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It’s possible to delete a list in MailChimp, but we don’t always recommend it since you might lose important subscriber data.
In this article, you’ll learn about the drawbacks of list deletion, and how to delete a list if you need to.
Drawbacks of List Deletion
Before you delete your list, keep these drawbacks in mind.
Permanent Data Loss
If you delete a list, you'll lose the list history, including subscriber activity, unsubscribes, complaints, and bounces. You’ll also lose subscribers’ email addresses. All campaigns that were sent to that list will remain in the account and most of the statistics in your campaign reports will continue to update. However, some list-specific links and system tags, like unsubscribe links, will stop working. Conversations will no longer be accessible after you delete a list.
If you need to delete your list anyway, that’s okay, but it’s almost always best to back up your account first.
Possible Abuse Complaints
For each list in your account, we keep track of bounced and unsubscribed addresses and prevent them from being added back to your list. If you delete the list, its bounce and unsubscribe information is lost.
There are a few alternatives to list deletion that keep your data intact without adding to your subscriber count.
Use the Unsubscribe Feature
We’ll never charge you for unsubscribed addresses, so one alternative is to bulk unsubscribe people who no longer want to be on your list. This prevents them from being accidentally re-added to your list in the future.
Auto-Update Your List
Instead of deleting a list and importing the same subscribers to another list, perform an auto-update import to add new information for existing subscribers. This way, you maintain and update your existing list, and keep all your list-specific data, unsubscribes, and cleaned addresses intact.
Maintain a Single List
If you work for several clients, it makes sense to manage multiple lists. But if you manage a single business with different audiences, you can use groups and other tools to manage a single master list without duplicating or losing valuable data.
How to Delete a List
Sometimes, it’s necessary to completely delete a list. If you’re certain you want to permanently delete your list, here’s how.
To delete an entire list, follow these steps.
Navigate to the Lists page.
Check the box next to the list you want to delete.
In the Are you sure? pop-up modal, type DELETE in all caps and click Delete.