Combine Audiences to a Master Audience That Uses Groups

Combine your audiences into a master audience that uses groups to simplify your contact management. Groups help you target campaigns to specific contacts, and reduce the need for duplicate contacts across audiences.

In this article, you'll learn how to combine your audience to a master audience that uses groups.

Before you start

Here are some things to know before you begin this process.

  • Audience actions are permanent, so we recommend you backup your audiences before you combine them. Keeping a backup is a safeguard and allows you to retain as much data as possible, although some data cannot be exported and will be lost. To learn more about what your backup export will and will not include, check out View or Export Your Contacts.
  • The combine audiences tool doesn’t transfer group or tag data, email engagement metrics such as opens and clicks, member rating, opt-in time stamps, signup source, or GDPR permissions. For this reason, we don’t recommend you combine audiences that are GDPR-enabled.
  • This process is optional but can help streamline your audience management by keeping all your contacts in one place. It also can potentially reduce your monthly bill if you currently have duplicate contacts across audiences.
  • Mailchimp requires that audiences must be retained for seven days after an email campaign or automation email is sent. If you've recently sent to one of your audiences, you won't be able to combine it until after the seven day period.
  • Be sure to update any signup form URLs, and pop-up, embedded, or hosted forms to reflect your master audience.

Task roadmap

  • This process involves four important tasks.
  • Back up your existing audiences.
  • Create groups in your master audience.
  • Combine your audiences.
  • Delete your old audiences.

Back up your audiences

All audience actions are permanent and can't be undone, so we strongly recommend youback up each audience, including your master audience, before you combine them. Keeping a backup is a safeguard, as some data may be lost when you combine audiences.

To export all audience contacts, follow these steps.

  1. Navigate to the Audience tab.
  2. Click the Current audience drop-down and choose the one you want back up.
  3. Click View Contacts.
  4. Click the Export List button to prepare a CSV file of your contacts.
  5. After the audience has finished exporting, click Export as CSV. We'll automatically separate your contacts into separate files for subscribed, cleaned, nonsubscribed, and unsubscribed addresses.
    click export as csv

Repeat the above steps for each of the audiences you're working with. If you're using an existing audience as your master audience, be sure to also export that audience for backup.

Create groups in your master audience

Organize your master audience with groups that identify the audiences you’ll combine into your master audience. Groups provide contact management within one audience.

To add groups to your master audience, follow these steps.

  1. Navigate to the Audience tab.
  2. Click the Current audience drop-down and choose the audience you want to use as your master audience.
  3. Click the Manage Audience drop-down and choose Manage contacts.
  4. Click Groups.
  5. Click Create Groups to expand the group options.
  6. Select the As checkboxes option.
  7. In the Group category field, type a title or category for your groups.
  8. Input a Group name that corresponds to each of your original audiences.
  9. Click Add Group if you need more group names and click Save when you're done.

Groups are visible on the hosted signup form and update profile form by default. Hide your groups if you don’t want your contacts seeing them on forms.

Combine your audiences

There are two ways to combine your existing audiences. You can use the Combine tool or import your exported CSV files to a master audience. Each process has its own advantages and limitations, so make sure to choose the one that best suits your needs.

These resources provide step-by-step instructions for each option.

Use the Combine Audiences Tool (Not recommended for GDPR-enabled audiences)
Combine Audiences From a CSV File

Delete your old audiences

After you back up and combine your audiences, delete your old audiences from your account. This process also deletes all audience stats. If you want to combine your audiences but don't want to delete your audience stats, you could remove your contacts from your old audiences, but leave the audience intact.

To delete an audience, follow these steps.

  1. Navigate to the list of audiences.
  2. Check the box next to the audience you want to delete.
  3. Click Delete.
  4. In the Are you sure? pop-up modal, type DELETE to confirm, and click Delete.

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