Create a New List

A powerful part of MailChimp is your list, which stores your contacts' email addresses and other valuable information.

In this article, you'll learn how to create and organize a new list in your account.

Before You Start

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

  • In MailChimp, lists are independent of one another, so bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse complaints are tracked on a per-list basis. As a result, we can't support global suppression lists. Learn how to create separate suppression lists.
  • In addition to the required email address field, new lists include the following optional fields: first name, last name, address, and phone number. By default, the address and phone number fields are hidden from subscriber signup forms.
  • Email addresses that exist across multiple lists in your account will count multiple times toward the total subscriber count we use to determine your Monthly Plan.
  • As a marketing automation platform that delivers emails, we comply with anti-spam laws and industry standards set by internet service providers and email clients. Make sure you're familiar with our anti-spam practices and list requirements before you begin this process.
  • You can create as many lists as you need, but we recommend you use one master list. For more information on how to organize your list, review our best practices for list management.

Create a List

When you create a MailChimp account, we generate a list for you and populate it with details you provide. Each time you create a new list, you'll be prompted to input default information like your From email address and a message to remind your contacts who you are.

To create a new list in your MailChimp account, follow these steps.

  1. Navigate to the Lists page.
  2. Click Create List.
  3. In the New list or groups? box, click Create List.
  4. Type in the List details in the fields provided.
    enter list defaults
  5. Review the Contact information for this list, and edit if necessary.
  6. In the Form Settings section, choose the opt-in method for your list.
    Cursor clicks the enable double opt-in checkbox.
    Check the box next to Enable double opt-in to send an opt-in confirmation email when someone signs up to your list. Or, leave it unchecked to use single opt-in and add subscribers to your list right away.
  7. Enter the email address where you'd like to receive notifications about your list, and select your notifications.
    select notifications
  8. When you're finished, click Save.

After you create your list, you'll be able to import subscribers or set up a signup form to collect new contacts.
no contacts

Organize Your New List

Now that you have a list, there are a few technical things you should know before you add contacts. No need to memorize it all right now, but just an overview of the basics can help you decide how to best manage your list.

Here are some definitions that will help you understand list structure in MailChimp.


A list is a collection of contacts. Each list is independent of other lists in your account. For example, if is in two of your lists, we count that as two people. Many MailChimp users rely on a single list divided into groups, which is a best practice for a lot of accounts.


A list group is a subcategory of your list that stores contacts based on their interests. For example, a garden shop with a MailChimp account might divide a list into three groups. One group for home gardeners, one for landscapers, and another for indoor plant enthusiasts. After grouping contacts in your list, you can send email campaigns to a segment containing one group, a few groups, or all of them.
Learn how to get started with segments.


A segment is a filter that you can apply in your account to sort your contacts based on data we have about them. If you’ve ever used CRM software, building a segment is a lot like creating a query or a filter. You can filter your contacts based on a lot of things like location, group membership, signup source, campaign activity, and more.

Segments help you design custom emails, ads, or webpages for the people you’ve identified. Custom content is smart marketing, and segments can help you get there.
Learn how to get started with segments.

List Field

Also known as merge fields, list fields are where we keep your contacts’ basic information. List fields are a lot like cells in a spreadsheet. They store emails, names, birthdays, group preferences, addresses, or other information. You can use merge tags to pull list field information into email campaigns, like a first name greeting.

Next Steps

Now that you’ve created a list and you know the basics of list structure, it’s time to import contacts! If you don’t have contacts yet, we can help you get some. Try a signup form, a social ad, or a landing page to get people to join your list.

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