πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ« GraphQL query to automatically send the newsletter subscribers from InstaWP to Mailchimp

Leonardo Losoviz
By Leonardo Losoviz Β·

(Read blog post πŸš€ Automatically sending the newsletter subscribers from InstaWP to Mailchimp to see the context for this query.)

This GraphQL query captures the email from the visitors who ticked the "Subscribe to mailing list" checkbox from InstaWP (when creating a new sandbox site), and subscribes this email to a Mailchimp list:

query HasSubscribedToNewsletter {
  hasSubscriberOptin: _httpRequestHasParam(name: "marketing_optin")
  subscriberOptin: _httpRequestStringParam(name: "marketing_optin")
  isNotSubscriberOptinNAValue: _notEquals(value1: $__subscriberOptin, value2: "NA")
  subscribedToNewsletter: _and(values: [$__hasSubscriberOptin, $__isNotSubscriberOptinNAValue])
    @export(as: "subscribedToNewsletter")
}
 
query MaybeCreateContactOnMailchimp
   @depends(on: "HasSubscribedToNewsletter")
   @include(if: $subscribedToNewsletter)
{
  subscriberEmail: _httpRequestStringParam(name: "email")
  
  mailchimpUsername: _env(name: "MAILCHIMP_API_CREDENTIALS_USERNAME")
    @remove
  mailchimpPassword: _env(name: "MAILCHIMP_API_CREDENTIALS_PASSWORD")
    @remove
  
  mailchimpListMembersJSONObject: _sendJSONObjectItemHTTPRequest(input: {
    url: "https://us7.api.mailchimp.com/3.0/lists/{listCode}/members",
    method: POST,
    options: {
      auth: {
        username: $__mailchimpUsername,
        password: $__mailchimpPassword
      },
      json: {
        email_address: $__subscriberEmail,
        status: "subscribed"
      }
    }
  })
}

Let's see how this GraphQL query does its magic.

Splitting the GraphQL query into independent units

A GraphQL document can contain multiple operations (queries and mutations), but only one of them will be executed. We indicate which one via the ?operationName=... parameter on the GraphQL endpoint; otherwise, the last operation will be executed.

Notice that there are 2 query operations in the document above:

  1. HasSubscribedToNewsletter
  2. MaybeCreateContactOnMailchimp

The webhook URL contains ?operationName=MaybeCreateContactOnMailchimp, so that's the operation that will be executed.

Thanks to the Multiple Query Execution extension, MaybeCreateContactOnMailchimp will first execute HasSubscribedToNewsletter, as indicated via the @depends directive:

query MaybeCreateContactOnMailchimp
   @depends(on: "HasSubscribedToNewsletter")
   # ...
{
  #
}

In addition, the MaybeCreateContactOnMailchimp will be conditionally executed, only if the value of variable $subscribedToNewsletter is true:

query MaybeCreateContactOnMailchimp
   @depends(on: "HasSubscribedToNewsletter")
   @include(if: $subscribedToNewsletter)
{
  #
}

$subscribedToNewsletter is a dynamic variable, exported within the HasSubscribedToNewsletter operation:

query HasSubscribedToNewsletter {
  # ...
  subscribedToNewsletter: _and(values: [$__hasSubscriberOptin, $__isNotSubscriberOptinNAValue])
    @export(as: "subscribedToNewsletter")
}

Hence, operation MaybeCreateContactOnMailchimp will only be executed when the user has ticked on the "Subscribe to mailing list" checkbox.

Computing if the user ticked the checkbox

InstaWP's documentation for the webhook indicates that the payload data contains the following fields (among others):

  • marketing_optin: Indicates if the user ticked the checkbox
  • email: Visitor's email

The doc only explains that field marketing_optin has value NA when the checkbox is not ticked, so we will have to work with that.

To find out if the user ticked the checkbox, the logic is:

  • Check if field marketing_optin is present, and
  • Check that its value is not NA

This is computed in the HasSubscribedToNewsletter operation. Here it is with comments, explaining what each line in the query is doing:

query HasSubscribedToNewsletter {
 
  # Check if field `marketing_optin` is present
  hasSubscriberOptin: _httpRequestHasParam(name: "marketing_optin")
 
  # Get the value of field `marketing_optin`
  subscriberOptin: _httpRequestStringParam(name: "marketing_optin")
 
  # Check if the value of the field is not "NA"
  isNotSubscriberOptinNAValue: _notEquals(value1: $__subscriberOptin, value2: "NA")
 
  # Perform an AND operation: field present && value != "NA"
  subscribedToNewsletter: _and(values: [$__hasSubscriberOptin, $__isNotSubscriberOptinNAValue])
    
    # Export the result under dynamic variable $subscribedToNewsletter
    @export(as: "subscribedToNewsletter")
}

There are several interesting things in this query.

