Setting up your Mailchimp group(s)

Created by Sloane DellOrto, Modified on Wed, 05 Mar 2014 at 04:48 PM by Sloane DellOrto

Before we get into setting up your groups, we need to distinguish between lists and groups. While it's common to refer to your "mail lists" when talking about groups of individuals who share an interest in information, for our purposes those are actually "mail groups" instead. 

LIST: A list is the master mail account. Each website links to one list. A list can contain up to 60 distinct groups within it.
GROUP: A group is used to collect a list of contacts per interest. (For example you may have a group for each newsletter you send, or for various events or event types, etc.)

Set up and manage Mailchimp groups
  • Log in to your Mailchimp account at (send us a message if you don't remember your credentials)
  • Click on Lists in left navigation
  • Go to Manage subscribers > Groups

  • Choose Create Groups if you'd like to add new ones, View Groups if you want to see the ones that already exist. Note that Digital Deployment sets up at least one master Group for you when we create your sandbox, so you may simply want to add subgroups to that one
    • View Groups: Here you can see the subgroups under the master Groups
    • Create Groups: choose the options for the new group - checkboxes, radio buttons, dropdown, or don't show on signup form. 

    • The Group title (DD Newsletters) is simply for organizing the actual Groups within: Feature Updates, Latest News, Some Other ... When you're email blasting from within your site, the Group titles won't be visible, only the actual groups within them.*
    • Save

*Although the Group titles aren't visible in your site, they can be handy for organizing your groups in Mailchimp, and you're welcome to use as many as you'd like ... up to the limit of 60. :)

Adding people to your Groups

  • To import email addresses to a group, navigate to the groups page and click “Import to” for the Group you'd like to add to, or use the Import link at the top of the page

    Note that if you start from the Import link at the top, your desired Group won't be preselected in the next screen so keep an eye out so that you don't import to the wrong Group

  • The next screen gives some advice on allowed lists, where you can get your contacts from, and a link to tips on "How not to be a bad email marketer." This is easy to ignore, but ignore it at your own peril: we've seen clients get blacklisted and dropped by Mailchimp for accidentally spamming people who did not ask to be on their mail list. If you don't have a solid list of people who asked to hear from you, it's likely that you'll have high abuse complaints ... and get dropped by the sending service.
  • It then gives two groups of options with multiple choices in each: 
    • Upload from my computer (Upload from file or Copy/paste from Excel). Note that if you choose Copy/paste from Excel, you can also type manually into the "paste" box
    • Import from another service (Salesforce, Google, many more)
  • Once you choose your import / upload option, the next screen will either have the group you started from preselected (and you can add additional groups here too), or allow you to choose the group(s) you want to import to
  • Important tip: it's always a good idea to check the box "Auto update my existing list" unless this is the very first time you're importing contacts. This checks your import and allows you to add contacts to Groups even if they already exist in your master List, but are not in the particular Group you're importing to. (Example: if you don't check this box, and the contact Jane Smith is already in your Upcoming Events Group, you will not be able to import her (add her) to your new Monthly News Group. 
  • Click “Import List”
  • On the next screen, match up the columns and skip any you don't want to import (first name, last name, email address, etc) 
  • Click “All Done”

An important note about timing

The website and Mailchimp sync on a schedule. If you just added a new Group and imported contacts to it, it will not be available on your website (for sending) for a little while. If you don't have time to wait you can force this sync, but you have to be a System Administrator:
  • Sys Admin: go to User Management (in the top black admin menu) > Subscriptions > Groups
  • Click the button called “Synchronize with MailChimp”

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