through Friday between 9am and 5pm Eastern.