MailChimp is an Email Marketing and Marketing Automation platform for small and medium businesses. It offers several integrations to facilitate users of different applications to use Mailchimp. The integration of Mailchimp with other applications is done using an API key.
What is an API Key?
API stands for Application Programming Interface. It is a piece of software that connects two different computers or two different parts of the software. Unlike a user interface that helps humans interact with computers and software, An API connects other devices or software programs. An API key is a unique identifier used to authenticate a user, programmer, or software with the API. However, the term is usually used to authenticate software with the API and not a human user. API Keys allow apps to access an account without a password.
Types of MailChimp API
MailChimp has three types of APIs.
- MailChimp Marketing API.
- MailChimp Transactional API.
- MailChimp Open Commerce API.
Use of the MailChimp Marketing API Key
The MailChimp Marketing API Key allows you to integrate MailChimp with several Apps and online platforms. This will enable you to collect data from the App and use it for marketing and promotional purposes using MailChimp. MailChimp currently supports around 307 integrations across 20 categories. These include Linkedin, Facebook, WordPress, Shopify, Quickbooks, Stripe, etc. Using the MailChimp Marketing API Key, users can extract audience data from these platforms and automate their marketing campaigns.
How to find or generate a MailChimp API Key?
MailChimp users can generate and view their API keys with the manager’s permission. MailChimp users with Admin permission can create and view API keys of other account holders. Find or create an API Key login to MailChimp and click on your profile name to expand the Account Panel. Then choose Account Settings and click on the Extras Menu. Then select API keys. Here you can copy the existing API key or generate a new one. Give the new key a descriptive name so that you know which Application the key belongs to.
How to disable the MailChimp API Key?
If you do not want to use the API Key, you can disable the API key. To disable the API Key go to the API key section described above and toggle the slider in the Status column for that API Key. Then in the pop-up modal, click disable.
API Key Security
Like your password, API Keys grants full access to your MailChimp account to the App. Hence they should be adequately protected. The following scenarios require a mention.
- Give each Application a unique API Key. Do not use one API Key for more than one Application. Give descriptive names to each API Key so that you can quickly identify them. This will allow you to disable the specific API Key if it gets compromised without affecting the other Integrations.
- Do not expose your API Key to others, including but not limited to help documentation, videos, screenshots, etc. Do not blur the image or video showing the API Key; cut that part completely using image or video editing software.
- If you revoke a user’s access to your MailChimp account, all the API Keys generated by the user will be removed from your account.
- The scope of access provided by the API Key depends on the role of the user who generated the API Key. For example, the Admin has more access than a Manager.
- MailChimp does not support the client-side implementation of its API Keys because of the potential security risks.
- Give a unique API Key to every user. Avoid sharing API Keys via email because of the threat to your MailChimp account if your email account gets hacked.
The MailChimp API Support team does not have in-depth knowledge about API Troubleshooting. You may have to rely on third-party Developers to configure or troubleshoot your MailChimp API.
MailChimp Transactional API
The MailChimp Transactional API was formerly known as Mandrill. Even today, it is often referred to by its old name. The MailChimp Transactional API allows you to send fast, personalized transactional emails. To start using MailChimp Transactional API, you need a MailChimp Transactional account. If you don’t already have it, you will need to open one. If you have a Mailchimp Standard plan or higher, you can enable Mailchimp Transactional from your account’s Monthly plans or credits page.
To authenticate a request to the Transactional API, you need an API Key. You can use one previously generated or generate a new key by visiting the API Keys section. To access the API Keys section visit the Settings of your MailChimp Transactional account. You can then install the client library for your language or follow your usual method of making HTTP requests. You can then test if your Transactional API is functioning correctly and make your first API Call.
Do check if Mailchimp is free to use.