Mailchimp Contact Organization Explained


A self-contained list with its own opt-in/unsubscribe information. Mailchimp is designed so that you will have 1 audience per account.

The only times you should have more than 1 audience

  • Separate businesses in the same account, 2 lists that will never overlap like B2B & B2C, larger institutions who need to manage their own lists independently

Each audience contains its own:

  • All contact data information and data fields
  • A signup form unique to that audience
  • Branding information and defaults
  • The unsubscribe link removes the contact from the whole audience
  • Campaign activity from only this audience is recorded by these contacts
  • Contacts can be labeled and sorted within an audience
  • Changes to contact information in 1 audience does not affect other audiences


A internal label that can be put on contacts. Contacts can have up to 50 Tags.

Tags are used for:

  • Lists within your audience
  • Note where contacts are imported from
  • Job title, type of client, contact interests


A labeling system that allows for a category with various options – can be front-facing, so contacts can choose the categories or change preferences

Groups are used for:

  • Contacts can select their own categories on the signup form
  • Contacts can change their choices using an Update Preferences link
  • Concrete sections of an audience (ex. Student, Faculty, Staff)

Tags & Groups – Best Practices

  • The use of tags & groups will eliminate the need for multiple audiences for the same group of contacts
  • Tags & Groups can be added to an entire list when it is imported
  • Contacts can be added or removed from Tags & Groups based on search criteria
  • Contact Group preferences must be honored


A search tool that can use up to 5 points of data. Including if a contact does or does not fall within certain criteria and combining criteria together. These searches can be saved and will update in real time.

Contacts can be segmented by:

  • Tags (tagged or non-tagged)
  • Groups
  • Contact data fields (ex. First name is Bob)
  • Signup source
  • Date added
  • Campaign activity (sent, opened, clicked)

Examples of use:

  • Re-sending to people who didn’t open the previous email
  • Sending to people who are invited to an event, but have not RSVP’d
  • Sending to everyone on a newsletter list except a certain Tag
  • Sending anyone who has Tag 1, Tag 2, or Tag 6
  • Sending only to people who have both Tag 3 & Tag 8


Contact is taken out of the audience, but all their data is preserved. This should be done with unsubscribed contacts or contacts who are not engaging with content. If the contacts are imported again or resubscribe, they will be moved back into the audience.


Contact is permanently removed from the audience. Contact can only be added back in through a hosted sign-up form. They can not be added back in through an import. Don’t do this. Archive instead.

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