4 steps to perfectly sync your customer data

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March 12, 2020

pi day piesync from hubspot

Contact management isn’t always as easy as pie.

Every business owner knows that it takes a tremendous amount of hard work for your business to succeed, and it doesn’t get any easier as you grow. In fact, as you scale, you can come across problems in areas that you may have overlooked before - like properly managing your customer data.

Smaller businesses use on average over 70 business apps, many of which are used to store myriad types of customer data. This number often grows as your company grows, too.

Having so many apps means their databases are often disparate. It’s easy for data silos to arise, duplicates to come up and data accuracy to plummet. The best way to avoid all that and organize your customer data is to implement an integration platform as a service (iPaaS) solution.

How iPaaS can connect your apps

Though iPaaS is still a relatively new concept, cloud-based data integration is a game-changer for a lot of companies. With the right integration setup, manual data entry, importing and exporting contacts, CSV files and data errors become things of the past.

An iPaaS solution like PieSync is simple to set up, saves you a whole lot of hassle by automating data syncing, and makes sure you’re always looking at correct, up-to-date customer information in all apps.

Having all your applications in sync sure sounds like a dream, but how can you make sure you’re getting the most of it? Here at PieSync, we believe it’s like a pie recipe: add a cup of customization, two tablespoons of segmentation, a pinch of real-time syncing and two pounds of super-easy setup. Bake for a few minutes to about an hour - depending on how specific you want your syncs to get - and you end up never having to worry about outdated databases again.

So, since Pi Day is right around the corner and it’s the perfect excuse for pies, here’s the perfect recipe to set up the best (pie) syncs for you.


1. Choose how the data will flow

One of the most important things about this type of integration is deciding how your data will flow between your apps. Should it be a one-way or two-way data sync?

That depends on what you need from your sync. If you want to keep your contacts tightly in sync between two apps, you should set up a two-way sync. Any changes or updates made to a contact in one app will automatically be reflected in the other one and vice-versa.

On the other hand, if you only want to make changes in one app and see it directly reflected in another, a one-way sync will be the way to go. For example, you might want to make changes only in your CRM, but not in your marketing tool. In cases like that, you can set up a one-way sync to make sure that anything you update or add to your CRM is reflected in your marketing app, but not the other way around.

And the best part? It’s a one-time setup - you set it up once and PieSync works in the background from there on out, keeping all your data in sync, including newly created contacts and historical data.

2. Set up connection rules

When managing your customer data, you might want to control which contacts will go to each tool and how. You should make sure that segmentations, tags, groups, categories and other attributes are respected in all apps, resulting in a much more organized sync.

That’s why, with PieSync, you can set up a rule-based workflow. These rules are “if/then” sentences in your sync that determine which contacts will be included in your sync. You can use these rules to segment databases automatically according to the intelligence available within your apps.

For example, if you're syncing Google Contacts with HubSpot CRM, you may only want to sync business contacts and leave personal contacts out of it. In that case, you would have a rule that dictates that if a contact is in Google Contacts and is labelled “Business”, it will be synced two-ways between Google Contacts and HubSpot CRM.

Likewise, if a contact is in HubSpot CRM, it will be synced into Google Contacts and the label “Business” will be automatically added to it.

google contacts hubspot crm business label if:then rules piesync

That ensures that anyone on Google Contacts labelled “Personal”, “Family”, “Friends” - anything other than “Business” - is left out of the sync.

3. Customize how you want to sync different fields across apps

One of the problems of using a lot of apps - especially apps that store customer data - is that they’ll often have different names for the same information field. The more apps you have, the more complex this gets. There may even be some custom fields that you created yourself! So how can you navigate this without any headaches?

For standard fields, PieSync is smart enough to map similar types of information. It knows, for instance, that “surname”, “family name” and “last name” mean the same thing, and it will map them by default.

For customized fields, PieSync developed something called custom field mappings.

This feature gives you the option to customize how you want to map certain fields across apps. For example, a lot of users create two-way syncs between their CRM and their email marketing platform, such as HubSpot CRM and Mailchimp.

Mailchimp will have an “Unsubscribed?” field, which you would want to reflect in HubSpot to have all the information in one place. As this property isn’t available in HubSpot by default, you can create a custom field there called “Mailchimp Unsubscribe”.

Then, you can sync data from Mailchimp to HubSpot one-way. As a result, you will have visibility over which contacts unsubscribed from your Mailchimp list in HubSpot.

mailchimp hubspot crm custom field mapping

4. Sync different types of data

What do you think of when we say customer data?

There’s countless different answers. It can mean clients, leads, prospects, consumers, subscribers, users, companies… In short, it depends on how your business is run and often on the kinds of apps you’re using.

That’s why PieSync recognizes all kinds of entities within the contact databases of our supported apps. That way, whenever you start a new sync, you can see what type of customer data will be included in that connection.

google contacts hubspot crm contact sync

The main types of customer data that PieSync works with are contacts, leads and companies (but we are working on syncing many more types!).

A contact is the main kind of data that PieSync works with - we can sync contact data between most of our supported apps. Your contacts can be your clients, vendors, partners… pretty much everyone you’re in touch with in the day-to-day of your business.

In addition, a lead can be a subscriber, a prospect, etc. In some CRMs, there may be a difference between a contact record and a lead record. So, with PieSync, you can set up separate connections for contacts and leads, making sure that everyone is treated according to where they are in their journey with your company.

In some of your tools you can also have a record for a business entity as well as individuals. PieSync also lets you sync companies between some of our supported apps - and you can actually sync company information into contact records too.


Now that you’re all set, get started with your free trial now and connect your SaaS stack with PieSync to transform your business.

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About Luna Campos

Luna is a writer and editor with experience in tech & creative media. She has come from Brazil to London to Ghent to join the PieSync team and sprinkle it with a bit of extra magic. She lives and breathes words, and uses her creativity and quirkiness to create amazing content for PieSync on all fronts.