Combine Lists

This feature requires Manager user level or higher.

Users and agencies who manage multiple brands or assets often keep multiple lists in MailChimp, but we generally recommend that most users manage a single, combined list. When you combine lists, you reduce the cost of your Monthly Plan, because it removes duplicate subscribers across different lists. To distinguish subscribers from different lists, use groups in your combined list.

In this article, you'll learn how to back up your existing lists, match fields and combine lists, remove unsubscribed and cleaned addresses, and delete your old lists.

Before You Start

Back Up Your Lists

List actions can't be undone, so be sure to back up your existing lists before you do anything else. In case the combined list doesn't turn out as expected, you'll have copies of your old lists to fall back on.

For each list you want to combine to a master list, you need to export the subscribed, unsubscribed, and cleaned addresses.

To export each group of addresses, follow these steps.

  1. Navigate to the Lists page.
  2. Click the name of the list you want to work with.
  3. Click Export List to export active subscribers.
  4. When the export is complete, click Export as CSV.
  5. To export unsubscribed addresses, click the All subscribers drop-down menu and choose Unsubscribed. Repeat steps 3 and 4 to export those addresses.
  6. To export cleaned addresses, click the All subscribers drop-down menu and choose Cleaned. Repeat steps 3 and 4 to export those addresses.

Repeat these steps for each of the lists you're working with, so you have a CSV file of each list's subscribed, unsubscribed, and cleaned addresses. If you're using an existing list as your master list, be sure to also export that list for backup.

Create a Master List

After you back up your lists, create a master list where you'll combine your subscribers. It's up to you whether you create a new list or choose an existing list for this purpose. If you use an existing list, rename it to indicate its master status.

Match Field Labels

The information stored in the list you're moving your subscribers from will overwrite existing data in the list you're adding to.

Before you combine, you'll match the field labels between your old lists and your master list, so that the combined list field data is mapped to the correct label. Merge tags and merge field numbers don't need to match. If matching labels is difficult with your lists, consider combining lists by CSV.

Ways to Combine Lists

There are two different ways to combine lists in MailChimp—the Combine feature or via CSV import.

The Combine Feature

  1. From the Lists page, click the drop-down menu for the list you want to add to your master list and choose Combine lists.
    Select Combine lists from the drop-down menu
  2. Use the drop-down menu to choose your master list and check any groups you want to add these subscribers to, if you've set up groups. Then, click Next.
  3. Type CONFIRM into the pop-up modal, and click Combine Lists.
    Type CONFIRM to complete the action

Repeat this process for each of the lists you want to combine with your master list. When you use the Combine feature, subscribers added to your master list will have a signup source of Unknown.

When you've combined all of your lists, remove your cleaned and unsubscribed addresses.

Combine Lists from a CSV File

With the CSV method, subscribers will remain in your old list until you delete them or until you delete your old list. Follow these steps to import the the backup CSV files you made.

  1. Navigate to the Lists page, click the drop-down menu for your master list, and select Import.
  2. Select CSV or tab-delimited text file, then click Next.
    CSV or TXT file selected as import method.
  3. Click browse to choose the list file you exported.
  4. Click the I understand that my billing plan may be automatically upgraded checkbox. Your account will only be upgraded if your list import causes your subscriber count to exceed your current billing plan. Remove your subscribers from your old list to avoid duplicate subscribers across lists.

  5. Click Next to move on to the Import Subscribers step and match the columns in your list import to the columns in your MailChimp list.
  6. Click Save for the Email Address column. We automatically match the column in your import that contains email addresses to the required Email Address field in your list.
    Save button for Email Address column.
  7. On the second column, click Save, or click the drop-down menu to select a different field. To create a new column in your list, choose New Column Name.
    Save button from example column with Phone as column name.
    The editing pane for each column includes the current column name, field type, and example data from your list, for reference. You can click Skip to move over a column and exclude it from the final import. This will not remove a column that already exists in your list.
  8. Repeat step 7 for all unmatched columns. You must match or skip all columns to complete your import. We'll display a success message when you've either matched or skipped all your columns.
    Success message displayed when all columns have been matched.
  9. Click Next to review your final import settings.
  10. On the You're all set to import screen, review the settings for your import. We'll display the method you chose for your import and the number of columns you matched. Review import settings page.
    You can click Details to view which columns you matched to fields in your list, or Edit to make changes. If you have groups set up in your list, you'll have the options to import your subscribers to one of your groups.
  11. Click Import.

Repeat this for each list you want to combine into your master list.

When you're done, remove your cleaned and unsubscribed addresses.

Remove Unsubscribed and Cleaned Addresses

If you had subscribers on multiple lists, you might have various information for them. To help keep your list healthy and avoid emailing bounced and unsubscribed addresses, remove the unsubscribed and cleaned addresses for each list you combined.

  1. Open the unsubscribed or cleaned CSV file on your computer using a spreadsheet program.
  2. From the Lists page, click the drop-down menu for your master list and choose Manage subscribers.
  3. Click Unsubscribe people.
  4. Copy the email addresses from the open CSV file, and paste them into the email addresses field on the Unsubscribe People screen, then click Unsubscribe.

Use this bulk unsubscribe feature for all of the cleaned and unsubscribed addresses for each list you combined to keep your list healthy.

Delete Your Old Lists

After you combine lists and unsubscribe old addresses, you can delete your old lists from your account. Save all your exported CSV files in case you need your original lists again later.

When you delete lists, you also deletes list stats. If you want to combine your lists but don't want to delete your list stats, you could remove your subscribers from your old lists, but leave the list intact.

  1. Navigate to the Lists page.
  2. Check the box next to the lists you want to delete.
  3. Click Delete.

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