OpenCRM Campaigns vs MailChimp Integration9 Feb 2017
A little while ago now, we had a customer with a very specific reason for wanting to use MailChimp instead of relying solely the bulk emailing and Campaigns module in OpenCRM.
This was all down to the way they managed some, but not all of the elements of their marketing strategy. Long story short, we developed a MailChimp integration as part of this implementation.
As it was an integration we could see being useful to other customers, we decided to release it generically.
But the result of this release meant that we had some people wondering why they would use OUR Campaigns module on its own, when they could just use MailChimp—a dedicated emailing service.
And it’s a valid question.
In order to answer it, I’d like to walk you through a quick pro/con assessment of the two options.
The best thing about using Campaigns is that there’s no need to leave OpenCRM to do something, it’s all in one place, there’s no need to learn or pay for another system. Plus, anytime a Contact, Lead, or Company clicks through one of your marketing emails, not only do you see it on the Campaign as a useful statistic, but it is linked back to that same individual record.
Saying that, as our Campaigns module is part of our wider CRM solution, some of the bells and whistles that you get with MailChimp aren’t available (at the moment, anyway).
The main benefit with using MailChimp to handle your marketing emails, while managing the rest of your business from OpenCRM is that you can give an external company or individual the ability to send out your emails without giving them access to your actual CRM system.
The stats from MailChimp are also delivered into OpenCRM, so you can still see that information in a dedicated Campaign. However, because of the way MailChimp records clicks, we’re unable to link them back to the individual Contact, Lead, or Company.
The other downside is, if you are going to manage this aspect of your marketing, you’ll have to know how to use both systems.
So what’s the best option?
To be honest, the benefits and drawbacks to both are clear, so it really comes down to what is best for your business.
We personally use OpenCRM Campaigns to manage all of our bulk emailing and marketing. Because we do all of our marketing ourselves and already know the system, the benefit to us is clear: a campaigning option that is part and parcel of our CRM system is the right fit for us.
For the customer who initially wanted this integration, they were able to get the result they need by carrying on with using MailChimp while still getting all the relevant information back into OpenCRM.
Are we giving you too much choice?
Of course not!
I wanted to write this blog to reflect on how having two solutions to the same business need means that OpenCRM is better able to meet the diverse needs of our customers.
We feel that providing a flexible, customisable solution means that anyone can grow their business in the way that best fits them.