User Story: Backfilling Mailchimp data was easy with Parabola

December 9, 2019
Sachi Yokose

Stephen O’Grady, Cofounder of Podcast Delivery, used Parabola to backfill subscriber fields in Mailchimp as they launched a brand new referral program.

Industry: Media Publishing
Location: Decentralized
Company size: 3

Stephen O’Grady, with Podcast Delivery, is on a mission to let listeners focus on listening to podcasts rather than worry about discovering them. As they work to grow their subscriber base, Stephen and his team knew that they can leverage their enthusiastic community to help. To accomplish this, the Podcast Delivery team launched a referral program.

Problem

They implemented a feature that successfully creates referral urls for all new users. However, Stephen needed a way to create referral urls and store that data in Mailchimp for all of his existing subscribers. He didn’t have much experience with APIs and knew that this would be a pretty time-consuming, painstaking process if he was going to have to wrestle directly with the Mailchimp API to perform this bulk update.

Solution

Around this time, Stephen had rekindled his interest in Twitter and had learned of the vibrant nocode community there. That’s where he met Aron Korenblit and learned of his YouTube Channel, Automate All the Things, where he posts tutorials on various nocode tools.

“Aron was the one that introduced me to Parabola. When I learned about it. I knew it was the solution I had been looking for to backfill our subscriber data in Mailchimp. When I first landed on Parabola, I appreciated how slick things were. The learning curve wasn’t as steep as I might have assumed it would be.”

Stephen’s Parabola flow imports data using the Airtable Import step and the Mailchimp Import step. He joins these data sets together, cleans the data and runs it through the Hashify API using our API Enrichment step. He then exports the updated data to Mailchimp using our API Export step, ensuring that all of the referral data is updated in Mailchimp for their existing subscribers.

Results

Stephen’s Parabola flow enabled him to access and work with the Hashify and Mailchimp APIs to bulk update subscriber fields in Mailchimp without requiring deep knowledge of either APIs.

“It would have been a painful, tedious exercise in understanding Mailchimp’s APIs. Since I don’t have experience developing applications, this task of backfilling would have taken me way longer than what it took me to build my Parabola flow.”

Once the flow ran and the backfill was complete, Stephen and the Podcast Delivery Team emailed the newly updated referral link to their existing subscribers through Mailchimp. They saw higher than usual open and click rates on this email. They also reached out to their VIPs and earliest subscribers about this new referral program. They saw really amazing engagement from this group for the referral program.

“Without Parabola, none of this would have been possible. It would have taken a long time and many headaches to figure out how to backfill this data in Mailchimp. Parabola provided an easy-to-implement solution and gave us an amazing opportunity to meaningfully engage with our existing, older subscribers.”

Stephen’s colleagues describe him as determined and detail-oriented with a sprinkling of passion. They say that he’s always learning new things and figuring out different ways to spread his passion.

“Ironically, I actually did end up learning more about APIs from my experience working with the API Enrichment and API Export steps. Parabola made it easy, and somewhat fun, to learn and understand them.”

Staying true to his personal brand, Stephen even turned this flow into a Parabola Recipe so others can use it and learn from it too. 

Podcast Delivery is a weekly newsletter that gives subscribers a series of recommendations of the freshest podcasts. They have over 1600 subscribers and counting. Subscribe to their weekly podcast recommendations here.

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