Skip to main content
Esta página ainda não está disponível em português.

How Talk London Uses Mailchimp’s API and Automations to Get Londoners More Engaged in Policy Making

By using a custom integration and automated journeys, the Greater London Authority’s civic engagement platform made it easier for Londoners to share what they hope to see in their city.

A stylish woman in a fur coat and green shirt confidently crossing a London street
GLA Talk London logo


  • Industry: Public Administration
  • Location: London, England, UK
  • Company size: >1,000

Published: December 11, 2023

Talk London, the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) online civic engagement platform, serves a noble purpose. Launched in 2012, it provides a digital space for Londoners to let City Hall representatives know what they think about issues that matter to them, so that lawmakers can craft better, more informed programs and policies.

“We were keen to involve Londoners in these important conversations and encourage them to tell us not just what's best for them, but also what works best for their neighborhood and for all Londoners,” says Kate Lindemans, Senior Online Community Engagement Officer for GLA.

But in order to find out what Londoners hope to see in their city, Talk London needed a streamlined way to encourage participants to fill out surveys and join in online conversations about what they want from their local government.

The challenge: Involve Londoners in planning the future of their city

Previously, this was a complicated process. Their former email service provider didn’t integrate with their survey software and content management system, so they had to manually email their audience about not just starting surveys, but finishing them. 

“It was a very manual affair,” says Kate. “We were going into our survey software, which is third-party software, digging up the link, creating a spreadsheet, and uploading it in the previous email system that we had.” The Talk London team knew there had to be a better way—they needed a platform to seamlessly integrate with theirs and automate some of the work they were doing. That way, they’d be able to notify their audience about new surveys, encourage users to complete them, and assess their results—at scale.

The Talk London team went in search of a tool that could streamline and optimize the way they engage Londoners, as well as support for learning to use that tool. With the help of Mailchimp Pro Partner Nuuk Digital, they made a powerful transition to a platform that suited their needs. Talk London moved to Mailchimp. “When we were presented with all the options that Mailchimp could do, it was like living in the future compared to what we had before,” says Kate.

“When we were presented with all the options that Mailchimp could do, it was like living in the future compared to what we had before."

The tools: Mailchimp’s Marketing API and Customer Journey Builder

To start, Talk London worked with Nuuk Digital to move their audience onto a Mailchimp account. Then they linked that account with their site (built on Drupal) through a custom integration available using Mailchimp’s Marketing API

With an integrated system, they began planning a campaign that could put the power of their new tools to use. In June 2023, they launched a 2-month campaign to gather survey data on how their audience envisions the future of London—covering everything from where and how new housing is built in the city; to job creation; to the look, feel, and use of public space. 

Mailchimp’s Customer Journey Builder* made it possible not just to email their audience to begin the survey, but to automatically follow up with anyone who didn’t finish. The Talk London team created an automated customer journey where anyone who doesn’t complete a survey receives a second email that reminds them to return and finish the survey within 48 hours of beginning it.

Their customer journey also led survey participants to a follow-up discussion, based on their survey input, in which they could provide more open-ended feedback about the topics that mean the most to them.

“The difference between a survey and a discussion is obviously that in a discussion you have the free text and there's a lot more room for personal opinion there,” says Kate. “Really important views have been shared in the comments. Therefore, it was really important that as many people who started the survey also finished the survey, because that's where they would get automatically directed to these discussions.” 

The results: 91% of those who started the survey finished it

Using Mailchimp’s API and Customer Journey Builder, the click rate on their emails jumped from an annual average of 3.3% in the past year to 16% for this campaign. It also yielded a boost when it came to compelling those who started surveys to finish them: In the same campaign, 61% of those who received the follow-up automation completed the survey. Overall, 91% of people who received the survey finished it, and 26% of those who finished the survey after the follow-up automation also commented.

“We definitely feel that automation has helped us,” says Kate. “And it's very promising even though it's our first dip in automation. We see how we can use it for next campaigns.”

Two women with arms linked walking toward a small crowd gathered at London Bridge

Another major perk of Talk London’s integration with Mailchimp is that their data is now consolidated in an actionable way. This will allow them to interact thoughtfully with people based on how they did—or didn’t—engage with a campaign.

“It's also really handy because with Mailchimp we get behavioral data,” says Selina Holliday, Head of Digital Engagement for GLA. “We can see within Mailchimp which members have taken the most onsite actions, for example. Having that linked is really, really, really, really helpful and just saves Kate so much time.”

Mailchimp also makes it easy for the Talk London team to target demographics that would otherwise be underrepresented in their surveys, making for a more diverse, meaningful data set to inform policymakers.

“In Mailchimp, it is indeed very, very easy to then create a specific segment with all the demographics that we want to target,” says Kate. “And then we use all our learnings from our testing plan to make sure that we optimize the email and, as much as possible, increase the open rate, the click through rate, and then ultimately get them to have their say on Talk London.”

This new strategy holds a lot of promise not just for the Talk London team, but for the city as a whole. 

“For us, the thing that's really game changing is the API and being able to integrate that and just the efficiencies it brings. Not having to sort of double-check everything, and then just actually being really confident that we're targeting the right people,” Selina says. “This all helps with our engagement campaigns, which in turn helps policy makers.”

Drive repeat business, retain loyal customers, welcome new ones, and more with automated journeys.

Share This Article