RFDM Managing Director Ryan Foster reviews three options for a Zoho CRM and GetResponse integration and discusses their pros and cons.
A Zoho CRM and GetResponse integration is a way for small and medium businesses to get all the power of enterprise level CRM and marketing automation suites like Salesforce and Pardot at a fraction of the cost. There are a number of options for the Zoho CRM and GetResponse integration, depending on what your needs are. We did quite a bit of research and testing while solving this problem for a client. I’ve listed the options we tried below in terms of the lead workflow from the website to Zoho CRM to GetResponse, as well as the pros and cons of each option. If you have any questions about any of these options, we’re happy to share our experience and hopefully save you some time. Please fill out our contact form if you’d like to be in touch.
Option 1: Zoho Forms => Zoho CRM => GetResponse’s Native Zoho CRM Integration
In this option, you use Zoho CRM’s native form builder to generate a webform and install it onto your website. This will create a direct to with Zoho CRM (Leads or Contacts). You can then configure the Zoho CRM integration that is within GetResponse’s native plug and play integrations. This is a good option if your use case is limited to something like just collecting newsletter emails on a single form on your website, and then emailing people on a monthly basis. Because there is no GetResponse feed back to Zoho records, you have to be ok with looking at all your stats in GetResponse, and forgoing triggered CRM workflows based on campaign behavior. With all this said, if you’re only using GetResponse for this very basic use case, you might want to think about ditching it for Zoho Campaigns, which is already integrated tightly with the CRM, and is much more user friendly for basic email sending.
- Cheapest option.
- Probably the easiest to setup.
- Going with Zoho’s native CRM form builder will paint you into a corner in terms of form options on your website.
- The native GetResponse – Zoho integration is clunky, and only syncs every 24 hours, which will prevent you from using GetResponse to its full potential (i.e. no autoresponder ability, limits marketing automation potential, no bidirectional sync with Zoho CRM).
Option 2: Gravity Forms => Zoho CRM => Zapier => GetResponse
Gravity Forms’ Pro Version ($159 annually as of this writing) has an out-of-the-box Zoho CRM feed which is actually pretty excellent. By using the inbuilt gform to CRM field mapping system, you can do cool things like pull in custom fields you created in the CRM, and push all sorts of user inputed data and hidden data from your website to the CRM seamlessly. We highly recommend this form solution to all our clients regardless of whether or not they even care about Zoho or GetResponse. Once the Lead or Contact is created in the CRM, the Zapier integration can push the record over to GetResponse with as many custom CRM fields as you need. As far as quick and dirty integration solutions go, you probably won’t do better than this.
With this said, there are a number of limitations you’ll have to live with. Zapier’s standard plan ($20/mo) can take up to 15 minutes to sync. This won’t cut it for businesses who need to send out autoresponders immediately. You’ll have to pay $50/mo to upgrade to Zapier’s business plan to cut that time down to 5 minutes. This is not ideal, in my opinion, if you’re doing any sort of gated content, or other email campaigns where the customer expects to see something in their inbox instantly.
Setting up a bi-directional sync between Zapier and Zoho CRM is costly and impractical. Sending new Leads and Contacts to GetResponse via Zapier is one thing, sending your email campaign data back to the CRM is something else entirely. Because Zapier charges you by ‘task’ and does not batch records, you could be looking at using up anywhere from 1000 – 10,000+ tasks per month to send back a single send’s campaign data to the CRM.
Beyond this, Zoho CRM sets daily API limits (4000 calls I believe), and will also demand extra fees if you exceed this. What this means, in practice, is that you either have to send extremely limited amounts of data back to the CRM from GR (i.e. maybe just a record update once a subscriber has hit a certain lead score), or you have to bite the bullet and pay through the nose for top level Zapier and Zoho plans.
- Easy customization.
- Quick sync between Zoho and GetResponse.
- Gravity Forms is only for WordPress, and can be costly due to licensing fees for Gforms and Zapier.
- Bi-directional sync options are limited and will jack your Zapier tasks and Zoho API calls.
Option 3: Gravity Forms => Zoho CRM => Custom API Integration between Zoho and GetResponse
A custom API will need to be custom built, and developer assistance required. This third option involves using the same first two steps as the previous option, but then replacing Zapier with a custom built API integration between Zoho CRM and GetResponse. We decided to build this option for our client for a few reasons.
It’s a good option for companies who are serious about using GetResponse to its fullest potential as a marketing automation platform. If you are using automation workflows and real time triggered sends extensively; serious about lead scoring and updating the sales team when a lead is qualified; have gated content and run multiple nurture tracks; track aggregate and individual level statistics to refine your campaigns, etc.
Achieving bi-directional sync with the custom API is cheaper than paying for a year of Zapier’s ‘team’ package at $250/month, and can be configured in hourly batches so it doesn’t exceed Zoho’s daily API call limits. This means that you can send actionable campaign data back to the CRM for use in workflows, notifications, etc. In other words, you’re getting full use of your marketing automation and CRM integration to create data-driven marketing and sales campaigns, which is ultimately the whole point of a stack like this.
The only real drawback to the custom API build is that it removes a degree of quick customization that Zapier offers the end user. You can always quickly add a new field to a Zap, whereas with a custom API you’ll need to notify the developer to update and test the API call. In practice, we have found that this is not really a big deal insofar as once you have your standard fieldset decided upon, there shouldn’t be a need to be updating this on a weekly basis.
- Good alternative to paying Zapier for long term licencing.
- Flexible form solution.
- Full bi-directional sync between GetResponse and Zoho CRM.
- A custom API must be built by a developer.
I hope this review of Zoho CRM and GetResponse integration options was helpful for anyone investigating this integration. We’re happy to chat with anyone who’s working on this issue and wants to bounce ideas off of us – hopefully we can save you some time and headaches. For assistance with Zoho and GetResponse, please fill out our contact form and we’d be happy to help.