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MailChimp groups subscriber updates

  1. littler.chicken

    I've just now moved our email list signup form off of the MC html form and over to GF, now that the GF add on supports groups (hooray!).

    We are getting ready to start registrations for Vacation Bible School for the summer and ideally, I would love to have the moms who register also be added to a new MC group so that we can send out a mass email to everyone who is signed up for VBS. I know all of the steps I need to take to add this functionality to the registration form, it is easy enough.

    However. Many of our moms who will be signing up are already on our MC list, and in one or more groups. I did a test with the form above and although MC correctly received all of the data for an existing subscriber, instead of adding the request to that group, it added it to the group and removed it from the rest of the groups.

    (What I mean is: we have groups A, B, C, D. My email was registered for all four groups. I used the form with my email address and checked just box D. MC removed me from groups A, B, and C. If this were to happen with VBS is would be a huge headache for me. The VBS form would only have a check box for group V.)

    What I need to know is, can GF handle updating subscribers without removing them from groups that they are already part of? I contacted MC and they suggested that I either use their HTML form (which won't help me with the VBS thing) or dig into their API, which I'd really rather not do. I am reasonably certain that I have my GF/MC add-in configured correctly.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can give!

    Posted 7 years ago on Thursday March 22, 2012 | Permalink
  2. jetastudio

    I'm having the same issue. We include sign-ups for different interest groups in multiple forms. For example, we may have 3 groups within our Mailchimp list:

    - Widget A
    - Widget B
    - Widget C

    On the form for the Widget C page, we include a checkbox like:

    - Receive updates on Widget C

    Once the form is processed, that subscriber is added to Widget C, but removed from Widget A & B. Ideally it would add them to Widget C, and leave their settings for A & B untouched.

    Thanks for your help!

    Posted 7 years ago on Wednesday March 28, 2012 | Permalink
  3. I'm having this same problem, and about to have to remove all of my GF Mailchimp forms because this is a dealbreaker for me.

    It's also not sending the opt-in confirmation email or the welcome email from MailChimp (although they are being subscribed to the list and I have both of those checkboxes checked.

    Posted 7 years ago on Monday April 30, 2012 | Permalink
  4. I am trying to do the exact same thing! I have an "Umbrella" site with a few sub-sites that are more specific within my niche. I would love to be able to let people sign up into MC groups dedicated to each sub-site without removing themselves from the other group. Any response from Gravity Forms?

    Posted 7 years ago on Tuesday May 15, 2012 | Permalink
  5. What is being described sounds like a bug, although I don't know if it's a Gravity Forms bug or a MailChimp API bug related to adding the subscriber. It is not supposed to remove you from existing groups. I will look into this and replicate the issue locally, we can then see what needs to be updated to correct this.

    Posted 7 years ago on Tuesday May 15, 2012 | Permalink
  6. We've done some testing on this issue and here is what is going on...

    Gravity Forms tells MailChimp to add the user to the groups that are selected.

    MailChimp, rather than adding the groups, is completely replacing the groups associated with that user with what Gravity Forms is passing it.

    So this is how the MailChimp API behaves when you pass group data to it via the API using the standard calls.

    It is done this way so that it allows users to manage their groups. So if they changed their selections, it's reflected. Because the way the MailChimp Add-On works is if it's an existing subscriber it's going to update that subscriber.

    What we are going to do is take a look and see how we can get around this so that it only adds new groups and does not remove existing groups.

    The downside to this is it means you can't make a form that allows someone to manage their groups. HOWEVER since Gravity Forms does not currently support unsubscribing, that is probably fine. We can introduce a new feed type for unsubscribing sometime in the future... it's always been handled via the built in MailChimp unsubscribe functionality.

    Posted 7 years ago on Tuesday May 15, 2012 | Permalink
  7. That is awesome, Carl! Thank you so much for taking a look at this for us. Please post here at your earliest convenience when you have found a workaround. I desperately need this functionality for my sites.

    Posted 7 years ago on Tuesday May 15, 2012 | Permalink
  8. I had a long talk with MailChimp about this the day after I posted it, and what they told me was that that was just MailChimp out of the box (what I wanted was "advanced" functionality) and if I wanted to extend it I'd have to pay a dev for it. So, I contacted a couple of devs, who all quoted around $1000 to build this out for me.

    In a fit of frustration I swapped everything over to AWeber, and because I can have (and mail to) multiple lists, it solves the whole problem for me.

    Posted 7 years ago on Tuesday May 29, 2012 | Permalink
  9. +1 if GF could find a workaround, that would be great... thanks!

