Format List Fields

This feature is limited to certain user levels. You can see your user level on the Users & Account Details page and this article explains what each level can access in the account.

Fields in your lists need to be formatted a certain way to work properly with MailChimp. Different list field types, for example, addresses and phone numbers, are formatted in different ways. 

When you import files, be sure the character encoding is UTF-8, and that field labels are consistent. If you've already imported a list or created fields, navigate to the Lists fields and *|MERGE|* tags page to review or edit the field labels.

Below, you'll learn how each field type should be formatted to yield consistent results in MailChimp.


When you add an address field to your signup form, it displays several fields where subscribers enter data. When you include an address in your import file, however, the entire address should appear in a single cell and include the country. 

Format each address cell with all parts of the address separated by two spaces, as shown in the following example.

How the address looks normally:

512 Means St.
Suite 404
Atlanta, GA 30318 USA

How the address is formatted in your import file:

512 Means St.##Suite 404##Atlanta##GA##30318##USA

"##" represents two spaces in the example above, but don't include pound signs in the actual file. 

If a subscriber doesn't have a second street address line, just skip that line. The system will sort the fields correctly. Be sure to include the country at the end of each address, especially if you plan to segment by zip code.


Choose whether to accept Month/Day or Day/Month for a birthday field on your signup form. To import a birthday, be sure to use the format Month/Day:


To send an automatic birthday or annually recurring message to your subscribers, use a birthday field instead of a regular date field.   


Two date field formats are available to you. 

YYYY-MM-DD (ISO Standard)

In the examples above, MM is month, DD is day, and YYYY is a four-digit year. MailChimp will attempt to convert the date field to match the account's default date format. For best results, we recommend that you use the ISO standard format.


An image field allows subscribers to specify an image URL for an image hosted online somewhere. In an import file, include the full image source address with the "http://" at the beginning.


U.S. phone numbers should be in the following format with no spaces, parentheses or dots.


International numbers typically don't fit this format. If you have international subscribers, choose the international phone number option when you create a phone number field on the signup form. 


Text fields are limited to a maximum of 255 bytes of information. In many alphabets, this is equal to 255 characters. Some alphabets or symbolic characters, like hearts, use more than one byte of information per character, so it isn't always a one-to-one ratio. Anything greater than 255 bytes will be truncated.


Website fields must include the full URL of the subscriber's website, including http://.

Zip Code

Zip code fields can only contain five digits and don't support international postal codes. If you have international subscribers, use a text field instead.


Add groups to your list before you import your subscribers, so they can be assigned to the groups during import. Be sure to format the group column properly, or you may encounter errors with your import.

The column heading should be the group title. For each subscriber, include each group name the subscriber should be added to. For multiple group names, separate them by a comma. 

For example, if your subscribers can choose from Student Events, News, and Donations and a particular subscriber chooses all three then a row might look like this:

Lilah Morrison Student Events, News, Donations

If you've already imported your list and want to add subscribers to groups, you can do that from the Lists section of your account.

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