MailChimp and Salesforce integration: not even close to ready for prime-time

In the ongoing quest for solid, low-cost email broadcasting that has strong integration with Salesforce.com, I have had an eye on MailChimp, which offers a really slick, low-cost email blasting service that we had hoped could become a low-end replacement for Vertical Response, which has somewhat limited capabilities in its Salesforce integration.

MailChimp has a very slick email broadcasting system, and a very aggressive price point.ย  They claim to have a Salesforce integration, and so I logged in today and played around with a bit.

While much of the tool is really solid, the Salesforce integration is so rudimentary that it is actually completely, totally useless to us and our clients. ๐Ÿ™

MailChimp can only import ALL of the contacts from your Salesforce account — no support for campaigns, reports, or getting any kind of targeted subset of your contacts. That’s bad, but I had somewhat expected it.

What’s worse is that MailChimp can ONLY import the following fields from Salesforce:

  • first
  • last
  • email
  • salesforce ID
  • city/state/zip

That’s it. No custom fields. Zilch. I confirmed this with their tech support, who were very helpful.

Unfortunately, a Salesforce integration this limited is essentially useless for any serious organizational use.ย  Very disappointing.

The only glimmer of hope is that the tech support person told me the Salesforce integration is scheduled for an overhaul in early 2010, but didn’t have any details on the substance. So we will have to keep on waiting.

Bottom line: I had been hoping that we could recommend MailChimp as a solid, low-end, integrated-with-Salesforce email broadcasting solution.ย  But unfortunately the answer is, “Nope, not yet.”

I have had an eye on http://MailChimp.com, which offers a really slick, low-cost email blasting service that we had hoped could become a low-end replacement for Vertical Response.

They claim to have a Salesforce integration, and so at Drew’s suggestion, I logged in today and played around with a bit today.

While much of the tool is really slick, the Salesforce integration is so rudimentary that it is actually completely, totally useless to us and our clients. ๐Ÿ™

The details…

MailChimp can only import ALL of the contacts from your Salesforce account — no support for campaigns, reports, or getting any kind of targeted subset of your contacts. That’s bad, but I had somewhat expected it.

What’s worse is that MailChimp can ONLY import the following fields from Salesforce:

– first

– last

– email

– salesforce ID

– city/state/zip

That’s it. No custom fields. Zilch. I confirmed this with their tech support.

This renders the Salesforce integration completely and utterly useless. Very disappointing.

The only glimmer of hope is that the tech support person told me the Salesforce integration is scheduled for an overhaul in early 2010, but didn’t have any details on the substance. So we will have to keep on waiting.

Bottom line: if you were hoping we could recommend MailChimp as a solid, low-end, integrated-with-Salesforce alternative to Vertical Response, then I’m sorry to report that the answer is “Nope, not at this time.”

2 thoughts on “MailChimp and Salesforce integration: not even close to ready for prime-time”

  1. Thanks for posting this. What we were really interested in was going the opposite direction, from mail chimp send to salesforce contact records. While it looks like MailChimp does have this support it looks like it requires “Campaign Management” which only exists in the Pro version as an add on and the Enterprise version as part of the standard package.

    I will be watching for the “integration” that is coming out in early 2010. Hope it can integrate with the Group edition and provides the list segmentation that you suggest.

  2. Paul-

    Yes, that is basically what I was looking for as well — in order to do that kind of send, MailChimp would have to be able to pull in subsets of the Salesforce contacts, presumably segmented by Campaigns or Reports. One would probably need SF Enterprise Edition to do this, or whatever the lowest version of Salesforce that includes full API access is.

    If MailChimp has any more “advanced” Salesforce integration functionality in the higher service tiers (and this was a paid account I was using), then the customer service rep I chatted with didn’t mention it. ๐Ÿ™

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