A critical first step to getting started with Mailchimp is setting up your audience. Whether you’re starting from scratch, or bringing existing contacts into Mailchimp, your audience is where you’ll store and manage all your contact data. It’s best to organize and manage just 1 audience, but we’ll also show you how to create additional audiences for those cases where more than 1 is best.
In this article, you'll learn how to create a new audience and how to organize any audience.
Before you start
Here are some things to know before you begin this process.
- The number of audiences you can store in your account depends on your plan.
- As a best practice, we recommend you maintain only one primary audience in Mailchimp, and use tags and segments to organize and target your contacts.
- If you need to maintain separate audiences, you can use this process to create them. Audiences don't share data with one another, so contacts who appear in multiple audiences will increase your total contact count.
- Make sure you're familiar with our anti-spam practices and audience rules before you begin this process.
Create a new audience
When you create a Mailchimp account, we generate an audience for you and populate it with details you provide. Each time you create a new audience, you'll be prompted to enter details such as your From email address and a message to remind your contacts who you are.
Your audience is your collection of contacts, so you should only need 1 audience. If you still choose to create another audience, be aware that audiences don’t share contact data. For example, if firstname.lastname@example.org is in 2 of your audiences, we count that as 2 contacts. It’s almost always best to have a single audience and use our audience organization tools to separate and manage contacts.
To create a new audience in your Mailchimp account, follow these steps.
- Click Audience, then click Audience dashboard.
- Click the Manage Audience drop-down and choose View audiences. If you only have one audience, click the Manage Audience drop-down and choose View audiences.
- Click Create Audience.
- In the confirmation box, click Create Audience.
- Enter the details in the fields provided.
- Review the Contact information for this audience, and edit if needed.
- In the Form Settings section, choose the opt-in method for your audience.
Check the box next to Enable double opt-in to send an opt-in confirmation email when someone subscribes to your marketing. Or, leave it unchecked to use single opt-in and add subscribed contacts to your audience right away.
Check the box next to Enable GDPR fields to collect consent and explain to contacts how and why you’re using their data.
- In the Notifications section, review the email address that you'd like to receive notifications about your audience, and edit if needed.
- Select your notification preferences.
- Click Save.
Organize your new audience
Whether you’re working with your new audience or the audience we generated for you when you created your account, there are a few things you should know before you add contacts.
Review these audience management tools to help you decide how to best organize and separate your contacts.
Tags are labels for your contacts that you can use to organize your audience. Create tags for sets of contacts based on data only you know about them. You can send emails and SMS directly to tagged contacts, or you can use your tag data to create segments.
A segment is a way to create target audiences based on shared data. You can build a segment of your contacts based on things like location, tag data, group members, signup source, email activity, and more.
Send customized emails, SMS, ads, or webpages to just the contacts in a segment. Custom content is smart marketing, and segments can help you get there. Create regular or advanced segments, or use one of our pre-built segments.
Also known as merge tags, audience fields are where we keep your contacts’ basic data. Audience fields are a lot like cells in a spreadsheet. They store emails, names, birthdays, group interests, addresses, or other information. You can use merge tags to pull audience data into emails, like a first-name greeting.
A group is a collection of contacts with shared interests or preferences. Use signup forms to ask contacts to tell you what they're interested in. For example, a garden shop might ask their contacts which best describes them: a gardener, landscaper, or indoor plant lover. After contacts select their interests, you can create tags based on group data, or send emails to a segment with one group, a few groups, or all groups.
Now that you’ve created an audience and you know the basics of audience management, 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 audience.