Getting Started with Groups

You can use your Mailchimp list to sort your subscribers into custom groups based on their interests and preferences. Groups function like categories in a list, and are an excellent way to manage diverse subscriber profiles in the same Mailchimp list. Groups can be the basis for building list segments for sending to targeted audiences.

In this article, you'll learn how list groups help you organize your subscribers in Mailchimp.



A collection of subscribers, categorized by their interests or preferences. A group consists of a group category and group names.

Group Category

The classification for your group. For example, "Occupational role."

Group Names

The different options in your group, chosen by you or your subscribers. For the group category "Occupational role" you could list the following group names as the options: Staff, Faculty, and Student. It can be helpful to think of group names as subcategories that you can use to better sort and find your subscribers.

Before You Start

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

  • Groups are intended to be contact-facing, so you can collect information based on what your contacts tell you about themselves or their preferences.
  • If you don't need to let your contacts categorize themselves, and you're looking for a way to organize contacts internally, consider using tags instead.

How to Use Groups

When you're ready to create a new group in your list, first decide what you want to call your group category and group names.

For instance, say you're a university and you want to organize student subscribers by class. You can create a list group category called "Students" with the group names: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior. After your subscribers choose which group they want to be in or you manually organize them into groups, you can send emails to one or more of the student groups.
Group options form

Create a New List Group

Ways to Add Subscribers to a Group

After you create a list group, you can either add subscribers to groups manually, or ask them to choose their own groups by showing group options on your signup form, or update profile form.

You Add Subscribers to Groups

As the account user, you can manually add group elections to each individual subscriber's profile one at a time, or use the List Import Builder to add or move multiple subscribers to specific list groups at the same time.

Choose the list import method to add subscribers to groups in a single master list if you've sent to different lists through another marketing automation platform or need to import contacts from your CRM.

Add Subscribers to Groups

Subscribers Add Themselves to Groups

If your list is brand new, show group choices on your signup form so subscribers can join groups when they opt in. You can also send a campaign to current subscribers that contains an update profile form with your new group options.

How the Form Builder Works

Additional Group Options

You can choose to show or hide individual groups from subscribers depending on what data you do or don't want them to see. For example, you may want to sort leads from your CRM into groups based on their level of engagement. Use a hidden list group to keep the data available to you, and unknown to subscribers.

Hide Groups on Signup Forms

Each of your lists can contain up to 60 group names. Remember, group names are the options like, "Freshman," "Sophomore," and "Junior." The 60 group names can either be contained in the same group, or across several groups in the same list.

Group preferences are saved as list field data in each subscriber profile. After you have your subscribers organized into groups, you can use the group data from your list to filter your subscribers into segments, then send targeted campaigns to those segments.

Send to Groups in Your List

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