Mailchimp API Key

Many applications support the use of API Keys. API Keys let different applications securly communicate and exchange data with one another. They’re like a password that one application must supply in order to access or change the data located in a second application.

MailChimp is a highly integrated service. That’s fancy talk for saying that a lot of online applications let you pass data back-and-forth with MailChimp.

So, if you use a form on your site to collect email signups, the actual information (name, email address, etc) is collected by the form that lives on your site, but is then sent someplace like MailChimp, where it can be stored and used.

In order to enable features like this, you’ll need to generate a MailChimp API key which you’ll then plug-in to your third party application to let it talk to MailChimp.

Getting your API Key is an easy process, but takes a few steps:

Step 1 – Log in to Mailchimp

Sweet picture, MailChimp

Step 2 – Click your name in the upper-right-hand corner to reveal the drop-down maintenence menu for your account. Select “Profile.”

Step 3 – From the Profile page, click “Extras,” then “API Keys”

Step 4 – The API Key page will show any existing API Keys you’ve previously created. You can either use one of the existing keys by copying/pasting it to the application where it’s needed, or you can create a new API Key and then copy/paste it to the third party application.

API Key Best Practices

Because your API Key allows an application to access and modify the data within your Mailchimp account, you should treat it like a password. That means keeping it secret and taking reasonable steps to keep different applications separate from one another.

MailChimp has some recommended tips to keep your API Key secure

  • Generate a new/different API Key for each application and don’t share keys between applications.
  • Don’t share your keys with the public, either intentionally or unintentionally (via screenshots like the ones above)
  • Do a good job labeling your API Keys so you can keep track of which key goes with which application
  • Disable or remove API Keys that are no longer being used
  • Remember that how much access an API Key allows to your MailChimp account depends on the user level of the person creating the key. If the key is created by a MailChimp “super user” or “administrator” then the key is very powerful. Limit the creation and use of these super-keys

Following these simple rules will help you keep your API system safe, secure, and well organized.

Read More: Mailchimp API Key Support
Video: Getting Started with MailChimp & Building Your First Campaign
Video: Integrating MailChimp with WordPress

This article is part of our Smarter in 60 Seconds series. Articles from the Smarter in 60 Seconds series are designed to quickly give you an overview of a topic. They link to more in depth discussion and resources so you can explore further.


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