Mailchimp to Salesforce Integration – Part 1

Business Problem

Mailchimp - Logo

Mailchimp is a great tool for people who are just starting out with email marketing and they currently use Salesforce as their CRM. We have done several implementations of Mailchimp and Salesforce and wanted to provide you with our best practice approach of how to set it up right the first time.

Here are some issues we have run into that we have solved with our approach:

  • Integration User between Mailchimp and Salesforce cannot be changed – this is a big one! We setup the integration with our user and then tried to change it over to our customer’s user and couldn’t without uninstalling the entire Mailchimp package from Salesforce. No bueno!
  • Limitations with segmenting audience in Mailchimp – a Salesforce CRM usually has a ton of custom fields on Leads, Contacts and other objects that we want to use to segment our lists. Doing this in Mailchimp is difficult or impossible because you have to create the fields and sync the data. Follow the instructions below to setup Salesforce and Mailchimp so you can segment using reports in Salesforce.
  • Inability to update Contacts and Leads if they unsubscribe or their email bounces – Mailchimp integration does not provide a way to directly update the Email Opt Out field on the Contact or Lead. Zapier is a tool recommended to do this for you, but we ran into API limit issues with large volumes of contacts. You are also limited to the actions Zapier provides between the two applications. We review how to solve for this challenge in Mailchimp to Salesforce Integration – Part 2.
  • Metrics for Mailchimp Campaigns are separate from other Salesforce Campaign metrics – The Mailchimp package comes with a custom object called MC Campaigns which holds the metrics you want to report on. If all of your other campaign data is in the standard Salesforce Campaign object, reporting is cumbersome. Plus, what if you move to another marketing automation tool? All of your metrics are in the Mailchimp package – if you uninstall the package from Salesforce all of your metrics will be gone as well. We review how to solve for this challenge in Mailchimp to Salesforce Integration Part 3.
  • Delete Campaign Member from Salesforce Campaign Automation - When a Mailchimp subscriber unsubscribes from an audience, we want to delete the campaign member from a Campaign in Salesforce. We review how to solve for this challenge in Mailchimp to Salesforce Integration Part 4.
  • Automatic Sync Between Mailchimp & Salesforce  - We wanted a faster way to sync certain groups of people between Mailchimp and Salesforce without having to go through all of the steps in Part 1 of this guide. Our client was sending out one email per week and they did not care about seeing the campaign or campaign member information in Salesforce. We wanted to create an automatic, set-it-and-forget-it solution. This section will outline the steps we took to set this up and some limitations we ran into with Mailchimp Member Queries. We review how to solve for this challenge in Mailchimp to Salesforce Integration Part 5.

This article will explain how we recommend setting up the integration between Salesforce and Mailchimp, so you do not run into any of the above issues and what gotchas to look out for.

This blog assumes you have successfully installed the Mailchimp for Salesforce Integration from the App exchange but if not, check out the Mailchimp documentation here.

Please Note

Please note (as of Dec 2020): This integration user cannot be changed without uninstalling the entire Mailchimp package from Salesforce. This was a hard lesson for us to learn from Mailchimp support. If you want to use a dedicated user in Salesforce for this integration, make sure to login as that user to link the Mailchimp account in this step.

