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Frequently Asked Questions

Why can't I use Smart Groups?

We rely on the timestamp field from the subscription history table; this does not exist for smart groups. Using Smart Groups would basically un-do all the benefits of an incremental sync.

Why make yet another Mailchimp sync extension?

At the time of writing, there are currently three other Mailchimp sync extensions.

  1. https://civicrm.org/extensions/mailchimp-civicrm-integration
    • most popular one. Maintained by Veda, although not very actively (last release 2017).
    • Having written the majority of this code when Mailchimp ditched v2 of their API, I'm aware of its limitations and I realised that a fresh start was required.
    • struggles with big lists and fails when data is changed at both ends between syncs; there's no true 2 way sync as you start from the assumption that either CiviCRM or Mailchimp is correct.
  2. https://civicrm.org/extensions/mailchimp-sync
    • not updated since 2014.
    • Uses deprecated Mailchimp API, considered dead.
  3. https://civicrm.org/extensions/civimailchimp
    • not updated since 2015.
    • Uses deprecated Mailchimp API, considered dead.

I needed a solution that was easier for staff to manage; experience taught me that it needed to be more robust especially around bulk updates at either end. Also, as the two systems don't match up - one's a circle and one's a square - there's always bits that get lost in translation. While these are not fun to deal with, this extension at least allows these to be inspected and understood.

Context: "I" above is Rich Lott / Artful Robot and this extension began life in November 2019.