Is MailChimp a CRM?

Is MailChimp a CRM?

No. It’s not a CRM system. MailChimp is an email marketing platform. MailChimp has some excellent functionality that makes it a particularly powerful and usable email marketing system, but it’s not a CRM.

In the small business and marketer world, avid fans of MailChimp will make strong arguments to classify MailChimp as a CRM, but it lacks several features that would make it a CRM tool.

If you think of a CRM as a database of customer data, and MailChimp can store contacts in lists like a database, then from this perspective you could argue it’s a CRM system.

However, it’s the other key features of CRM tools that make them CRM tools, and MailChimp doesn’t have these. Those features include:

  • Sales pipeline management, including conversion probability and sales value
  • Lead scoring
  • Storing information and notes about interactions with a customer or prospect
  • Task automation (which is more than just sending emails).

MailChimp is an excellent tool for sending emails and managing email marketing communication. And whilst CRMs can send emails too, the focus of a CRM is to manage information relating to a customer relationship.

You might want to take a look at this article: Email marketing systems v.s. CRM software – what’s the difference?

Can MailChimp be used as a CRM?

Yes, but you’ll be making life hard for yourself. You’d be forcing it to do something it’s not designed to do.

While MailChimp offers some CRM-like features, it lacks several core functionalities essential for effective customer relationship management, making it a less-than-ideal choice for businesses seeking a practical CRM solution.

  • Limited View of the Customer Journey: Unlike dedicated CRM platforms, MailChimp does not provide a comprehensive, 360-degree view of the customer journey. This means significant gaps in understanding customer interactions beyond email engagements. With a CRM tool, you can track what emails are opened, when you last emailed with a contact, and you can even add notes to record other interactions you’ve had with them (such as phone calls).
  • MailChimp isn’t focused on selling a service: Essential CRM features like lead scoring, complex sales pipelines, and detailed customer profiles are not robust in MailChimp. These limitations can hinder your sales team’s ability to track and nurture leads effectively. You’ll find you want to track your pipeline value in your business, and MailChimp doesn’t offer that functionality.
  • Reliance on External Integrations: While MailChimp can integrate with other tools, relying on multiple platforms to compensate for its CRM shortcomings can lead to a fragmented and inefficient workflow, which is counterproductive for most sales teams.
  • Incomplete Contact Management: The contact management in MailChimp does not offer the depth and breadth of a dedicated CRM. Whilst you can add some custom fields in MailChimp, you can’t track notes and communications with a customer in MailChimp.

What is MailChimp particularly good for?

  • Creating email marketing campaigns, either as manual campaigns, or as campaigns that are using automation.
  • MailChimp is great for product-based selling, where you are using segmentation and a marketing strategy to increase customer sales and spending. Those products might be physical or digital.
  • MailChimp has many many integrations, including into ecommerce software such as Shopify and WooCommerce. This means you can create  offers that you personalize customers based on their spending behaviours.
  • Simplify the process of designing visually appealing and engaging emails, even for those with limited technical expertise.
  • Leveraging MailChimp’s A/B testing capabilities to optimize email content, subject lines, and send times for maximum engagement and effectiveness.
  • MailChimp’s advanced list segmentation features enable highly targeted email campaigns based on subscribers’ behavior, preferences, and demographics.
  • Utilizing MailChimp’s analytics tools to help you track email campaign performance, allowing for you to refine your marketing campaigns and gain insight into what emails drive your sales.