Zoho CRM and MailChimp Integration with Zapier

To allow for a better segmentation in MailChimp, further data enrichment is required as Zoho's native integration only pass on limited contact details across the API. This is where Zapier came to the rescue!

William Yap
Snr. Digital Marketing Manager

Zoho CRM

With over 50 million users and 8,000 employees, Zoho is considered as one of the giants in the Cloud Software and SaaS space. One of the offerings which are popular among the SMBs is its complete CRM platform and solution. It is quite a popular choice due to its robustness and user-friendliness. Zoho CRM is also attractive for its ability to easily integrate with other essential business applications and SaaS, namely Google Suite, Office 365, Slack, Shopify, MailChimp… we could seriously be here all day mentioning every available integration.

CRM’s ability to integrate with other essential software is highly attractive because the purpose of gathering customer contacts does not present much value on its own. What you do with customer data (respectfully and ethically, of course) can help propel your business further. May I persuade you that it’s also a win-win solution for your customers too; every day, people are looking for a solution to their needs and they need your business to show up just in time when their needs match your offering.

One of many ways to remind your customers of your solution to their needs is via email. Whether you love or loathe it, email marketing still works! It’s only a junk mail if it doesn’t match the needs at the time. If only my inbox can read my mind and circumstances, and shows me timely emails that would solve my dilemma; I might be predicting the future of email marketing but it’s not entirely impossible to partially realise this concept today. That’s why we invest so much in build personas, run hyper-targeted campaigns, and personalise our marketing assets to the nth degree, all for the hope of showing up at the right moment (relevant to time, place, and context).


Speaking of email marketing, there’s another giant, a familiar player in the email marketing world. With more than 10,000 emails sent out from this platform every second, MailChimp is also a popular email solution to the SMBs and particularly to the eCommerce sector. Relatively recently, MailChimp has been trying to make its mark as the all-in-one integrated marketing platform, but it’s still famous for its email broadcasting feature.

Due to their popularity, many businesses use these two programs hand in hand. On one end, customer data gets populated and stored in the Zoho CRM, and on the other end, MailChimp draws contact details from Zoho and prime them for marketing activations. The two giants synchronise with a built-in integration. Frankly speaking, we were astonished to find that a big chunk of customer information doesn’t get passed by Zoho through to MailChimp. Imagine trying to do personalisation with just first name, last name and email address; ‘okay, I reckon anyone by the name of that starts with ‘S’ who has a Gmail address only fancies a pair of red shoes - personalisation done!’... an absolute marketing nightmare! 

Zoho, we’ve got a problem

We need a mediator that will allow Zoho to share a greater degree of contact details to Mailchimp which will allow us to effectively segment customers into respective commonality and approach them with a highly personalised marketing push that they will appreciate and find value in. Additionally, ‘meeting’ needs at the right moment with the right offering will get you the best marketing ROI you can ever get. It’s not rocket science, it’s marketing science! Consequently, we look at Zapier (insert orchestra fanfare background music here) as the bridge that enables the flow of the much-needed data for an effective segmentation.

Zapier Certified Expert

We do not try to hide the fact that we love Zapier and that’s one of the reasons why we pursued and acquired the Zapier Certified Expert (humble brag). Zapier and our in-house Zapier Experts (geeks) have been a lifesaver for many of our clients who are desperately trying to integrate platforms that do not normally “talk to each other”. There are so many platform connectors, custom zaps and automation that make the dream come true. There’s no question on the possibility, rather, the challenge is in finding the most effective and efficient solution because there are just a plethora of possibilities. I could go on about this but why don’t you check out my colleague’s blog around How to use Zapier when you’re finished with this blog.

Zapier knows we love them and the feeling is definitely mutual. They loved us so much that our very Head of Marketing, Stuart Halley, was given the mic at the Zapier for marketers webinar. Not only was it a privilege to share our love and expertise with thousands of marketers across the globe, there were many enquiries around MailChimp/Zapier integration.

More details means better segmentation

As I’ve alluded to earlier before getting distracted by our love for Zapier (vice versa), we need data to effectively segment customers into workable groups. Having names and email addresses just didn’t cut the mustard.

Here are some details you may want to pass through with Zoho and MailChimp integration:

  • Ordered products (names, types, class)
  • Pricing/discount tiers
  • Enquiry entry point
  • Client class
  • Last contact/purchase date
  • Geographical location (localities, States, country), and
  • So much more

With the details above, you might segment customers with similar product lines, same country, last activities (eg. haven’t purchased for 30 days), or events they’ve attended. You could even group people who prefer dogs over cats (and vice versa... a few of us do love cats).

MailChimp Custom Fields

Your MailChimp needs to be primed before it can receive and store those additional data that Zapier will pass through from Zoho CRM. If you missed this step, you’ll find that Zapier won’t even let you turn on the Zap. Your endeavour of separating dog-lovers to cat-lovers in your database won’t come to fruition. 

By default, MailChimp wouldn’t have fields to store values that are outside the standard email address, name and physical address. So you have to add them in the specific audience list. You could add the custom field on the Form Builder, or directly on the settings of the audience page. Simply look for Audience fields and *|MERGE|* tags and you’re there.      

Success Story

We got really excited when Amandine from Halcyon Lake approached us to help her with the Zoho CRM, Zapier and MailChimp integration. We are excited because every time we passed their shopfront at Richmond, Victoria after our lunch run, we couldn’t help but stop briefly to be mesmerised by their beautifully designed rugs and the interior design. 

Now that we've integrated Zapier with Zoho CRM and Mailchimp, we can trust that our data is correctly transferred between the two platforms. CBO made the whole process easy and were quick and efficient in responding to all our questions. We can now segment our database in a more granular way which allows us to send emails to specific audiences.” - Amandine Ringot - Creative Director @ Halycon Lake

We love the fact that we were able to assist them because the integration has contributed to a better customer segmentation in MailChimp, and with their well designed and personalised emails. Consequently, even more Halycon Lake’s beautiful rugs get sold and delivered to a new home or office owners who would have a taste and appreciation for art

Zapier Expert to the rescue

If you are in need of help integrating platforms with Zapier as the bridge, such as Pipedrive, Autopilot or HubSpot integration, reach out to us and we would be more than happy to help. We’ve provided automated workflow solutions for a variety of industries over the years, helping clients streamline their workloads and cement their business operations.

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