Upgrade Links with Mailchimp

Distribute Upgrade Links to your donors using Mailchimp.

One of the best ways to use Upgrade Links is to integrate the links into your email campaigns. In this article instruction, you'll learn how to export key information about your recurring donors from the Dashboard into a file, then how to use that file to create contacts and Upgrade Links in Mailсhimp.

This guide will help you create Upgrade Links that offer donors the chance to increase their main donation amount, not to start covering their transaction costs.
If you prefer a visual guide, we’ve also created screen-by-screen interactive instructions showing you how to create and send our Upgrade Links in Mailchimp, from start to finish. You can use these interactive instructions instead of, or alongside, the written instructions in this article. Just open our Upgrade Link demos and select the third option —Try Upgrade Links with Mailchimp.

Before you start

Register with Mailchimp

Make sure your organization has an active Mailchimp account. If not, go to Mailchimp and sign up.

Export donor information from the Dashboard

You’ll need to collect some details about your recurring donors, including their recurring Id and supporter Id, to build your Upgrade Links in Mailchimp. Here’s how to collect the information you need.

The first step is to create a template in Exports.

To do this, open the Exports view, open the “Templates” tab and select New template.

Enter a name for the new template, for example, “Upgrade Links template for Mailсhimp”. Set the Export type to "New recurring plans". This enables to create a file of recurring plans created within a certain timeframe.

Go to the “File Columns” tab. Click Clear all to get rid of the default columns, and add the following columns from the list of available fields on the right, in any order:

  1. Supporter First Name
  2. Supporter Last Name
  3. Supporter Email
  4. Supporter ID
  5. Recurring ID
  6. Recurring Status

Columns 1-3 are required by Mailchimp. Columns 4-6 will help us create our Upgrade Links.

Click Save changes then Back to exports.

In the Templates tab, click the download symbol alongside the template you just created.

Choose a date range for when recurring plans were created — if you want to Upgrade donors who started a recurring plan during your 2022 Christmas campaign, for example, pick that timeframe.

Click Download, and all the information you need will download to your device in a CSV file.

Open the document and delete all recurring plans that have a status other than active. This will prevent the creation of Upgrade Links for cancelled recurring plans.

Now the data has been reviewed and prepared, it's ready to be imported into Mailchimp.

Step 1: Create Merge Tags

In Mailchimp, navigate to “Audience” in the side menu, and click All contacts.

Click “Settings” and then Audience fields and *MERGE* tags.

At the bottom of the “Audience fields and |MERGE| tags” page, click on Add A Field and select “Text” as your field type. Click Save Changes. Do this twice, because you will need to add two fields.

Add one field for Recurring ID and another for Supporter ID. Label them as RECID and SUPID respectively.

Click Save Changes.

Step 2: Import contacts

Now you’ll need the CSV file you created with the data you exported from the Fundraise Up Dashboard.

In Mailchimp, navigate to “Audience" → All contacts and select “Add contacts" → Import contacts.

Upload your CSV file.

Match the columns to the corresponding fields in Mailchimp.

Step 3: Create an email campaign with your Upgrade Links

Once your contacts are imported to Mailсhimp, you can start building the email campaign that will include Upgrade Links.

Create a new email campaign.

When customizing your email, add in a call-to-action button. It could say, for example, "Increase my regular donation”.

In the “Link to” field for that button enter your “Basic link for upgrade”. You can find this in your main Dashboard settings under “Recurring plans”. Then, add ?recurring=*|RECID|*&supporter=*|SUPID|* straight after the link.

Your final link in the field will look something like this: https://mycharity.org/upgrade?recurring=*|RECID|*&supporter=*|SUPID|*

The |RECID|* and |SUPID|* values in the URL are the Mailchimp merge tags we created earlier. These tags will be automatically replaced with the right Recurring ID and Supporter ID for each of your Mailchimp contacts from the list you imported.

Step 4: Test

In Mailchimp's preview mode, you can use live merge tag data to test your Upgrade Links. To do this, toggle on “Enable live merge tag info”.

Click your call-to-action button to view the Upgrade page for the donor.

You will then be redirected to the donation Upgrade page. Each page is tailored to each individual donor, with custom-chosen optimized donation amounts selected by our AI.

If everything works as it should in your test, you’re ready to launch your upgrade email campaign.

By following all the above steps, you can seamlessly integrate Fundraise Up's Upgrade Links with Mailchimp, optimizing the potential of both platforms to boost your fundraising efforts.


In this article