Hairball is a desktop application that we built to help with more complicated list segmentation and large lists.

Below, you'll learn how to use Hairball to create more complicated segments and upload them as static segments to your MailChimp account.

In this article:

Download Hairball

Hairball requires that Adobe Air is installed on your computer. After Adobe Air is installed, choose your operating system to download Hairball.

Connect Your MailChimp Account

  1. Launch Hairball. It should open to the page to connect an account. If you already connected an account and need to connect another, or if the connect page doesn't open, click Connect Account.
  2. Name the account. This name is used within Hairball to help you identify different accounts.
  3. Copy or generate an API key for the MailChimp account, and paste it into the  MailChimp API Key field in Hairball. For security purposes, it's a good idea to generate an API key for each application you're using so that it can be selectively disabled if necessary.
  4. Click Create Account.

Fetch and Update Your List

Once Hairball is connected to your account, you'll need to fetch or update your list and subscriber data whenever you want to work with them, to ensure you have the most up-to-date information from your MailChimp account. Hairball doesn't automatically fetch your lists or sync with your MailChimp account.

Fetch Lists and Subscriber Activity for the First Time

  1. On the Lists page in Hairball, click Fetch List to download all of your subscribers and the merge fields for your list. This can take awhile if you have a large list.
  2. Click Done in the success message dialog box once your list data has finished downloading.
  3. If you want to create segments based on subscriber activity, such as whether subscribers opened or clicked a campaign, click Fetch Campaigns to download that information.
  4. Click Ok in the success dialog box when the campaign data has finished loading.

Update Your List and Subscriber Activity

  1. Click Refresh List to connect to your MailChimp account and download updated subscriber information.
  2. Click Done when the data has finished downloading.
  3. If you need to refresh subscriber activity for campaigns, click View Campaigns to load a list of campaigns sent to that list.
  4. Click Load New Campaigns to download subscriber activity for any campaigns newer than the ones listed.
  5. Click Ok when the success message appears.
  6. Click Refresh Activity to update open and click data for a campaign previously downloaded to Hairball.
  7. Click Ok when the success message appears.

Segment Your List in Hairball

  1. Click New Segment on the  Lists page in Hairball.
  2. Name your segment. This name will be visible within Hairball, and it may be useful to identify what criteria you'll be using to create the segment so you can reference it later.
  3. In the drop-down menu, choose whether you want to match any or all criteria. Any will match more subscribers, because we'll look for a subscriber who matches any one of the criteria you set up. All will only find subscribers who match all of the stated criteria.
  4. Set your segmenting criteria.
    • The first drop-down menu lets you choose which field in your list you want to segment by (e.g., Email Address, Name, City). If you have previously created segments in Hairball, you'll see an option for Hairball segment, which allows you to segment your list based on whether someone is a part of your previous segment.
    • The next drop-down menu allows you to choose the matching criteria you wish to use. The options vary based on the field type.
    • The last drop-down menu lets you define the criteria.
  5. Click Add Condition to create additional criteria for your segment. You can add as many conditions as you'd like.
  6. Once you've set your criteria, click refresh segment to update the subscriber count for your segment.
  7. Click Preview Segment to preview which subscribers match the criteria you've set up.
  8. Click Create Segment.

A success page will appear. If you want to use this segment within your MailChimp account, click Upload to MailChimp to send the segment to your list. 

Send to a Segment Created in Hairball

  1. On the Lists page in Hairball, click the button that shows how many segments you have in your list.
  2. Click upload segment for the segment you want to send to your MailChimp list.
  3. Click Ok once the segment has been uploaded to your MailChimp list.
  4. Log in to your MailChimp account.
  5. Navigate to the Campaigns page, and click Create Campaign. 
  6. On the Recipients step, choose your list and select to  Send to a new segment.
    • In the first drop-down menu, choose Static Segment.
    • In the second drop-down menu, choose to include or exclude members of your segment.
    • In the last drop-down menu, choose the name of the Hairball segment you want to use.
  7. Set any other criteria you want to use, and design and send your campaign.

This feature is limited to certain user levels. You can see your user level on the Users & Account Details page and this article explains what each level can access in the account.

Was this article helpful?
What can we do to improve your experience with articles like this?
Thanks for submitting your feedback!
At this time, we are unable to reply to any responses,but we'll use this information to keep the site up-to-date.
Sorry, we were unable to submit your feedback. Please try again later.Thank you for your patience.

Related Articles