Mailchimp Transactional Email, formerly Mandrill, is a powerful delivery service that sends one-to-one emails and automated transactional emails.
In this guide, you'll learn how to get started with Transactional Email.
Things to know
- Transactional Email is available as an add-on to Standard and higher monthly Mailchimp plans, or the legacy Monthly Plan. Mailchimp Free, Essentials, and Pay As You Go users will need to upgrade to use Transactional Email. To learn more, check out at About Mailchimp Pricing Plans and About Mailchimp Transactional Email Pricing
- You can sign up for Transactional Email at any time.
This guide covers the following tasks:
- Set up your Transactional Email account
- Set up your sending domain
- Generate your API key
- Test the API
Set up your Transactional Email account
To set up your Transactional Email account, follow these steps.
- Sign up for a Mailchimp Transactional Email account. We'll send you an activation email and ask you to confirm you're not a robot. Note: If you already have a Mailchimp Standard plan or higher, you can enable Transactional Email from the Monthly plans or credits page of your account.
- Enter your business information and click Continue.
- On the Plan step, select your Transactional Email package. Transactional emails come in blocks that you buy each month. Blocks expire at the end of each month, with no rollover to the next month.
If you need more than three blocks per month, click the What if you need more than 3 blocks? drop-down to display the custom block selector. Then, click the I would like to purchase a custom amount radio button and enter the number of blocks you'd like to purchase. Note the discount pricing shown.
- Set your preferences for when you run low on credits.
-- Select the threshold. In the example, this is 1,000 emails remaining.
-- Choose I want Mailchimp to send me an email if you want to be notified when your block falls under your selected threshold, or choose to automatically purchase an additional number of blocks.
- In the sidebar, click Next.
- On the Payment step, enter your contact, billing, and payment information.
- Review your Purchase Summary and click Pay Now to complete your purchase.
Note: Transactional Email is a paid add-on available only for the Standard Plan or higher. We automatically choose this plan level for you when you sign up for Transactional Email. To learn more about pricing, check out About Mailchimp Pricing Plans.
- On the Confirmation step, click Launch Mandrill, and then click Continue to Mandrill on the pop-up modal.
Launch Transactional Email
After you have completed your Transactional Email purchase, your Billing page shows your Receipt and Billing Statement. Click Launch Mandrill to open the Transactional Email dashboard.
Set up your sending domain
After you’ve successfully added a block of transactional emails to your account, you’ll need to set up your sending domain.
To set up your sending domain, follow these steps.
- On your Transactional Email dashboard, click Set up your sending domain.
- Enter your domain name and click +Add. To learn more about sending domains check out How to set up sending domains.
- Find the domain you added and click View details under the Verified Domain heading.
- In the Verify pop-up modal, enter a valid email address at the domain and click Send Verification Email. We'll send you an email with verification instructions.
- Add or update your domain's DNS records. After you add valid DKIM and SPS information, we'll show a checkmark to confirm we have valid information. To learn more about how to update your DNS records, read How to Add DNS Records for Sending Domains.
Generate your API key
Next, you’ll need to generate an API key. Mailchimp uses this to authenticate any requests you send.
To generate an API key, follow these steps.
- On the left navigation menu, click Settings.
- Scroll down to the API Key section.
- Click +Add API Key. Transactional Email generates and displays your API key.
Test the API method used to send an email
Now that you’ve set up your sending domain and generated an API key, you’re ready to test out the API method that sends an email. You’ll need your API key and the parameters described in the specification for the method /messages/send.
The API documentation includes a "Try It" feature that allows you to enter test data and see an example JSON request and response using that data.
To use the "Try It" feature, follow these steps.
- On the /messages/send documentation page, click Try It.
- Enter your sample data for each parameter. You’ll need to enter a value for all required parameters, as described in the table below the example requests and responses. If you do not, you’ll receive an error response after you send the request.
The following sample code shows a pared-down request. For this example, enter your sending domain in the
<from_email>parameter, the email address you’re sending to in the
<to.email>parameter, and your API key in the
- Click Send Request. You’ll see a response that corresponds to the sample request you constructed.
Now that you’ve set up your Transactional Email account and gotten a feel for using the API to send a message, here are some additional steps to take to use Transactional Email to its fullest extent.
Review the API reference documentation
The Transactional API reference documentation includes information you’ll need, including endpoints, requests and response formats, using webhooks, and more.
Review official API clients
Transactional Email supports several different API clients. To learn more, check out Mailchimp Transactional Email Integrations.
Retrieve your SMTP credentials
Create a template
Templates help you create and store an email design and frequently used content so that your API call only has to specify the content that is different or dynamic. We strongly recommend using templates with Transactional Email.
There are several ways to create templates for transactional emails.
- Use Mailchimp's drag-and-drop editor - After you design and save a template in Mailchimp's drag-and-drop builder, you can add it to your Transactional Email account. To learn more, read Create an Email Template and How do I add a Mailchimp template to my Mandrill account?
- Use the code editor - Add templates via the Templates page in your Mandrill account to use the Mandrill code editor to custom code your template or paste your template code.
- Add a template with the API - Create a custom template and send it to Mailchimp Transactional via the API.
For more information on how to use templates with Transactional Email, check out Getting Started With Templates.