Oct 21, 2013

MailChimp for Salesforce

We’ve got a whooooole lot of small businesses that start their email marketing programs with MailChimp. They love our easy-to-use interface, our drag-and-drop templates, and especially our free plan. As their company grows, they discover that because of our power features, we grow right along with them. (Ever notice we don’t talk all that much about "small business" on our website? That’s because we’re building for the businesses they’ll one day become.) Once they grow, they’ve got sales, marketing, and customer service departments all weighing in on how their email program helps drive revenue, and they typically rely on a CRM as their underlying database that connects all those departments.

If your business uses Salesforce as that platform, you’ll be glad to know that there are a variety of options available for integrating your Salesforce data with MailChimp.

MailChimp for Salesforce

Let’s say that you’re a Salesforce user who wants to make sure all of your MailChimp subscribers are accounted for in Salesforce. However, you might not want all of your Salesforce leads or contacts on a single list in your MailChimp account. There could be several reasons for this:  You might have different salespeople who want to manage their own leads, some of your leads or contacts have opted not to receive emails from you, or you’re looking for specific Salesforce contacts and leads* to bring over to your MailChimp lists.

MailChimp for Salesforce gives you options for this particular use case.  To install the app, grab it from the Salesforce App Exchange and run through the install wizard. We also have a knowledge base article to walk you through the install and setup process. Since this is an app built natively for Salesforce, you won’t need to make API calls against your Salesforce org and it should work on Group Editions and above.

You’ll then be asked to map the fields in your MailChimp list to Salesforce’s fields—including custom Salesforce fields!—for easy syncing between the two. MailChimp for Salesforce allows you to sync some, all, or none of your existing MailChimp lists with Salesforce, creating leads for your subscribers automatically. But what if a subscriber is on multiple MailChimp lists? MailChimp for Salesforce will handle that, automatically, making sure only a single lead is created for multiples of the same email address.



While lead management is pretty cool, arguably cooler is the way MailChimp for Salesforce handles syncing leads and contacts back to your MailChimp list. A Salesforce query builder is baked into the app.  This tool allows you to "segment" your Salesforce leads and contacts (and, depending on your version of Salesforce, Campaign Members), only bringing over those who match criteria that you lay out. Only want contacts who are in the agricultural industry or leads who have opted in via a custom Salesforce field? MailChimp for Salesforce will only bring over those leads or subscribers who match the explicit criteria that you define.



After establishing which contacts or leads you want to sync (and to which MailChimp list to sync), you can set up a recurring time to sync that information every day.  MailChimp for Salesforce will then run daily at your designated time, adding new leads or contacts to your MailChimp list as they match your criteria.

Taking it a step further, let’s assume you have custom “product” fields set up within your Salesforce org.  When leads are converted into contacts in Salesforce, you fill in the "product" field with the items your new contact is interested in buying.  Using the query builder, you could then sync those new contacts (based on “product”) to MailChimp and have an educational autoresponder series go out, letting them know about the product they purchased.

Currently, this app only syncs your subscribers to and from Salesforce. Campaigns and campaign data do not currently get recorded for your Salesforce org. However, these are features that we’re seriously considering for a future version of the plugin.


But what if you’re less interested in that level of granular management of your Salesforce leads and contacts?  What if you just want to keep the two databases in sync and do all of the management at the campaign level?  There are certainly other options that might work well, too.

If you’re an agency, one advantage to using a third-party service is that it offers you—and your client—a level of separation between the services you’re connecting.  This means the client won’t need to know the details of the setup process or muck around with any further configuration.  Instead, as contacts/leads are added to Salesforce, they can be automatically synced over to a MailChimp list (and vice versa).

Zapier and Cazoomi are two of our most popular third-party integrations that connect your MailChimp and Salesforce accounts.  Zapier allows you to create custom rules for adding new MailChimp subscribers as Salesforce leads/contacts or vice versa.  With Zapier you can decide the relationship(s) you want to set up for keeping your MailChimp lists and Salesforce accounts in sync.  Only want to pull over your new contacts from Salesforce?  Zapier will let you set up the sync to pull data only one way, should you choose.



Cazoomi will also keep your MailChimp and Salesforce lists in sync automatically.  In addition to just adding new subscribers, contacts, or leads, Cazoomi will also sync those who have opted-out or bounced in MailChimp, a distinct difference and important part of list management on both the MailChimp and Salesforce end of things.  This ensures that you have the most up-to-date information in your CRM as well a healthy MailChimp list. With Cazoomi’s integration you can also sync individual subscriber activity back to Salesforce, so you’ll have your subscriber’s MailChimp history all in one place.

Since Salesforce is considered one of the premier CRMs, these third-party solutions do charge a monthly subscription. Zapier starts off at $15 per month with a limited number of syncs between all of your servcies. Cazoomi starts at $49.99 per month, but doesn’t have an explicit limit on the number of syncs between Salesforce and MailChimp.

Our built-in integration

If you’re a small business, maybe you’re less involved with the Salesforce side of things, but your boss wants to make sure that Salesforce contacts are getting your latest MailChimp campaigns.  MailChimp’s built-in integration with Salesforce might fit your needs nicely as well.  With the integration that’s currently set up within every MailChimp account, all you’ll need is your Salesforce credentials for logging in and connecting the two services.


After connecting, you can then pick your list and import all of your Salesforce contacts to that designated list.  Our built-in integration doesn’t feature any sort of automatic syncing, but it’s great for those who might not spend a lot of time tinkering in Salesforce but still want to get the job done.  Navigate to your list, choose Import from Salesforce, and we’ll do the work on the back end of things to import your Salesforce contacts in a one-time sync.  This won’t be a recurring process, and as new contacts are added to Salesforce, the sync will need to be re-run on the MailChimp side.

Our built-in Salesforce integration only brings in contacts with the default fieldset from Salesforce; leads and custom fields cannot be imported with this integration. In order for us to grab those contacts, your Salesforce org will also need to have API access (which is available in Professional and above editions).

Not using Salesforce?

If you’re not a Salesforce user, but are still looking to connect your CRM to MailChimp, there are a variety of options available.  Our Connect Directory is a great resource for finding our newest and best integrations for the service of your choice.  We have a number of CRM integrations available, but here are a couple of the more popular options:


Cazoomi’s Zoho to MailChimp Sync App
Kloud Connector’s Zoho to MailChimp
Zapier’s Zoho to MailChimp


Cazoomi’s Sugar CRM to MailChimp Sync App


Batchblue’s Batchbook to MailChimp
CloudWork’s Batchbook Connector

There are also tons of additional options listed in our Connect Directory, so we’ll probably have the CRM you’re looking for. If we don’t, drop us a line. We’d love to get the feedback!

* MailChimp is strictly permission-based email marketing.  Sometimes, “leads” can be people who have not had direct contact with you.  To avoid a higher-than-expected complaint or unsubscribe rate and to comply with our Terms of Use (not to mention Federal Law), only add those who have agreed to receive marketing email from you.