Have a really complicated list, or want more control of segmenting criteria? Hairball is a desktop app we built to help with more complicated list segmentation and large lists. Below, we show you how to use it to craft your complicated segments and upload them as static segments to your MailChimp account.

In this article:

Downloading Hairball

Hairball requires Adobe Air to function properly, so make sure it's installed on your computer before downloading Hairball. After Adobe Air is installed, choose your OS below to download Hairball:

Connecting to your MailChimp account(s)

  1. After downloading, when you start the application, it should open to the page to connect an account. If you need to connect another account or it doesn't open to the connection page, click Connect Account.
  2. Name the account. This name is used within Hairball to help you identify different accounts.
  3. Enter an API key for the MailChimp account. 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. If you need to generate a new key or copy an existing one:
    1. Click your profile name to expand the Account Panel and choose Account.
      Account Panel
    2. Click the Extras drop-down menu and choose API keys.
      Api keys option.
    3. Highlight an existing key and copy it, or click add a key to create a new one to copy.
    4. If you create a new one for Hairball, you can give it a label so you know which one is being used for Hairball.
    5. Click Create Account to finish the connection process.

Fetching and updating your list(s)

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 will not automatically fetch your lists or sync with your MailChimp account.

Fetching 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. If you have a large list, downloading can take awhile, depending on your connection speed.
  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.

Updating your list(s) and subscriber activity

  1. If you've previously fetched a list, but some time has passed, 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.

Segmenting your list in Hairball

  1. Once you've fetched or updated your list, and subscriber activity if desired, on the Lists page in Hairball, click New Segment.
  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 box 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 box allows you to choose the matching criteria you wish to use (e.g. contains, doesn't contain, is, is not, is after, is before). The options here will vary based on the field type.
    • The last field lets you define the criteria (e.g. @gmail.com, the date the last campaign was sent).
  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. When you're satisfied with the criteria, click Create Segment to save the segment in Hairball.
  9. 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. 

Sending to a segment created in Hairball

  1. After you've created a segment in Hairball, you have the option to immediately upload it to MailChimp. If you didn't upload it immediately, go to the Lists page in Hairball, and click the button below the subscriber count for your list that shows how many Hairball segments you have (ie, the button may say "1 segments" if you've only set up one segment in Hairball before).
  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. Create your campaign, and on the step to choose your list or segment, set the following as the criteria:
    • In the first drop-down menu for the criteria, choose Static Segment.
    • Decide whether you want to include or exclude members of your segment in the second drop-down menu.
    • In the last drop-down menu, choose the name of the Hairball segment you want to use.
  6. Set any other criteria you want to use, and finish building 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.

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