Getting Started with Groups

When you create a list in MailChimp, you can collect and 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 name of 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.

Before You Start

To make sure groups are the right choice for what you want to accomplish, first ask yourself these questions.

  • Do I want to organize my list based on subscriber-provided information, such as their likes and dislikes?

  • Do I want to import subscribers into categories based on information I already have, such as which list they belonged to in my previous email service provider (ESP) or other information from my customer relationship management (CRM) database?

  • Do I need to be able to move subscribers from one category to another, like skill level or lead type?

If your answer is yes to any of these questions, then creating a list group may be the best organizational solution for you.

How to Use Groups

Before you create a list group, you’ll first need to create a list in MailChimp. 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 want to organize subscribers by how often they want to receive your campaigns. You can create a list group category called “Sending frequency” with the group names: Daily, Weekly, and Monthly. After your subscribers choose which group they want to be in or you manually organize them into groups, you can send daily emails to the daily group, and so forth.
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 ESP 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, “Staff,” “Faculty,” and “Student.” 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

Was this article helpful?
What can we do to improve articles like this?

Technical Support