The Double Edge of Forms

Despite outward appearances, MailChimp is actually a very powerful system that can form the backbone of many businesses marketing activity.  The right combination of forms and an appropriately structured account can help drive your business forward – allowing you to entice different people onto your email list at various different points on your website (and elsewhere…).  However, one challenge that there always will be with multiple forms is what happens when someone who’s already on your list completes a form for a second time?

What happens when the same person completes a forms is actually pretty much dependent on the forms you use… either MailChimp’s own forms or forms you’ve created by using another tool (also known as a 3rd party tool).

If you use any sort of MailChimp Form

MailChimp forms have been criticised in the past due to their inflexible nature and if you want to get “whizzy” with forms then you quickly graduate to find an alternative tool.  However, many of us are still using forms created by MailChimp either their hosted forms (i.e. the basic sign up form that has a MailChimp url) or Embedded forms (the ones that give you a code and you can embed into your website)

One thing that is clear though, is that if you are using MailChimp forms, then if an existing subscriber to your list completes another form (or even the same form), then MailChimp “rejects” the subscription – and not only that, it will send them to your profile update page and ask them to update their preferences (and if you’re using the hidden group method to track where they’ve come from, then they won’t see anything to change – leaving them slightly frustrated and confused!).  If, like me, you haven’t spent a lot of time polishing up your Profile Update page, this doesn’t look great. (another job on the task list!)

If you are using MailChimp’s new landing page tool

Consequently, if you are planning on using MailChimp forms

or the new landing pages that MailChimp launched recently.

If you use a 3rd party tool to create your form