Mailchimp CRM: What, How, Why

Apr 28, 2019

Last updated: April 20, 2021

Back in May 2019, the email marketing gorilla announced a few changes, including the rollout of a Mailchimp CRM. There were other big changes too. The Mailchimp pricing structure and the way they handled limits drove many to look for Mailchimp alternatives.

Mailchimp’s been around for two decades now. 

So, perhaps it was time to go beyond the scope of “just” being an automated email marketing tool? 

In addition to the pricing changes, Mailchimp added new features, like a fully-fledged website builder, building on the landing pages available previously.

So, what is Mailchimp? Is Mailchimp a CRM now then?

There are a couple of ways to approach this. 

First, the question itself: is Mailchimp a CRM? 

Mailchimp is now *drum roll*: an all-in-one marketing platform, which includes a “marketing CRM”.

Gone are the days of it being a “simple” email marketing tool. And one of the features that “all-in-one” platform includes is CRM functionality.

mailchimp CRM integrations - screenshot of customer profile inside mailchimp CRM

Then, there’s perhaps the even bigger question: can you use Mailchimp as a CRM?

Well, it really depends on your needs, really.

If all you’ve got is a blog and perhaps you’re collecting leads with a form, then Mailchimp will most likely tick all the boxes. That’s the true meaning of a marketing CRM.

But if you need to actively manage sales, support or any other customer-facing process then, really Mailchimp isn’t going to cut it. You’ll be better off going for a sales CRM or management tool to act as your “single source of truth”.

Also, if you’re already using a purpose-built CRM, then I would suggest you stick with that. The concept of bringing all of this sales and marketing data together, under one roof, is a great one. But, in terms of using Mailchimp itself as a standalone replacement for your CRM?

I’d say—for now at least—if your single source of truth is a CRM, you’ll be better off staying put…

And if you’re looking to replace your CRM, it’s highly unlikely that Mailchimp will be the ideal replacement you’re looking for. At least not yet.

What’s the best CRM to use with Mailchimp?

If you want Mailchimp emails, but you’re not convinced that Mailchimp can carry your CRM duties just yet, what CRM should you use? 

You’ll obviously want a tool that offers tight Mailchimp-CRM integration, either natively or through a third-party integration.

There are hundreds of CRMs out there, though. So which one should you pick?

Pipedrive Mailchimp integration

Pipedrive does offer a native Mailchimp integration of sorts, but it is pretty limited.

You can sync predefined lists from Pipedrive, into Mailchimp. But all of this needs to be setup manually and only works one way, from Pipedrive to Mailchimp. There’s also no way to sync contacts automatically, as everything gets handled by a one-off export.

But what if that just isn’t enough? That’s where Outfunnel (yes, that’s us) can help.

Outfunnel’s Pipedrive-Mailchimp integration allows you to setup automated, two-way syncing between both platforms. So you can add Pipedrive contacts to Mailchimp and record email engagement data (opens, clicks, all of it!) in Pipedrive.

Learn how to set up the 2-way Pipedrive to Mailchimp integration.

Copper Mailchimp integration

Copper is another CRM popular with small businesses and agencies, thanks to their deep integration with Google’s G-suite. 

Like Pipedrive, Copper also has its own native Mailchimp integration, which allows you to manage Mailchimp lists directly from your Copper account. It will also sync email send dates and any scheduled emails to your Copper contacts, so you can see what they’ve received and what they’ll be sent in the future.

Sadly though, you can’t sync contacts from Mailchimp to Copper with Copper’s native integration. So, if you’re using a Mailchimp lead capture form, or one of their landing pages, you won’t be able to sync that data automatically.

Unsurprisingly perhaps, Outfunnel does offer a 2-way Copper-Mailchimp integration. It automatically syncs Copper contacts to Mailchimp and records email engagement like opens and clicks in Copper for you.

OnePage CRM Mailchimp Integration

OnePage is one of the few “affordable” CRM options that actually offers some pretty neat Mailchimp integration.

They offer Mailchimp forms integration, so you can easily create contacts in OnePage once someone submits their details via a form on your site. It also includes things like lead source, tags and a “next action”, simplifying follow-ups.

Their integration with Mailchimp’s email marketing features allows you to push data and fields, like addresses, lead source etc from OnePage to Mailchimp on a daily basis (you can pick the time it syncs).

On the downside, it doesn’t sync campaign stats, like opens and clicks (but they do at least include a “quick link” so you can jump straight in Mailchimp from the OnePage dashboard.

Salesforce Mailchimp integration

It’s hard to talk about Mailchimp CRM integration without mentioning Salesforce. They’ve both been around since the late 90’s – early 00’s. And they’ve both become titans in their respective fields.

So, do these two play nice? Well, yes, but you’ll need to put some effort in.

Salesforce’s native Mailchimp integration lets you manage subscribers from Salesforce’s leads, contacts and list views. You can also sync all of your Mailchimp subscribers into Salesforce and then link them to existing contacts and leads in your CRM, helping to bring some healthy harmony to the two sales and marketing tools.

You can also let Mailchimp create new leads in Salesforce for email addresses that don’t match existing leads. 

Finally, Salesforce is one of the very few CRMs that natively syncs Mailchimp email engagement data – so salespeople can see who’s opened marketing emails, without having to pull up a separate report or jump into Mailchimp.

As I said earlier though, getting these two to play well together isn’t as easy of some of the other options, as the integration between them requires some advanced setup if you want to get all of those tasty features. 

But, that goes with the territory. Salesforce is really an enterprise-grade CRM solution, so it’s not entirely surprising that you have to roll up your sleeves to get things up and running.

Summing up

In summary then, if you’re keen to go the Mailchimp CRM integration route (rather than Mailchimp’s own CRM) there are a couple of options to choose from.

If you’re looking for a CRM that natively integrates tightly with Mailchimp, go for OnePage. It offers some great functionality, at a good price, but you’ll be missing out on a few things, like syncing email engagement data.

If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a no-nonsense, easy-to-use CRM and want access to all-important email marketing data, go for Pipedrive or Copper and connect them to Mailchimp with Outfunnel’s two-way Mailchimp CRM integrations.

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