Import Subscribers to a List

This feature requires Manager user level or higher.

MailChimp offers several ways to add subscribers to your list. You can import subscribers from a CSV, TXT or Excel file to a new list or an existing one, or import new data for existing subscribers. 

In this article, you'll learn how to import subscribers from a CSV, TXT, or Excel file.

Before You Start

Here are some things to know before you begin this process.

  • To import subscribers, you need a list in your account. Create a new list or back up your existing list before you make changes.
  • Errors can occur if your list is not set up properly. Before you import, read our format guidelines to learn about file setup, and to view a sample import file.
  • When you import subscribers to a new list, we'll scan your file and remove any duplicate email addresses from the import. Additionally, when you import new subscribers to an existing list, we'll scan for duplicates, bounces, and unsubscribes that are already stored in the list you're importing to, and we won't add those to your active list. We can't detect duplicates, bounces, or unsubscribes across multiple lists, however, because all lists in MailChimp are independent of each other.
  • Subscribers who are imported to a list don't go through the double opt-in process, so they won't receive any of the associated emails, including the Final "Welcome" Email.
  • This process outlined in this article imports subscribed email addresses. To import a suppression list, you'll import addresses to the Unsubscribed section of your list.
  • Other ways to import subscribers in MailChimp include: built-in integrations, third-party integrations, and via API.

Import from a CSV, TXT, or Excel File

To upload your contacts from a CSV, tab-delimited text, or Excel file, follow these steps.

  1. Navigate to the Lists page.
  2. Click the drop-down menu next to the list you want to work with, and choose Import.
    List drop-down menu with cursor over the import option.
  3. Depending on the file type you have, choose CSV or TXT file, or choose Copy/Paste from file to use an Excel file.
    CSV or TXT option selected for import method.
    If you've previously imported to your list, you'll see an option to Use settings from last import.
  4. Click Next.
  5. To upload a CSV or TXT file, click Browse and choose the file from your computer. To import from Excel, copy and paste your contacts into the field provided.
    Example of CSV file chosen for import.
  6. Check the I understand that my billing plan may be automatically upgraded box. Your account will only be upgraded if your list import causes your subscriber count to exceed your current billing plan.
  7. Click Next to go to the Import Subscribers step and match the columns in your import file to the columns in your MailChimp list.
    Next button to move onto next step of import process.
    If you chose to use settings from a previous import, we'll automatically match and skip columns based on your last import. Review your columns and make any changes you want, and click Next. Skip to step 12 to review your import.
  8. Click Save for the Email Address column. We automatically match the column in your import file that contains email addresses to the required Email Address field in your list.
    Save button on Email Address column to match your import to your MailChimp list.
  9. On the second column, click Save, or click the drop-down menu to select a different field type. To create a new column in your list, choose New Column Name.
    Example of Phone column as a new column added during matching your import to your MailChimp list.
    The editing pane for each column includes the current column name, field type, and example data from your list, for reference. To exclude a column from the final import, click Skip. This won't remove a column that already exists in your list.
  10. Repeat Step 9 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 to show you've matched all your columns.
  11. Click Next to review your final import settings.

  12. 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. You can click Details to view which columns you matched to fields in your list, or Edit to make changes.
    Checklist to review your import settings before you finalize.
    If you want to use your import to update information for existing subscribers, click the Auto-update my existing list box.
  13. After you've reviewed your settings, click Import.

After you finish your import, you'll be taken to the page where your subscriber list will display after the import is finished. During the import, a status message is shown on this page to indicate the progress of your import.
Status displayed on View Subscribers page to show the progress of your import.

You can navigate away from your list and work on something else while you wait. We'll email you when your list import is complete, and display a success notification on the subscriber list page. Import notification emails go to the Profile email address of the user who imported the list.

About the Auto-Update Option


Use the Auto-update my existing list option to update existing subscriber information in your MailChimp list with new data in your import file.
Auto-update my existing list checkbox, as it appears on the final step of the list import process.

Auto-update replaces the column data in your list with the column data in your list import, so you can quickly update information from your CRM or other database. But keep in mind that if any fields are blank in your import file, you'll overwrite the column data in your list with blanks and lose the old information.

For Auto-update to work properly, verify your subscriber data is up-to-date on your import, and that the column names in your import match the column names in your MailChimp list.

After You Import

After you’ve completed your list import, it’s a good idea to review your field formatting to make sure everything imported correctly before you send to your list.

To view the List fields and *|MERGE|* tags page for your list, follow these steps.

  1. Navigate to the Lists page.
  2. Click the drop-down menu next to the list you want to work with, and choose Settings.
  3. Click List fields and *|MERGE|* tags.
  4. Review your list fields and make any desired changes to your field settings and default merge tags.

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