Migrate from MailChimp

Learn how to migrate your MailChimp account to Dotdigital.


Switching to Dotdigital from MailChimp is straightforward (although there are some terminology differences to learn).

In this guide, we show you how to:

Terminology differences

MailChimp Dotdigital
Audience Address book
Audience field Contact data field
Segment Segment
Campaign We call them campaigns too
Contact Contact
Template We call them templates too
Merge tag Personalisation marker

Migrate your subscribers

MailChimp automatically removes unsubscribed and bounced email addresses from your lists, so you can safely import your subscribers into Dotdigital.

To migrate your MailChimp contacts to Dotdigital:

Step 1: Export your contacts from Mailchimp

  1. In Mailchimp, go to Audience > All contacts
  2. Choose the audience that contains the subscribers you want to add to Dotdigital.
    To export multiple audiences, go to Account > Settings > Manage my data.
  3. Select Export Audience.
  4. Once your export is ready, select Export as CSV. Then extract the CSV file from the downloaded ZIP file.

Step 2: Import contacts into Dotdigital

  1. In Dotdigital, go to Email > Contacts > All contacts.
  2. Select +New address book, and enter a name.
    Using the same name as your old MailChimp list helps avoid confusion. If you like, you can also give your address book a description - for example, 'My old MailChimp list'.
  3. Select SAVE.
  4. Select Add a list of contacts from an Excel or CSV file.
  5. Select Choose file, and select the CSV file you extracted from your MailChimp download.
  6. Select Upload.
  7. Map your old MailChimp list field values to your new Dotdigital contact data fields.
    1. Column0 = email.
    2. Column1 = firstname.
    3. Column2 = lastname.
  8. Select UPLOAD.

Unsubscribed and bounced email addresses

In MailChimp, unsubscribed and bounced email addresses are stored per list. In Dotdigital, suppressed contacts are account-wide.

Recreate your signup forms

In MailChimp, each list can have its own signup form. In Dotdigital, signup forms are account-wide - but you can pick an address book for signups to go into.

To create a signup form, follow the steps in our guide 'Creating a signup form'.

Move your email templates

You can migrate your MailChimp templates from MailChimp to Dotdigital. Templates are built from three things:

  1. HTML
  2. Images
  3. In some cases, merge tags (or 'personalisation markers')

We'll tackle each of these in three steps.

Step 1: Migrate HTML templates

To migrate your HTML templates:

  1. In MailChimp, go to Campaigns > Email Templates.
  2. Find the template you want to migrate, and select Export as HTML.
  3. In Dotdigital, go to Email > Email campaigns > Custom templates.
  4. Select Upload template, and then select the template file you downloaded from MailChimp.
  5. Select Upload, and then Continue.
  6. Once your template finished importing, select Continue.

Your template is automatically converted to be EasyEditor compatible and shows in EasyEditor as a fully editable template.

Step 2: Migrate Images

At this point, your template images are still hosted by MailChimp. Before you can use your template, you must import them into Dotdigital and then re-insert them into your template.

You can do this in one of two ways. If you have the original images to hand (stored on your computer, for example), then you can upload the originals.
If you don't have the originals, then you can right-click on each of your images in EasyEditor and save them to your computer.

To re-insert your images into your template:

  1. In EasyEditor, expand the Images menu in the left-hand menu.
  2. From the Images menu, select +.
  3. Select the images you want to add.
    You can select all of them at once, so you don't have to import them one by one.
  4. For each image in your template, drag the corresponding image from the Images menu into the space containing the existing image. This swaps your old MailChimp images for your new Dotdigital ones.

Step 3: Merge tags/personalisation markers

If your template uses merge tags, you must update them.

  • In MailChimp, these look like *|SOMETHING|*.
    For example, *|EMAIL|* inserts the subscriber's email address into an email.
  • In Dotdigital, personalisation markers look like @SOMETHING@.
    For example, *|EMAIL|* becomes @EMAIL@.

The default list of markers in Dotdigital might not include replacements for the merge tags in your template. You can add new ones, but for simplicity, we recommend replacing the tags listed below and removing the others for the time being.

Tags to replace:

MailChimp (from) Dotdigital (to)

Once you've replaced or removed all your merge tags, you can save your template. Select Save & continue, and then select Finish.

Your template is now ready to use and can be selected from the Custom templates library.

Sending your first campaign

You've moved your subscribers, and you've imported your templates. Feeling ready to send your first Dotdigital campaign? We've got plenty of help for you.

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