Use PayPal with MailChimp

To add new customers and their purchase data to your MailChimp list, set up our PayPal integration. Then, segment your PayPal subscribers to send custom e-commerce campaigns or automations. Or create Buy Now, Add to Cart, or Donate buttons for your campaigns without setting up the integration.

In this article, you'll learn how to connect and use the PayPal integration, and how to add PayPal buttons in your MailChimp campaigns.

Before You Start

Here are some things to know before you begin this process.

  • If you use a shopping cart application that processes transactions through PayPal, as opposed to using PayPal directly, the PayPal integration may not work for you.
  • You need a PayPal Business or Premier account to use the integration.
  • Your PayPal account type determines what you see in your account. Screenshots in this article may vary.
  • Pay special attention to your list field settings and merge tag labels when you connect PayPal to MailChimp. MailChimp can't recognize PayPal data unless your merge tags are formatted correctly.
  • The PayPal integration only connects to one MailChimp list. To connect to more than one list, try Zapier instead.

How it Works

MailChimp can work with PayPal in two ways—with or without the PayPal integration. You can add Buy Now or Add to Cart buttons in your campaigns at any time with the Button content block in the Campaign Builder.

But to make the most of PayPal, you should connect the PayPal integration. This syncs new PayPal customers to your MailChimp list, and adds their e-commerce activity to their subscriber profiles. You'll be able to use this data to build segments and send tailored campaigns or automations based on purchases.

Here's what PayPal transaction data we sync to MailChimp, and where each type of data appears in your account.

PayPal Customer Data Data Location in MailChimp
Customer email email address list field
Order number
Product Cost
Order Total
subscriber profiles
First Name
Last Name
Street Address
optional list fields

Connect PayPal

To connect this integration, you'll need a Business or Premier PayPal account, and you'll work in both your MailChimp and PayPal accounts. In this two-step process, you'll connect PayPal to your MailChimp list, and copy and paste an important piece of information from MailChimp into PayPal.

Connect to Your MailChimp List

To connect PayPal to your MailChimp list, follow these steps.

  1. Log in to your MailChimp account.
  2. Click your profile name and choose Account.
  3. Click Integrations.
    Integrations option.
  4. Click PayPal.
    Paypal integration
  5. From the list drop-down menu, choose the list that will store your new PayPal customers.
  6. Review the information that will be transmitted to your list.
  7. Highlight and copy the Notification URL.
    Copy URL from notification field

Next, you'll paste this URL into your PayPal account.

Paste Notification URL to PayPal

To paste MailChimp's Notification URL into PayPal, follow these steps.

  1. Log in to your PayPal Business or Premier account.
  2. Click the Profile icon in the upper-right corner and select Profile and settings.
  3. From the My Profile page, click My selling tools.
  4. Under the Getting paid and managing my risk heading, click Update next to Instant Payment Notifications.
    Click Update next to IPN
  5. Click Choose IPN Settings. If you already have an IPN set up for the account, click Edit settings.
  6. Paste the Notification URL in the Notification URL field, and click Receive IPN messages (Enabled).
  7. Click Save.

Your PayPal account is now linked to MailChimp.

Now, each time customers make a purchase through PayPal, their email address and purchase data will be passed over to MailChimp. The connection status in your account will display as Not Connected until someone makes a PayPal purchase.

To test the integration, make a purchase in PayPal or wait for someone to complete a transaction.

Add Extra Information to MailChimp

Extra customer information can be helpful when you customize and segment your campaigns. To add customer first name, last name, and street address to your MailChimp list, you'll need to format MailChimp's list fields and merge tags to pull in data from PayPal.

Your MailChimp fields must be text fields, instead of address or zip code fields. The zip code field type in MailChimp will work if all of your purchasers are in the United States, but the text field is flexible for international customers.

Each piece of PayPal customer information corresponds to a merge tag in your list. Here's the data that PayPal collects and the corresponding MailChimp merge tags you need to use.

PayPal Customer Data Corresponding MailChimp merge tag
First Name *|FNAME|*
Last Name *|LNAME|*
Street Address (1st line) *|STREET|*
City *|CITY|*
State *|STATE|*
Zip *|ZIP|*
Country *|COUNTRY|*

Match Fields

To add a new list field that accepts PayPal data, follow these steps.

  1. Log in to your MailChimp account.
  2. Navigate to the Lists page.
  3. Click the drop-down menu next to the list you want to work with, and choose Settings.
  4. Click List fields and *|MERGE|* tags.
  5. Click Add A Field , and choose the text field type.
  6. Input a Field label , and name your merge tag according to the table. In this example, we'll label the field as Street Address, and the corresponding merge tag as STREET.
    Create STREET merge tag
  7. Click Save Changes.

After you update your merge tags, we'll add extra customer information to your list when someone makes a purchase.

To review the data that we'll transmit from PayPal when someone makes a purchase, navigate to the Integrations page in your MailChimp account and click PayPal.

Next Steps

After you connect, you can do a lot with the the data you collect, like build segments and send custom e-commerce automations or campaigns.

Find out everything MailChimp has to offer in our article, How to Use MailChimp for E-Commerce.

Disconnect the PayPal Integration

If you need to disconnect the integration at any time, turn off MailChimp's Instant Payment Notification (IPN) in PayPal.

To disconnect the integration, follow these steps.

  1. Log in to your PayPal Business or Premier account.
  2. Click the Profile icon in the upper-right corner, and choose Profile and settings.
  3. Click My selling tools.
  4. Click Update next to Instant Payment Notifications.
  5. On the IPN page, click Turn Off IPN.
  6. In the pop-up modal, click Confirm.

After the IPN is turned off, the PayPal integration is disconnected from MailChimp. The PayPal logo will remain highlighted on the Integrations page in your MailChimp account, but it is disconnected.

Add a PayPal Buy Now or Add to Cart Button

Most email clients can't support transactional buttons like Add to Cart, Buy Now, or Donate because they use Javascript, but you can create a custom button in the Campaign Builder and hyperlink it to your PayPal product page. Remember, you don't need to set up the PayPal integration to create a campaign button.

Here are two ways to create a PayPal button for your MailChimp campaign.

Use Button Content Blocks

Add a Button content block to your layout, and link it to your PayPal page where a subscriber can complete their purchase.
Use Button Content Blocks

Create a Custom Button

Take a screenshot of a PayPal Buy Now button, insert the image in your campaign, and link it to your product's PayPal page.
Upload, Add, and Edit Images in Campaigns
Add a Link to an Image


If you have issues during the setup process, or if new PayPal customers aren't added to your MailChimp list, learn how to troubleshoot.

Troubleshooting the PayPal Integration

Was this article helpful?
Anything else we can do to improve our site?

Technical Support