So I just spent all morning fixing a mess of my own making. I’d love to help you avoid that, so today I’m sharing a very specific tutorial: How To Move More Than One List From Mailchimp to Mailerlite.
I should point out that I’d read about 3 different tutorials on the topic, and followed one quite closely. Plus the whole process seemed quite easy, so I was pretty dismayed to realise that I’d imported my two totally separate lists (or audiences as Mailchimp calls them) as one big list (or groups as Mailerlite calls them). Yep, this whole process isn’t made any easier by the fact that Mailchimp calls each list an audience, and Mailerlite calls it a group.
First of all, why did I move?
If you follow me on social media you may have seen a little mini-rant earlier this month. It was about how Mailchimp will suddenly slap extra charges on your account, because you’ve tipped over a certain subscriber amount, without warning (seriously, how hard could it be for a company that provides automated email services to send out a quick automated email when you hit your limit). The mini-rant was accompanied by this screenshot:
Not cool, Mailchimp.
I wasn’t any happier to learn that several of those subscribers weren’t subscribers at all, because Mailchimp charges you for unsubscribed email addresses, unless and until you go into your account and manually archive them.
I did my research and found that I could get a similar but better service from Mailerlite, for less money, and less money is good right now, because I don’t know if you’ve noticed but there’s a worldwide pandemic and almost everyone’s income has taken a hit. (My freelance writing work is way down, though I’m staying afloat thanks to my multiple income streams, which I’m very grateful for).
So I made the switch. I set up my account on Mailerlite (with the bonus surprise of a free 4-week trial), linked it to Mailchimp, pressed the automatic import button, and sat back for the technology to do its work. That’s when it all went a little wrong. Two totally separate email lists imported as one big list.
What went wrong? And how to fix it
It’s possible I missed a step, but if I did, it wasn’t an obvious one. I’m going to take a guess that this has happened (or will happen) to others. So I wanted to provide a quick fix. And it is quick, though it took me a while to figure it out.
In the end here’s what I did. I went into my Mailchimp account, clicked on Audience, chose the audience I wanted from the drop down menu, and clicked on Export Subscribers. This generates an export to a CVS file. On a Mac, it automatically downloads that file to your downloads folder, and with around 2,000 subscribers it took less than a minute (larger lists may take longer).
I then went to Mailerlite and created a new group. I named it clearly so I’d know which list I was dealing with. I clicked on Add Subscribers, and then Import, and was presented with a box that said drag and drop a CSV or TXT file with your subscribers. I dragged. I dropped. I clicked Import. I selected the columns I wanted to import (I kept this super simple, only importing email address, name and marketing permissions). Then I scrolled to the bottom and clicked Finish Adding Subscribers. I saw an Importing… notice for a minute or two. And then a message to say the import was complete.
I repeated the exact same process with the second list, and it was even quicker (smaller list). Clicking on Groups in my Mailerlite account showed that my two lists (or groups as I’ll now have to get used to calling them) were there.
I then deleted the original group that I’d imported that had all my subscribers all muddled up together. If you found this article before you made the same mistake I did, you won’t have to do that step.
Lastly I filed away those CSV files I generated from Mailchimp, both on my hard drive and in cloud storage. It never hurts to keep those records, as they are basically a backup of our entire list. In fact we should do a quick export regularly to make sure we always have an up-to-date back up.
So there you are. My two lists are exported, and I have to say, I am loving Mailerlite. I particularly like how easy it is to make nice-looking landing pages with their templates. Here’s the one I just made for this blog, advertising the new resource library, which you should definitely consider joining, if you’re not already subscribed (if you are, watch your inbox, as you’ll get your invite and password in an email very soon).
Want to try out Mailerlite for yourself? Use this link. You’ll get a $20 credit if you do. Sign up for the free trial (or the free version that’s available if your list has less than 1000 subscribers). Then, when and if you upgrade, you’ll be able to claim that free credit.