• Sal Farshori

How to...Integrate MailChimp with Salesforce

MailChimp is the go-to outbound email marketing tool for many small/medium businesses, primarily because most businesses can manage to keep within the freemium threshold. Although we wouldn’t necessarily recommend MailChimp for outbound marketing for our Salesforce customers, we recognize that many organizations use it and would like to have it work better with Salesforce.


After many implementations where this integration was required, we have learned many lessons that would not be obvious to an average end user (they weren’t obvious to us either!).


If you’re one of the lucky ones that has Salesforce CRM implemented in your organization AND is leveraging MailChimp for outbound email marketing, you probably want to find an easier to way to have the two work together. Luckily, MailChimp has built an integration app for Salesforce that can be downloaded from the Salesforce AppExchange. This is pretty much where your luck ends, though, and careful planning and orchestration is required to get the two to play nicely...


Although the integration “works” in the objective definition of that term, it requires a foundational understanding of how to make it work so that you’re not pulling your hair out or on the phone with MailChimp for numerous hours asking why your unsubscribers are once again subscribers.


Some have likened MailChimp to crack, not necessarily because it gives you a high, but rather once you get on it it’s very hard to get off because you have important data in there. Furthermore, if you have multiple Audiences (formerly known as Lists), MailChimp has successfully converted you to a paying customer. Many people don’t know that they don’t need multiple audiences; you just need a good segmentation strategy from one master audience.


What the MailChimp Integration App Does


  1. It will allows Salesforce to be the 'single source of the truth' without creating data silos in both tools;

  2. It will automatically syncs new Leads, Contacts, and/or Campaign Members from Salesforce to your MailChimp Audience;

  3. It will sync updates made to Subscriber information in MailChimp back to the Salesforce Contact record; and

  4. It will create new Leads in Salesforce from a MailChimp sign up page.


What the MailChimp Integration App Does Not Do


  1. It will NOT synchronize an Email Opt-Out from a MailChimp unsubscribe back into the Salesforce Contact record;

  2. It will NOT synchronize new MailChimp subscribers as Contacts in Salesforce; it will look for existing contacts by email address and tag them as a Subscriber, but it can only create new Salesforce records as Leads; and

  3. It will not allow for more than one MailChimp account to be connected to your Salesforce org.


What You Should Do


  1. Create ONE audience in Mailchimp and leverage the segmentation tools to market to target audiences; when building new MailChimp Campaigns you can target to separate segments;

  2. Map custom fields from Salesforce Leads/Contacts to MailChimp so that you have access to the data you need to effectively segment, e.g. purchase (or donation) history;

  3. Build a Process Builder automation to align unsubscribes in MailChimp to the 'Email Opt Out' on the Salesforce Contact record;

  4. Add MailChimp Lightning Components to the Salesforce Contact and Lead pages; and

  5. Leverage Member Queries to selectively sync between Salesforce and MailChimp - changes are, you won't need or want your entire Contact database taking up valuable record space in Mailchimp.


Leveraging this strategy will allow you to be in a position to swap in a different marketing tool if/when you decide to try something else. For those looking for other technologies that play nicely with Salesforce, check out Campaign Monitor (light-weight outbound marketing tool) or Pardot (comprehensive marketing automation platform).


Drop us a note if you’d like some help getting these technologies connected!


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