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HubSpot and MailChimp

Frans Leys

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 160+ other cloud-based apps in real time.

Combined Shape

All HubSpot customers (including free users) are eligible for a 25% discount on any PieSync plan. Sign up for a free trial to receive your discount.

Didn’t HubSpot already have a built-in Mailchimp sync?

Correct, HubSpot provides a built-in integration with Mailchimp. This feature is 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.

In other words, their built-in integration, while it definitely works and is provided at no extra cost to your HubSpot subscription, will 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 email & name.

After you have this integration setup, HubSpot’s interface also doesn’t show you which contacts have successfully 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 successfully.

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.

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.

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.

When should you choose PieSync to sync HubSpot & Mailchimp?

At this moment, you probably already use your HubSpot account and a dozen of your contacts are already in that database. At one point, you decide to send out a newsletter to all of your customers. But do you really export your contacts from HubSpot to just importing them in Mailchimp again?

You’re not satisfied with the one way push of data and you also want your contacts to move in the reversed direction? You’re not amused that your historical data isn’t involved in the sync? PieSync comes to the rescue.

“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!

Sounds great! How do I set up this sync?

If you haven't already, setting up a sync between HubSpot & Mailchimp is as easy as following this link. A one time operation involves authorizing both apps at this stage, which is super easy. A popup will open inside PieSync and you just log in to both platforms respectively. This brings you to the sync setup, where you can leave everything to its default settings, or really dial in some custom syncs.

The connection can be adjusted in several ways. The default setting of a sync is always a 2-way sync. This means you allow PieSync to transfer changes you make to contacts in HubSpot as well as in Mailchimp. We recommend you to keep this 2-way setting. However make sure you understand the two rules that you start off with by default.

  • All contacts in Mailchimp will go into HubSpot, so that may include subscribers.
  • All contacts in HubSpot will go into Mailchimp, so you're running the risk of making this sync very heavy depending on your database.

To avoid those unwanted scenarios, use the filters, or you can turn off any of these two rules if they don't fit your workflow.

What are filters & actions?

Filters & actions allow you to really dial in the sync settings. For instance, consider the following example where contacts in a Mailchimp Group are matched up to a Persona in HubSpot:

There is a toggle at the bottom of this rule meaning you can also consider the rule in the other way around. Depending on the persona in HubSpot, some contacts will be synced to Mailchimp, and others will be kept out of scope.

Chances are likely you’re not using “Persona” at all in HubSpot. These IF-THEN rules are easy to create and the above is just an example. There are endless possibilities.

More settings!

In addition, PieSync gives you some pre programmed options to manage the sync. For example, making a choice of which application would ‘win’ when a conflicting change is detected. Usually, you let your CRM win, but of course, this is an individual choice.

This toggle is very relevant if you are going to fire up an Mailchimp-HubSpot sync with lots of contacts already living on both sides. For example, Brian may exist in Mailchimp as well as in HubSpot, with a mobile phone number in both systems. In that situation, PieSync needs to know which of the two phone numbers to keep moving forward.

Once the sync is running, every contact that you add or edit that matches your filters, will get synced to the other side in no more than 5 minutes.

How do I follow up my sync?

The progress of your sync can be followed on your dashboard as shown below - you can see contacts being created on both sides, where updates are happening, and you can always pause the sync at any time.

Using Piesync, the two databases will look exactly the same following the rules as you laid them out. Also, you don’t have to worry that any of your data is out of date, since everything syncs every 5 minutes.

Still have a question?

Combined Shape

Read all about this in the blog article 'Syncing HubSpot with MailChimp'.
You can find more information about Mailchimp and HubSpot on their respective support articles.
Or you can read other interesting blogposts like Optimizing syncing with Mailchimp and 6 Pro tips to maximize your syncs to HubSpot.

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