Odoo Marketing Apps vs Mailchimp

Hieu Le

This is the first blog I wrote to compare Odoo with another app. I have a client using Odoo to empower their business management in Sales, Purchases, Accounting, Warehouses …. For the moment, their marketing department are using Mailchimp to manage marketing campaigns and mass mailing. They are now extremely happy with Mailchimp because it satisfies their needs, but they have been moving the whole front-end websites into Odoo thanks to the powerful Website Builder. That is why the idea to manage marketing tasks in Odoo came, and that is also why I have this blog post to compare Mailchimp and Odoo so as to evaluate the possibility, the pros and cons of moving from Mailchimp to Odoo. Because this is a comparative article, so I am going to point out the similarities or differences between them in a 2-column table below.

 

MAILCHIMP

(tested with the Free version)

ODOO

(tested with v8, v9, v10 Community / Enterprise.)
In Odoo v9, v10, they spit the menu Marketing into Mass Mailing and Lead Automation, support Mass Mailing Campaigns (not Marketing Campaigns) and statistics which not available in v8. I use Odoo v10 CE to take examples. Read more: http://buff.ly/2dqF5S4.

  • MailChimp is one of the top leading email marketing platforms in the world.

 
  • They focus only on the marketing email features.

 
  • Odoo is an All-in-One business software which is commonly known as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) covering a wide range of features such as Sales, Purchases, Accounting, Human Resources, Customer Relationship Management …

  • Odoo covers bigger scopes than Mailchimp. Of course, it also has marketing features.

  • Some reference resources: Odoo Email Marketing, Mass Mailing in Odoo v8, Driving your Marketing Campaigns

Subscription Form

It is called Signup Form in Mailchimp. I can easily design it the way I want, generate the HTML code to embed in my website, display the subscriber pop-up ... The visitors will input their email to subscribe to receive newsletters.

 

Subscription Form

Website Builder allows me to add a Newsletter, see this tutorial video. But it is just simple a textbox and a button, I cannot customise it without touching the source code. On the configuration pop-up, I select one of the mailing lists which were defined in the back-end. After a user subscribe it, his email will be automatically added to the list.

Ah, Odoo also has a similar feature to display the subscriber pop-up on website.

Contacts Management

My contacts are created when users subscribe on website, or I can create, edit, delete them manually in the management board. To save time, I can also import, export a list of contacts in .csv or tab-delimited text file.

Contacts Management

In Odoo, I can do the same: create, edit, delete, import, export the contacts.

The mailing contact in Odoo contains very simple information. Mailchimp is more informative, I can manage his details, activites, notes, conversations … But I will talk more about this later when I will compare the Marketing Campaign feature.

Mailing Lists

This is simply a list of contacts that I want to put them in different categories such as Newsletters, Men, Women, Business, Persons  … I also can categorise them in different Groups and Segments to define target customers or to do the statistics later.

Mailing Lists

Those, in Odoo, are much more simpler since we I do not have much information on the Contact.

It does not have Groups and Segments, only has a filter Exclude Opt Out users who unsubscribed from the mailing list. Nothing more I can do with the statistics.

Email Templates

Mailchimp supports pre-defined Email Templates which enables me to create, edit my own ones, or use and extend the default ones. With an easy-to-use editor, I can create whatever templates I want just by drag-and-dropping small snippets.

Email Templates

As I said before, Odoo Website Builder is also very powerful. But for the email marketing templates I feel it difficult to use and there are some limitations.

In Mailchimp, I can define email templates with a visual editor and reuse later in marketing campaigns. But in Odoo, the visual editor with nice drag-and-drop snippets only available when you design the email body for a mass mailing:

 

I can select some pre-defined templates in Enterprise version only:

 

After choosing a template, I can make changes on it but I do not know how to save it for later which means I have to do it manually on each mass mailing. This is not convenient at all. Another point is that I cannot change to another template once I select it. I only can continue editing with snippets on the left bar:

 

In Odoo, we have a menu to manage all email templates (Settings > Technical > Email > Templates), but without the nice snippets like I have above or like in the Website Builder. It is just a normal template, of course with the WYSIWYG editor, you can design anything but it is not really convenient compared to the snippets. And I cannot use one of these templates in the Mass Mailings.

Marketing Campaigns

I find it easier more flexible to use Mailchimp Campaign. I think Campaigns in Mailchimp are somehow equivalent to Mass Mailing in Odoo. Because Odoo Marketing Campaigns have more advanced and complex features.

I followed the steps to create a campaign.

  • Choose Recipients: I can select the entire list or just a specific segment from the list.

  • Setup campaign info:

  • Select an Email Template: I can reuse my saved templates. In Odoo, I cannot do this on Mass Mailing as I said above.

  • After selecting a template, I can continue editing it:

  • Finally, I confirm and send it to my customers:

Marketing Campaigns

Firstly, I need to clarify that Odoo has 2 separated menus with different functionalities: Mass Mailing and Lead Automations.

1. Mass Mailing: to send multiple emails at once to a group of users.

 

I can set up Mass Mailing Campaigns to run several Mass Mailings:

 

The system automatically does the statistics for the number of Emails Sent, Received, Opened, Replied, Clicks:

 

2. Lead Automation: to manage Marketing Campaigns

These are really Marketing Campaigns where I can schedule the sequence of activities, analyse the Cost and Revenue (Campaign Statistics):

 

In each activities, basically I can choose an email template, set a condition to send. The condition is based on the Resource object I chose for the Campaign, it could be anything, normally it is the Partners (Customers, Suppliers in Odoo), or the Leads.

 

In a Marketing Campaign, I have several Segments. To understand its concept, you can read these articles Driving your Marketing Campaigns, and Managing marketing campaigns with OpenERP. They are the target customers I want to focus on my campaign. They are the input sources for my campaign. No segment means no item (Work Item) enters the campaign. It was a bit hard to understand how it works when I played with the UI, I had to read the source code to figured it out. The workflow is that:

  • Run a campaign

  • Run Segments defined for that campaign

  • Depending on the sequence and the Condition of Activities on the campaign, the Filter on Segments, Work Items will be created to execute the tasks. We need the synchronization here because while a campaign is running, new Leads or Customers could be created or updated, so the system need to update the criteria.

  • Work Items are listed at the menu Follow-up. On the Activity, if I tick Don’t delete Workitems, those that are not executed because the Condition is not met, will be cancelled instead of being deleted.

Reports

Mailchimp runs automatic reports to give me the Overview of my campaign. It does the statistics for the number of Opened, Clicked, Bounced, Subscribed, Unsubscribed emails, top links clicked, top locations by Opens …

Reports

The reports and statistics in Odoo are more simple.

Report for Mass Mailing also provides me with the number of Emails Sent, Received, Opened, Replied, Clicks, Bounced:

 

Reports for Marketing Campaign:

I’ve just gone through some basic functionalities in free versions of both softwares. At first glance, although I am a big fan of Odoo, I have a feeling that Mailchimp is more mature than Odoo in Email Marketing field. I tested with Odoo 10 which is much more powerful than Odoo 8, but still, I think Mailchimp is better and more easier to use. My client is using a mixed version of Odoo 8 and 9, at least I need to wait until they agree to migrate to Odoo 10, then we should do more customisations to have better marketing features. For the moment, I would suggest them to stay with Mailchimp. One more thing, I did not test the commercial versions of Mailchimp which bring more cool features, support high-volume emails sending … Anyway, maybe I could search for community Odoo addons to extend and empower the basic ones from Odoo. Let’s see. :)