How to Instructions

Segment in Salesforce & Sync to Mailchimp

  • Go to the Mailchimp for Salesforce app and click on the MC Setup tab. Enter your Mailchimp account credentials.
  • Click the Allow button
  • You can choose to Allow Mailchimp to create Leads in Salesforce. For this example, we are going to leave this box unchecked and we will click I am Ready to Map Fields.
  • Confirm First Name and Last Name fields are mapped for both Leads and Contacts. If you have other fields you are using in your email templates, you will need to map them here. Click Save.
  • Now you should see a screen like this. We have one Audience setup in Mailchimp.
  • Create a new Campaign record in Salesforce to hold the people who you want to receive the Mailchimp email. We like to use a naming convention when naming campaigns - Year + Specific Name of Initiative + Type of Campaign. If you are not able to create a Campaign, check your user profile and make sure the Marketing User checkbox is checked.
  • Next, you will need to add the Leads and Contacts to the Campaign. There are many ways you can accomplish this, we are going to use a Salesforce report. In this example, we are adding all Contacts with an email address and who are not opted out of receiving emails from us. We created a Contacts & Accounts report with the following filters: Email is not blank AND Email Opt Out = FalseSave and Run your report.
  • Click the dropdown arrow next to Edit and click Add to Campaign. If you have different sets of filter criteria, you can just repeat this process for each report.
  • Search for the Campaign you created above and click Submit. You will then see this message: Adding members to …
  • Once you receive the confirmation email, you can verify the people were added to your Campaign by checking the Leads in Campaign and Contacts in Campaign fields.
  • Go back to the MC Setup tab and click the Member Queries tab. Click New Query.
  • Select Audience - remember it is best practice to only have one audience setup in Mailchimp.
  • Click Create a new Tag and enter the name of the Tag. Click Add and click Next. We are making the name of the Tag the exact same as the name of the Campaign on purpose. This will help us keep track of which tags in Mailchimp go with which campaigns in Salesforce.
  • Click the checkbox next to Campaign Members. Enter the name of the Campaign in the first filter called Campaign Name. Click Next. While it is not best practice to filter using a text field, the names of all of your Salesforce Campaigns should be unique and should follow a naming convention.
  • Preview query results screen will show a preview of the records that you will sync to Mailchimp. If everything looks good, click Next
  • Name your query the same name as the Campaign and the Tag to keep things consistent. Click Save and run. In this example, we are not going to schedule the query to run. You can choose to run this query daily if you have a campaign where you want Salesforce to continually add new people to Mailchimp when they meet the filter criteria.
  • The sync will begin, you can refresh the page until you see Last Status = Success
  • Go to the Settings tab and enable Data Sync
  • Now we are ready to send our email from Mailchimp. Create an email template and then create a Campaign in Mailchimp.
Mailchimp Create Campaign2
  • Click the Edit Recipients button
  • Click the dropdown arrow next to Segment or Tag and select the new Tag you created from Salesforce. Click Save. Finish configuring the rest of the email and you are all set!

Check out the 2nd part in our Mailchimp to Salesforce Integration series, where we show you how we used process builder to update the unsubscribes and bounce backs in Salesforce from the MC Subscriber data without using a 3rd party tool. Any comments, questions, concerns - let us know in the comments! We would love to hear from you!

Any comments, questions, concerns – let us know in the comments! We would love to hear from you!

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About the Author

Maurice Murphy

Maurice is a certified Salesforce Consultant at Rumlo Consulting. With experience in Salesforce for five years, Maurice has worked with clients from a variety of industries, helping both start ups and global brands to solve complex problems and achieve their business objectives on Salesforce.

4 thoughts on “Mailchimp to Salesforce Integration – Part 1”

  1. Hi Maurice — Thank you for taking the time to write such a thorough article. However, it’s not clear to me what your warning truly means in layman’s terms with regard to the integration user. Are you referring to the Mailchimp login credentials or the Salesforce login credentials? In your “learned the hard way” scenario, did you attempt to switch Mailchimp accounts after the fact and found that you couldn’t? Or is this related to a specific user’s Salesforce login credentials when downloading the package? Any clarification is appreciated. Thank you!

    1. Hi Neil,
      We tried to change the Salesforce user credentials to be a specific MailChimp Admin user instead of our Salesforce user so we could see when MailChimp was making changes to records. Since the integration was setup with our user initially, there was no way for us to change this. So we had to uninstall the MailChimp package and reinstall it with the new MailChimp Admin user credentials. We are not referring to the credentials you enter when installing the MailChimp AppExchange package – you can use your own Salesforce credentials for that. Did I answer your question?

  2. I’m so grateful for your work-arounds with the detailed descriptions about how to do them. It did get a bit confusing in knowing whether I should be making the additions to MC directly, or in MC for SF instead. I followed them, but then instead of moving over all of my 380 subscribers to the new campaign I formed, there were only 16 moved into the new campaign from the MailChimp side. I know I’ve heard of some discrepancies between the numbers from MailChimp and SF, but this seems excessive. Haven’t been able to figure out why I can’t get more to be included.

    1. Hi Betsy,

      There are a couple of things to look for. Only people with email addresses will sync to MailChimp and they must have Email Opt Out = False. Do all of your campaign members have email addresses and are not opted out? If this is not the issue, I will need screenshots of your configurations and a lot more information to help you troubleshoot.

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