Getting Started with Groups

Use groups to sort your subscribed contacts based on their interests and preferences. Groups function like categories, and are an excellent way to manage diverse contacts in the same Mailchimp audience. Groups can be the basis for building audience segments for sending to targeted audiences.

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

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.
  • Only subscribed contacts can be added to groups, but unsubscribed contacts will retain their group designations.


A collection of contacts, 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 contacts. 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 contacts.

How to Use Groups

When you're ready to create a new group in your audience, 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 contacts by class. You can create an audience group category called "Students" with the group names: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior. After your contacts 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 Audience Group

Ways to Add Contacts to a Group

After you create an audience group, you can either add subscribed contacts 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 Contacts to Groups

As the account user, you can manually add group elections to each individual contact's profile one at a time, or use the import builder to add or move multiple contacts to specific audience groups at the same time.

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

Add Subscribers to Groups

Contacts Add Themselves to Groups

If your audience 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 contacts 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 audience group to keep the data available to you, and unknown to contacts.

Hide Groups on Signup Forms

Each of your audiences 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 audience.

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

Send to Groups in Your Audience

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