The key to great marketing is keeping up with your contacts, such as knowing who visited your online store and who subscribed to your emails. Mailchimp offers powerful and flexible tools that help you manage this data and use it to create targeted campaigns.
We'll cover the basics about your audience in this article, including what you need to know before you import contacts into Mailchimp.
Things to consider
How you build and manage your audience affects the ways you can use Mailchimp. With the right data, you can group contacts based on a variety of factors and send content to just those groups. Take a moment to think about your marketing goals, who your contacts are, and what information they want to receive from you.
- Do you have seasonal customers, sales shoppers, or customers who are only interested in certain types of products, services, or events?
- Do you want to send different content to donors, sponsors, members, or other patrons?
- Does it matter if your contacts are local, domestic, or international?
- Do you sell products or services online, and ask customers to sign up for email marketing in the checkout process?
- Are there other factors that affect your audience?
Types of contacts
Use your Mailchimp audience to collect and manage subscribed, unsubscribed, and non-subscribed contacts in one place.
Here are the definitions for each.
- Subscribed contact
Someone who has opted in to receive your marketing emails.
- Unsubscribed contact
Someone who was opted in to receive your marketing emails, but later opted out.
- Non-subscribed contact
Someone who has interacted with your online store, but hasn't opted in to receive your marketing emails.
Create an audience
When you create a Mailchimp account, we’ll create an audience for you with the details you provide. We’ll also help you follow anti-spam practices. We recommend you maintain only 1 primary audience in Mailchimp, and use tags and segments to organize and target your contacts.
You can add subscribed contacts one at a time, upload contacts from a file, copy and paste from a spreadsheet, or sync from other apps. We don't let users send emails to purchased, rented, or third-party lists, so be sure to check our audience requirements before you begin.
Here are some links to help you add contacts.
Build signup forms
Each Mailchimp audience comes with a signup form, which you can share across all your online channels. Mailchimp gives you many options to choose from, so you can ask for the right information from contacts who subscribe.
Users with Manager permissions and higher can create interest groups for your signup form and audience. Interest groups can be assigned by you or selected by your contacts, and can be visible or hidden on your forms.
Your audience will grow and change as people sign up, unsubscribe, and update their profiles. We recommend keeping an Update your preferences link in your emails to encourage contacts to update their own information and interests.
Segment your audience
Use segments to group contacts with shared data. To create a segment, you'll use conditions to filter contacts in your audience. You can create segments using almost any condition, like signup form data, tags, group preferences, email activity, and location.
If you sync an e-commerce platform with your Mailchimp account, you'll also be able to use purchase activity to add segments.
The segmenting tool supports up to 5 conditions, and you can save any segment for future use.
Learn about your audience
When you track the makeup and behavior of your audience, it helps you better understand what your contacts want and don't want. You’ll find valuable insights on both your Audience dashboard and Stats pages.
Your audience dashboard gives you clickable data to help you learn more about your contacts and how to talk to them. You'll see recent growth trends, top tags, top locations, and how often contacts open and click your emails. To learn more, check out our About the Audience Dashboard article.
The Stats overview gives you details about your email marketing. View open and click rates, see the change in subscribed contacts, or compare the performance of your last 30 emails.