Sugar Marketing Series: Setting the Record Straight
This is another entry in a series of blog posts highlighting the many features that Mailchimp and SugarChimp bring to you and your marketing team when combined with SugarCRM.

In our last post, we covered how we created the Sugar Marketing Series landing page with Mailchimp’s Landing Page tools. Included on the page was a signup form. Whenever someone interested fills out the form on that page, their information goes to Mailchimp.

But how do we also get that data to go to SugarCRM? And how did we end up even sending a campaign in Mailchimp to all our contacts in Sugar?

List Syncing Between Mailchimp and SugarCRM

For some marketers, reading the words “list syncing” triggers PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). However, the past headaches of cleaning data and manually moving lists of subscribers between your CRM and Marketing system and vice versa have been replaced with automated tools that do this hard, laborious work on your behalf.

Whether you are doing a one-way sync of your Sugar Sell lists to Sugar Market or a bi-directional sync between Sugar and Mailchimp, the automated tools available to you are stronger than they have ever been. And with great support from both teams at Sugar and SugarChimp, you will always have someone there to help if you should ever have questions.

In this example, we are going to be focusing only on the easy, yet advanced, Mailchimp and SugarCRM bi-directional list syncing setup as this is what was used for this very Sugar Marketing Series campaign.

Setting Up Mailchimp

Our data lives and breathes inside of SugarCRM. Because of that, we need to create an Audience List in Mailchimp. If your data lives in Mailchimp, some of these initial steps won’t be needed.

For our purposes, we started by going to the Audience view in Mailchimp and clicking on the Create Audience button.

Create Audience List in Mailchimp

Beyond the audience name, each list can have a different set of defaults including who to send from and a note about why someone may be on the list. Since this is a campaign for our SugarOutfitters members, we set the defaults to reflect that. These defaults can then be overridden on a campaign-by-campaign basis.

Mailchimp Audience configuration

Mailchimp also allows different form settings for each audience. For example, you can enable GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) fields or turn on double opt-in signups which is a great way to ensure a subscriber really wants to receive your content, thus lowering your risk for being marked as spam and hurting your deliverability.

Setup Double Opt-in and GDPR in Mailchimp

Once we saved, our new CRM Marketplace audience we moved on to the next step.

Mailchimp List Preparation

There are some custom fields that we keep in our CRM that we will want to segment on and personalize content with. One of the fields we wanted to bring over was the SugarOutfitters member’s download page. To do that, we created a new Audience field.

Create custom fields in Mailchimp

In this case, we chose a simple Text field, but there are many different custom field types that you can choose from.

Custom field types

A default merge tag was assigned to the new custom field so that this data can be dynamically inserted into content, such as email. Mailchimp allows for you to change the name of the tag as desired.

Add a custom text field

We have some dropdown fields we want to bring over as well. For dropdowns or multi-select fields, it is recommended to create Groups. From the Manage contacts menu, we pick the Groups option and create the Groups we need.

Custom multiselect dropdowns in Mailchimp

With the Mailchimp Audience having been created, along with the fields we will want to map, we move on to the Sugar side of the list sync configuration.

Setting Up SugarCRM

From the SugarChimp wizard, we walked through a four step process to set up which Sugar Target List to sync along with how it should do so.

On Step 1 all we did was to choose our Target List in Sugar.

Select a SugarCRM Target List to sync

Once we found and selected the list we were then brought to Step 2 where we picked the Mailchimp list to sync with.

Select a Mailchimp Audience list to sync with

Moving on to Step 3, we were able to define who exactly will get synced over to Mailchimp by defining specifically how Contacts, Targets, Leads, and Accounts will be loaded into the Target List in Sugar.

SugarChimp allows a range of configuration options from manual Target List management all the way to custom SQL Queries to be very selective on which records will go over.

A great reason to be selective is to keep the Audience list size down in Mailchimp, thus saving on campaign costs.

To keep costs down, we go with the Filter option to sync only Targets who have a Marketplace value of SugarOutfitters. SugarChimp does allow additional filters with And/Or conditions to get an even more targeted list.

Decide Your Mailchimp and SugarCRM Syncing Strategy

From there, we moved to Step 4 which let us define what kind of record should be created in Sugar whenever a new subscriber from Mailchimp comes over. For example, whenever someone signs up on a lead form from a landing page. We selected Targets and then saved which triggered the initial sync.

Select Which Kind of SugarCRM Record to Create

Being redirected to SugarChimp’s Health Status page, we were able to see and confirm how many were loaded up to be synced. This page comes in handy from time to time whenever you need to see whether there are any pending sync items.

SugarCRM and Mailchimp Sync Health Status

After configuring the list sync, the last step we needed to do was to map our fields that we have in Sugar to where they should go in Mailchimp.

SugarCRM and Mailchimp Field Mapping

SugarChimp maps Email address, first name, and last name by default. Using the Field Mapping tool, you can send more effective campaigns by sending highly segmented audiences with personalized emails.

Going back to the custom fields we created in Mailchimp, we map them to the corresponding fields in Sugar and finish up the mapping process.

Field Mapping between Sugar and Mailchimp

With the configuration now done, the process is fully automated. Any new landing page signups go from Mailchimp right over to SugarCRM. Any new records created in Sugar go right on over to Mailchimp. It’s a true bi-directional approach that scales well and is founded on sound algorithms built on almost two decades of experience doing integrations.

We did the hard work so that you can do more exciting, impactful work. With automated tools like SugarChimp, the days of shivering at the mention of list syncing are history.

Next Up: Sending Personalized Campaigns

Next up in the Sugar Marketing Series: Setting the Record Straight campaign we cover how to create personalized campaigns with the data available in your CRM. Stay tuned!

Follow Our Own Marketing Journey

Sign yourself or your teammates up for this journey at the Sugar Marketing Series: Setting the Record Straight campaign landing page to see how we utilized the many features of Mailchimp and SugarCRM.

Want to Learn More?

Schedule an informational call to learn more about how Mailchimp and SugarCRM could work for you and your specific needs.

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