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ELON MUSK

Forget the MailChimp API

Another case of doing manual labour over automation.

Forget the MailChimp API A young start-up wanted to send a newsletter to subscribers via MailChimp. For that, it was suggested we needed a API connection between our own user database and MailChimp. MailChimp provides an API through which you can synchronize the data. It was somehow suggested that we could only send our first newsletter once the API link was implemented.

But was that really necessary? Certainly, an API link would be ideal. New users in our own system would automatically end up in the MailChimp subscriber list. And vice versa, those who would have unsubscribed could be marked in our own system.

But building the API would have taken at least a few man-weeks. Luckily, there's a much simpler solution. At that stage, the newsletter only had about one hundred subscribers. And the newsletter had a low frequency of once every month. Doing it manually was the simplest solution and it could be implemented within an hour. Just export the data from the database and upload it to MailChimp. Those who unsubscribed needed to be manually marked in our own system. Done!

The general lesson is here: don't build solutions for non-existing problems. Create luxury problems instead, which means: attract so many subscribers that an API is desirable. The API would be great when having ten thousand subscribers, but not just one hundred.

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