Global Fields

Have you noticed the fields starting with _? Namely:

  • _httpRequestHasParam
  • _httpRequestStringParam
  • _notEquals
  • _and

These are global fields, which are fields that are available under all types in the GraphQL schema. Global fields offer functionality instead of data, and by convention they start with _.

Field to Input

Have you noticed those variables starting with $__? Namely:

  • $__subscriberOptin
  • $__hasSubscriberOptin
  • $__isNotSubscriberOptinNAValue

These are dynamic variables that contain the value of a field defined before them within the same operation. For instance, variable $__subscriberOptin contains the value of field subscriberOptin declared above it.

This is a feature provided by the Field to Input extension, which allows to use the output of a field as input into another field. This is how we can create functionality within the GraphQL query.

In the query, field isNotSubscriberOptinNAValue checks that the value of the previously queried field subscriberOptin does not equal "NA", and subscribedToNewsletter computes an AND operation involving the values of fields hasSubscriberOptin and isNotSubscriberOptinNAValue.

Connecting to Mailchimp

Operation MaybeCreateContactOnMailchimp contains the logic to extract the payload data, and call the Mailchimp API to sign up the email to the newsletter list.

Here is the operation with comments, explaining what each line is doing:

query MaybeCreateContactOnMailchimp
   @depends(on: "HasSubscribedToNewsletter")
   @include(if: $subscribedToNewsletter)
{
  # Extract form field `email` from the body of the request
  subscriberEmail: _httpRequestStringParam(name: "email")
  
  # Obtain Mailchimp credentials, defined in wp-config.php
  mailchimpUsername: _env(name: "MAILCHIMP_API_CREDENTIALS_USERNAME")
    # Do not print the credentials in the response
    @remove
  mailchimpPassword: _env(name: "MAILCHIMP_API_CREDENTIALS_PASSWORD")
    @remove
  
  # Connect to Mailchimp to add a new member to the list
  mailchimpListMembersJSONObject: _sendJSONObjectItemHTTPRequest(input: {
    url: "https://us7.api.mailchimp.com/3.0/lists/{listCode}/members",
    method: POST,
    options: {
      # Provide credentials to connect to the API
      auth: {
        username: $__mailchimpUsername,
        password: $__mailchimpPassword
      },
      # Provide form data
      json: {
        email_address: $__subscriberEmail,
        status: "subscribed"
      }
    }
  })
}

Let's explore the features used in this query.

Environment Variables

We need to provide our credentials when connecting to the Mailchimp API. However, we do not want to directly input these in the GraphQL query, as they may leak somewhere (eg: they could be printed in some log).

That's why we use global field _env (provided by the PHP Constants and Environment via Schema extension) to read an environment variable or PHP constant, together with the @remove directive (provided by the Field Response Removal extension) to skip printing the credentials in the response.

Now, we can declare our credentials in wp-config.php:

define( 'MAILCHIMP_API_CREDENTIALS_USERNAME', '{ username }' );
define( 'MAILCHIMP_API_CREDENTIALS_PASSWORD', '{ password }' );

Sending the HTTP request to Mailchimp

The last piece of the logic is field _sendJSONObjectItemHTTPRequest, which sends an HTTP request to some service.

As we want to connect to the Mailchimp API, field mailchimpListMembersJSONObject provides the data required by Mailchimp's REST API endpoint, as indicated in the docs to subscribe a member to a Mailchimp list:

  • Send a POST request
  • The endpoint is https://{subdomain}.api.mailchimp.com/3.0/lists/{listCode}/members
  • The body must include fields email_address and status

Creating a webhook to interact with any API

The GraphQL query in this post forwards data from InstaWP to Mailchimp.

You can apply the same idea for whatever combination you need, extracting the data from some source service (whichever that is), adapting it, and sending it over to some destination service (whichever that is).

Have fun!


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