Geolocation approximates where your contacts are located, so you can target your campaigns for specific regions or time zones. We gather geolocation data each time a contact interacts with your Mailchimp signup form and email campaigns.
In this article, you'll learn how to view and use geolocation information in your account.
How geolocation works
Geolocation is an estimate based on IP address data only. We can’t pinpoint a contact’s exact location, but we can try to identify a general area, such as Atlanta, USA, Paris, France, or Sao Paulo, Brazil.
We first collect a contact’s IP address when they sign up for your marketing with a Mailchimp-hosted signup form. We work with a geolocation service provider to estimate the contact’s location, which is further updated based on their email campaign activity. The more open and click data we have for the contact, the more confident we are in their geolocation.
Contacts from imports or different signup forms will start with your account's default location and time zone. We'll update their location when we have enough email campaign activity data for them.
How accurate is geolocation data?
The more a contact interacts with your email campaigns, the more confidence we have in our geolocation data. This article gives a detailed explanation of the process.
Certain factors may skew geolocation results. If a contact’s geolocation data looks wrong, here are some possible causes.
Your contact uses a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
VPNs redirect traffic through a remote server and mask a contact’s real location. Learn more about VPNs.
Your contact forwards your emails to people in other locations.
When those recipients open or click the forwarded emails, their activity and IP addresses are attributed to your contact.
Your contact's email service provider uses a proxy.
Some popular email clients cache and serve images through a proxy server. This may result in data based on proxy locations. For example, contacts who use Gmail may show location data in Mountain View, where Google’s servers are located. Learn more about proxies.
Your contact’s IP address changes often.
Geolocation services will estimate one point based on those different addresses.
How often is geolocation data updated?
Estimating a contact's geolocation is a gradual process. If you don't see geolocation data yet, your contacts may need to interact with a few more campaigns. Geolocation will reflect where they engage with campaigns most often.
What you can do with geolocation
Geolocation can help you target contacts in a specific region and send emails at a time that works best for them.
Segment by geolocation
Use geolocation data to build tailored segments for your campaigns. For example, if you have an online business and your goal is to increase sales in a certain region, you could create a segment that combines location and e-commerce conditions to identify customers from that region.
Your audience's stats overview also shows top geolocations by country. Click any country to create a segment of contacts based on that location. This information doesn’t update as often as contact profile location data.
If you want to send postcards or other targeted campaigns based on precise location data, we recommend you use your signup form to collect your contacts’ mailing addresses or zip codes. You can also add this data to your audience during an import.