    Posted 7 years ago on Friday June 8, 2012 | Permalink
  10. Here is another person who has found this "bug" and it really complicates life...I now have to explain to my client that the wonderful functionality of Gravity Forms with the Mailchimp service is not so wonderful.

    Is there any progress into solving this problem? I don't want to have to recommend another email marketing service like Aweber to get this functionality.

    Time to figure out a work-around till a solution comes up.

    Posted 7 years ago on Monday June 11, 2012 | Permalink
  11. I'm just reviving this thread to see if any progress has been made on not replacing groups for email subscribers but to add them to additional groups. I thought the update to the Mailchimp plugin would take care of the bug but doesn't appear to.

    Any updates?

    Posted 7 years ago on Wednesday July 4, 2012 | Permalink
  12. Are you using the latest 1.7 version of the MailChimp plugin?

    Posted 7 years ago on Wednesday July 4, 2012 | Permalink
  13. Chris,

    Are you saying the newest version of the plugin has a way to do this? I will update now and find out. Thanks.

    Posted 7 years ago on Thursday July 5, 2012 | Permalink
  14. I was just curious which version of the plugin was installed. I did not see that this functionality was added in the changelog, but before troubleshooting, I figured we would at least see which version we were starting with.

    There was a bug fixed related to duplicate email addresses, but it did not seem to pertain specifically to this.

    Posted 7 years ago on Friday July 6, 2012 | Permalink
  15. Ah. Yeah, this issue persists in the new version. It would be really great if GF could figure out some sort of workaround, but as Carl explained earlier in the thread, it's a bit of a quirk in MailChimp's API and there doesn't seem to be a whole lot to do about it.

    Posted 7 years ago on Friday July 6, 2012 | Permalink
  16. Am I right in saying that the only solution so far is to always update ALL groups on ALL forms so that subscribers have to re-enter ALL their values every time they update?

    Posted 7 years ago on Sunday July 8, 2012 | Permalink
  17. Any update on this bug and adding logic to the plugin to get around it? This would be very helpful to me.

    Posted 7 years ago on Sunday August 5, 2012 | Permalink
  18. I have the same problem.

    Even though it's a Mailchimp issue, I was looking for an option to add more groups in the Mailchimp Add-on. Now, I can only select one. If I was able to add a user to more than one group, I would be a happy camper.

    Posted 7 years ago on Wednesday September 26, 2012 | Permalink
  19. Any updates on this? I have the same issue and my only work around is to replicate my master list for each group then move new subscribers back to the master. MailChimp does not overwrite current group subscriptions in their dashboard when doing the moves.

    Posted 7 years ago on Wednesday October 24, 2012 | Permalink
  20. @rossdev, are you using the latest 1.8 version and the behavior persists there?

    Posted 7 years ago on Wednesday October 24, 2012 | Permalink
  21. Nope... 1.7.1
    weird why didn't I get an update notice in WordPress
    I'll give 1.8 a try and let you know if it's okay.

    Posted 7 years ago on Wednesday October 24, 2012 | Permalink
  22. It was just recently released. The check for new versions happens every 12 hours or something like that. Please give 1.8 a try and let us know if your experience is any different. I don't think it will be, actually, because I think this is a limitation with Mailchimp's API.

    Posted 7 years ago on Wednesday October 24, 2012 | Permalink
  23. 1.8 still has the same issue.

    Posted 7 years ago on Wednesday October 24, 2012 | Permalink
  24. I thought that might be the case. I will check with the developers and see if this is a limitation with the Mailchimp API.

    Posted 7 years ago on Wednesday October 24, 2012 | Permalink
  25. My explanation above details why it behaves the way it does. It is how the MailChimp API behaves when you pass groups, it replaces rather than appends the groups to the user. It's how MailChimp designed the API call related to adding groups.

    We do know of a way to work around this and I will see that it gets implemented in the next MailChimp update. I'll discuss it with the team and try and see if we can get an update pushed out next week.

    Posted 7 years ago on Friday October 26, 2012 | Permalink
  26. I am having this issue as well, and it's becoming a huge problem.....
    Any word on the update?

    Posted 7 years ago on Monday November 26, 2012 | Permalink
  27. I'll bring this to the attention of the development team for an update.

    Posted 7 years ago on Tuesday November 27, 2012 | Permalink
  28. I have a new version of the Mailchimp add-on available to anyone who would like to try it to see if it resolves your issues. It's not yet available on the downloads page. Please email me at if you would like a copy. Be sure to include a link to this topic so I know what you're referring to when you email. Thank you.

    Posted 7 years ago on Wednesday November 28, 2012 | Permalink