Syncing Hubspot with Mailchimp

November 13, 2018
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Are you using Hubspot & Mailchimp side by side? Did you wish they play nice with each other? You’re not alone.

PieSync’s sync engine helps you create an intelligent connection between HubSpot and Mailchimp… and more than 130+ other cloud-based apps in real time.

Sync MailChimp with Hubspot 2-way

Didn’t Hubspot already provide a Mailchimp sync?

True, Hubspot provides a built-in integration to Mailchimp. It is a feature tightly related with Hubspot’s lead flows. Unfortunately, it can only accomplish so much. In Hubspot’s own words, the built-in integration does the following:

HubSpot’s built-in integration to Mailchimp will automatically push new contacts who submit your form to your chosen MailChimp list.

Apart from the word ‘automatically’, under the hood there’s not a lot of sync magic happening here.

  • only a push: anyone already in MailChimp is not part of this integration. Updates happening to subscribers in Mailchimp don’t sync back
  • only for new contacts: so the database you already hold in Hubspot isn’t included in this
  • only when a form is submitted: so contacts need to complete certain steps before going into Mailchimp.

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In other words, their built-in integration, while it definitely works and is provided at no extra cost to your Hubspot subscription, can only work in a very specific scenario.

There are other limitations, too, which include not being able to overcome required field limitations in syncing from Hubspot into Mailchimp. When a contact is sent over from Hubspot, it just copies the default contact fields which are e-mail & name.

After you have this integration setup, Hubspot’s interface also doesn’t show you which contacts have succesfully moved into Mailchimp - you just have to assume it’s worked for certain contacts, while others may still be in limbo somewhere if they didn’t sync succesfully.

Where does PieSync help?

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Unlike Hubspot’s built-in integration, PieSync will check several things prior to moving contacts from one side to the other:

  • Who is in the Hubspot database?
  • Who is on which Mailchimp list?
  • Who is in both apps?
  • Who should be subscribed? Who shouldn’t be subscribed at all?

This scan is needed so the sync can also act on historical data. Then, according to the sync rules you specify, PieSync will truly match up your Hubspot’s database with the lists in Mailchimp. Furthermore, it’s not a one time thing. Contacts evolve constantly. PieSync keeps them in sync moving forward.

PieSync’s easy setup comes with a complete mapping interface to translate Hubspot properties to Mailchimp merge tags & regular tags. Manage group membership in Mailchimp, change lifecycle stages in Hubspot based on Mailchimp behavior, etc.

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PieSync will update both databases when you have a new subscriber in either system, and it will constantly check for updates to overwrite the information whenever a change is made.

This means you won’t have to worry about manually import/export data ever again or about having duplicates or outdated data!

What about Zapier?

Zapier is a well known web automation app often used to hook up Hubspot to Mailchimp. Compared to Hubspot’s native integration, Zapier does indeed provide more flexibility. In Zapier you can set up tasks based on any kind of trigger happening either in Hubspot or in Mailchimp.

For instance, a very straightforward zap could be one where when somebody fills out a form in Hubspot, the zap subscribes that person to a list. Or in the other way round, when someone subscribes to a list in Mailchimp, a new contact is created in Hubspot.

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Yet, here too, these zaps only work one-way, and if you need a straightforward connection, it may do the trick. But if you need various workflows, it gets convoluted.

We often realize that getting simple scenarios built out in Zapier is less than straightforward.

Ever had these requirements?

  • Certain contacts need to go on one Mailchimp list, others should go to a different list
  • Mailchimp Groups need to be set according to what lead status they are in Hubspot
  • Tags in Mailchimp need to be pulled from a custom attribute in Hubspot
  • Unsubscribes in Hubspot need to sync to Mailchimp…But also the other way round!

Zapier may be flexible, but it takes a lot of trial & error to set up your zaps the right way.

Again, like the native integration, Zapier will only work for new contacts or new subscribers… So anyone that’s already in either system won’t be part of the automation you’ve setup.

How do I get started?

PieSync is different from Zapier in that it truly reads into the two databases prior to syncing, so it knows when to create a contact, and when to update them accordingly, and the rules make it easy to accomplish what you need.

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About Frans Leys

Frans helps various companies set up their data syncs, collecting all kinds of customer feedback to drive the PieSync platform forward. He started his career in corporate finance and switched four years ago to work with exciting software startups as a solutions engineer for SMEs.