How to automate creating backups of your Subscribers list using Integromat
The question we should be asking to ourselves, every now and then is, ‘Do we really have control over our data?’
As a Data Scientist, I can say that no one has 100% control over their data. We have recently seen many cases where big corporations have much control over our data and its accessibility from events like AWS widespread outage and very recently, Google’s global outage. Particularly, Google’s outage has affected Newsletter Creators because a large chunk of their subscribers have a Gmail account. This led to false hard-bounces and ESPs usually auto-unsubscribe those addresses.
The worst thing that could happen to a Newsletter Creator is to lose their subscribers list. I have recently purchased NewsletterOS in which Janel, maker of NewsletterOS, emphasizes on having a back up of your subscribers list in a .csv format. There are two ways to do this backup according to her suggestions. One is to manually download the subscribers list every month and store it somewhere safe. Another way is to automate downloading subscribers list from your Email Service Provider (ESP) so that you don’t have to remind yourself to download the list or forget downloading it.
To automate this, we don’t have to know anything about APIs or how to code. We will be using a NoCode tool called Integromat to automate scheduling and downloading your subscribers list every month and store the list in Google sheets.
Right now, Integromat supports integrations with some popular ESPs like MailerLite*, emailOctopus, MailChimp, etc. You can check the full list here. For simplicity purposes, I’ll be using MailerLite (my ESP) to take you through the process of creating a scenario where you connect one app with another to automate things. The same kind of process can be extrapolated to other ESPs. In case you find yourself stuck somewhere, you can always comment under this post with your query or ping me on Twitter. I’ll try to respond as soon as I can.
We will be doing this in 5 easy steps:
- Creating a Google Sheet
- Selecting the created Google Sheet and adding relevant column names to populate with our Subscribers List
- Select the Group of subscribers on your ESP
- Sending this list of subscribers with information like email address, date of their subscription, and their status
Step 1: Creating a Google Sheet
- Login to Integromat.
- On the left-hand side, find an option called ‘Scenarios’. Click on it.
- Now, let’s create your first scenario by clicking on ‘Create a new scenario’ on top right corner.
- The above step redirects you to a page where you have to choose 2 apps you’d want to work with. In our case, we would like to connect MailerLite with Google Sheets to schedule and download our subscribers list from Mailerlite and store it as a google sheet in our drive. So, our 2 apps are, MailerLite and Google Sheets. Using the search bar, find them and select them, like below.
- Once you selected them, click on ‘continue’ on the top right corner. You’ll be redirected to the below page.
- Click on ‘Google Sheets’ as we would first want to create a sheet to store our data, every month. A drop down menu will be displayed with various options. Click on ‘Create a Spreadsheet’.
- A new box will pop up asking you to connect with your Google Account. Click on ‘Add’ and ‘Continue’ to connect with your google credentials. Select the account in which you want to store your Google Sheets.
- Once you’ve done the above step, now it’s time to fill in other details.
- Fill the ‘Title’ for your new spreadsheet. I suggest you to use a name for your spreadsheet without any spaces. For example, ‘The_Curious_Bunch’ instead of ‘The Curious Bunch’. Further, you can add a variable called ‘timestamp’ or ‘now’ to make it more relevant and searchable. A ‘timestamp’ is given to your spreadsheet whenever it is created, it is in unix format. A ‘now’ stamp has current date and time, whenever a new spreadsheet is created. If you’re a nerd, you can read more about how to use these variables here. Click on ‘OK’ once you’re done with filling in these details.
Step 2: Selecting the created Google Sheet and adding relevant column names to populate with our Subscribers List
- Now, let’s add another module. We have created our spreadsheet and to make it easy on our eyes and friendly to whoever is accessing this sheet, we want to define columns. Say you want to fill in the email addresses, dates of their subscriptions, and dates of their unsubscriptions, we have to make sure we don’t get confused with the dates. So, we add column names. This will be our 2nd step.
- Click on ‘Add another module’. Select ‘Google Sheets’ again.
- Click on ‘Update a row’.
- In the new pop up box, under the ‘Mode’, select ‘Map spreadsheet and sheet manually’.
- Select ‘Spreadsheet ID’ to get the ID of our newly created spreadsheet.
- Fill the Sheet name as ‘Sheet1’ and Row number as ‘1’.
- Once that’s done, scroll down and you’ll see ‘Column Range’. Select ‘A-Z’ as your range.
- In the ‘Values’ section, fill in the column names you want to populate in your spreadsheet. I’m using 3 columns now. They are: Email, Status_Type, Date_Subscribed. You can add more column names and map the relevant details to these columns in the future. Click on ‘OK’ to finish this step.
Step 3: Select the Group of subscribers on your ESP
- Let’s ‘add another module’ to connect with our MailerLite account.
- Once you click on ‘MailerLite’, you’ll be prompted to choose from the below options. Scroll down and select ‘List Group Subscribers’ under ‘Group Subscriber’ section.
- Connect your MailerLite account by providing your API Key.
- To get your API Key, go to your MailerLite account and click on ‘Integrations’.
- You’ll be redirected to a page where you can see the option to access ‘Developer API’. Click on ‘use’.
- Copy your ‘API Key’.
- Paste the API Key and click on ‘Continue’.
- Integromat automatically lists all the ‘Groups’ you’ve under your account. Select the one you want to get the details from.
- Click on ‘OK’. That’s it. We’re done with 3 steps. Now, on to the penultimate step!
Step 4: Populate the spreadsheet with the details which we decided in Step 2, i.e., Email, Status_Type, Date_Subscribed
- Add another module and select ‘Google Sheets’ as we did in previous steps. Then, select ‘Add a Row’.
- Now, select the ‘Mode’ as ‘Map spreadsheet and sheet manually’ and fill all the details for Spreadsheet ID, Sheet name, and Column range like we did in Step 2.
- Scroll down and start filling the ‘Values’ for your Columns. You’ll see a list of variables you can select from. The first column should match the ‘Column name’ we defined in Step 2. In the same way, we can map other 2 columns with its respective values.
- Select ‘Email’ for our first column, ‘Type’ for second, and ‘Date_subscribe’ for the third column. Click on ‘OK’ once you’re done.
- That’s it. Our ‘Scenario’ is now ready to test.
- Let’s run this scenario once to make sure everything is working as intended without any errors. To do this, click on ‘Run once’ which is at bottom left.
- Once the scenario completes running successfully, you’ll see status of the scenario as completed and you can check the document which is now created in your ‘Google Sheets’.
- This is the Google Sheet which was created with one click of a button.
- All that’s left now is to Schedule so that this process happens once every month. You don’t have to worry about losing your subscribers’ list ever!
Step 5: Schedule
- Go back to Integromat account and you’ll see a Toggle button called ‘Schedule’. Switch that ‘ON’ and click on ‘Schedule Setting’ to set the time for your scheduling process.
- We want this to be monthly, so select ‘Days of the month’. Under ‘Days’ select ‘1’ since we want the list to be updated on the first of every month. Schedule at your preferred time, mine is 8:30 AM as you can see below. Click on ‘OK’ once you’re done.
- Make sure you click on ‘Save’ before you leave the scenario or whenever you make new changes to your scenario. Otherwise, all your progress will be lost.
We’ve successfully completed the automation without writing a single line of code! All for free! I’m not sure about you but I’m always blown away by powerful tools like Integromat that enables non-programmers to do what traditionally is done only by programmers. I hope this helped you in some way and opened doors for new automations and the power of a NoCode tool.
In case you’re working other ESPs and facing problems in setting up this kind of automation, please don’t hesitate to ping me on Twitter. I’ll be happy to help as much as I can.
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