Mandrill is a transactional email service developed to help applications and websites send automated emails like password resets, order confirmations, and welcome messages. As a MailChimp user, you can take advantage of additional features by connecting your account to Mandrill. Once you connect to Mandrill, you can push MailChimp templates to your Mandrill account, view Mandrill activity for your MailChimp subscribers, and receive additional free emails in Mandrill 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.
With Mandrill, you can send up to 12,000 emails each month for free, and more if you have a MailChimp Monthly Plan.
If you need to send more than 12,000 emails a month, you can add funds to your Mandrill account. Mandrill offers simple Pay-As-You-Go pricing based on how many emails over 12,000 you send each month. You only pay for the emails you actually send. Volume discounts are handled automatically, so as you send more you pay less per email.
See Mandrill pricing details and calculate your sending costs (without a MailChimp discount) on Mandrill's pricing page.
If you have a Monthly MailChimp account connected to Mandrill, 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 2,501-5,000 subscribers, you'll receive 10,000 extra Mandrill emails per month. That means you can send up to 22,000 emails on Mandrill's Free Plan instead of 12,000.
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, or send a quick test message from your Mandrill account by going to Outbound > Compose Message.
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 Settings > Sending Options 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 really 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 track 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 actually time to send the second email, it would be passed over to Mandrill at that time.