April 19, 2012

Using MailChimp and an iPad for Mobile Surveys

Eric Griffin

Using MailChimp and an iPad for Mobile Surveys

We love MailChimp for its easy to use newsletter features – and when we found a way to use it for our upcoming trade show (CTIA 2012) to capture survey and lead data, MailChimp proved once again how powerful it can be.

The challenge: We needed a way to take down some information (like name, email, phone number, business type, etc) at a trade show using a custom form. We can’t rely on internet access (always spotty, at best), and we need multiple iPads to capture info and store the results in a centralized place. Also, we don’t want to spend any money (thank you economy).

Possible solutions: iForm (iPad app, $49.99/mo), Mobile Forms (iPad app, $10/device/mo), Chimpadeedoo (iPad app, free)

Best solution: Chimpadeedoo (plus a MailChimp account, also free).  In a nutshell, you can:

1. Create a custom form (with custom background images, entry fields, etc)
2. Capture data offline, and it automagically posts to MailChimp.com next time you have internet
3. Capture data on multiple iPads and store the results in 1 place (or a separate place for each iPad, if you want)
4. Export your data as a CSV file

Here’s how to do it:

First, signup for MailChimp if you don’t have an account.  It’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers. Once you have an account, you can set up a “List” to store your data. After creating your list (or lists, if you want a separate one for each iPad), click on the “Forms” link. Here you can add entry fields for your surveyors. Note: For some reason, the “Check Boxes” type will not show up on the iPad. Use Radio Buttons or Drop Downs as a work around, or just use an open Text field. After it’s all set up, save your list.

Second, download Chimpadeedoo on your iPad (you can find it in the App Store). Launch it on your iPad and log in to your MailChimp account.  It will walk you through the steps of loading your list, setting entry fields, and designing your new survey. That’s all there is to it!

You can even lock the toolbar, so that your surveyors can’t accidentally log out or change any of the settings – only enter and submit information. Couple that with a BubCap and you’ve locked your iPad down to only take survey data without any monthly costs.

Found another use for your MailChimp account? Let us know in the comments!

Join in on #MobileOutfitters

Follow @mobileoutfitters on Instagram to see what we are up to and tag your own #mobileoutfitters adventures.