Send an Email to a List

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You can send a plain email to people on a list, or you can use Mailchimp's campaign building tools to send a styled email.

Check out this clip from Planning Center University.


Emails sent through Mailchimp are not tracked in the Communication tab.

Send a Plain Email

If you want to send an email with minimal formatting, you can send a plain email. There are still basic formatting tools available when you send a plain email.


Managers and those who have Can email lists permissions can send an email to people in a list.

From a list, click the message dropdown, and then choose Send email.


Use the formatting tools to enter your message, including names and your signature, and then click Send Email to send it to those in your list.


The email will be sent to only primary email addresses and will come from your primary email address. Replies will be sent to your primary email address as well. If you want to use a different email address, use the dropdown to choose another one from your profile. There is no email delegation support.

Once the email is sent, you can find it on a person's Communication tab.


If you want to send this email through Mailchimp, you can toggle the Send through Mailchimp option. You have to be connected to Mailchimp, and your email address has to be a verified domain, or the email will not be allowed to send. When you send through Mailchimp, you can see the open rates on their database, and the email will not be listed in a person's Communication tab.

Lists with more than 500 people must be sent through Mailchimp.

Send a Styled Email

You can send a styled email to a list of People in Mailchimp. The first step can be done within Planning Center, but the last two steps have to be done in Mailchimp.


When you refresh the list, anyone who was previously on the list but is no longer on it will be removed from the tag in Mailchimp.

1. Sync People List to Mailchimp

If your account is connected to your Mailchimp account, you've selected an audience in Mailchimp. In order to email people, you now need to sync a list in People to Mailchimp by clicking Sync Now from the Settings tab, which will create a tag within that audience. Only primary emails will be synced to Mailchimp. You can only connect one audience with Planning Center, but you can sync many tags. Syncing may take a couple minutes, depending on the size of your list.

If you don't sync the list, Mailchimp will use the name last associated to the email address.


You might see differences between your List count and Mailchimp Audience count due to the following reasons:

  • Delay in syncing due to server load

  • Duplicates: Mailchimp only emails unique email addresses, but the list might have people with the same email addresses

  • Unsubscribes: if someone unsubscribes from a Mailchimp email, they are unsubscribed from all future emails

  • Missing email address

  • The wrong name: Mailchimp uses Merge Tags to populate names on emails.


The "from" email address needs to be a verified domain name in your Mailchimp account.If you see a message saying that your Mailchimp account doesn't have any verified domain names, follow the Mailchimp instructions to verify the domain.

2. Open the People List in Mailchimp

Once the sync process has been completed, the sync button will say View in Mailchimp. Click that to email the people in the list in Mailchimp.


If you want the list to re-sync the list to Mailchimp automatically, toggle the Re-sync every night switch.


To find the list in Mailchimp, look for the tag with the same name of the list.

3. Format Email in Mailchimp

Follow Mailchimp's guide to create a styled email campaign you can send to the people on your list.

Once you create a message, you can find it in the Campaigns list.

Mailchimp Errors

If you get an error when syncing your list, choose it from those listed below and follow the solution.

Temporary Error

Issue: Many email addresses have unsubscribed or been permanently deleted.

Solution: Check the email addresses in Mailchimp to see what actions need to be taken.

Merge Fields

Issue: You have required Merge Tags that are not allowed.

Solution: Only Email Address, First Name, Last Name can be required. Uncheck any required tags.

Invalid Address

Issue: One of the email addresses in the list is invalid.

Solution: Using the error given, check the email address and change it.

Campaign Not Ready

Issue: The Mailchimp account is suspended.

Solution: Log into Mailchimp and fix any issues listed.


Although people who use the free version of Mailchimp don't have access to Mailchimp support, there are helpful guides and tutorials on Mailchimp's Help page.

What Happens When Someone Unsubscribes?

People Email

When someone unsubscribes from an email sent to a list, a red icon will appear next to their email address.


They will not receive any other emails from lists. If they change their mind and want to resubscribe, they can use the same unsubscribe link in the original email, or an Administrator can resubscribe them on their profile page.

Mailchimp Campaign

When someone unsubscribes from an email campaign sent through Mailchimp, they are then removed from the audience in Mailchimp, but they are not removed from the list in People.

However, they will no longer receive emails from that campaign.

If you re-sync the list in Mailchimp, a new tag will be created, and the unsubscribed person will be on that tag but will not be sent an email.

Here are the different statuses Mailchimp recognizes:

  • Unsubscribed - Admin: If a Mailchimp Admin unsubscribes someone, they will be re-subscribed the next time a sync is initiated.

  • Unsubscribed - Person: If a person clicks on the unsubscribe link in an email sent through Mailchimp, they will NOT be re-subscribed by a sync. They must be added back using the “Resend Confirmation” feature in Mailchimp.

  • Removed - Archived: If a Mailchimp Admin archives someone, they will be re-added and re-subscribed the next time a sync is initiated.

  • Removed - Permanently Deleted: If a Mailchimp Admin permanently deletes someone, they will not be re-subscribed by a sync. They must be added back using a Mailchimp Form.

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