In these instructions, I describe how to merge Mailchimp audiences where the audiences contain tags and, or groups.
Mailchimp has a process of combining audiences however the Mailchimp method doesn’t combine tags or groups. Many of my Mailchimp clients need to combine audiences but use groups and tags in the Mailchimp preferences center, for customer journeys or segmentation.
Time needed: 1 hour and 30 minutes.
These steps illustrate the process for combining Mailchimp audiences where groups and tags are needed. This process works well for large or small audiences and multiple audiences.
In the following steps, I refer to the audience into which you want to merge contacts as the ‘master’ audience. I name the audiences from which you wish to combine contacts to the master audience as the ‘old’ audience. It is assumed that you have basic Mailchimp knowledge.
- Backup existing audiences.
For all audiences that you’ll be combining, export the contacts, download and store the files provided by Mailchimp.
- Select or create the master audience.
Choose an existing audience to be the master audience or create a new audience to serve as the master.
- Create groups in the master audience.
If you use groups in your old audience, create the groups as per the old audience in the master audience. Note that this is a critical step if you use groups in your old audience.
- Export contacts from the old audience.
Export the contacts from the old audience and unzip/uncompress the file that Mailchimp provides. Mailchimp will have provided up to four CSV files with naming similar to; subscribed, unsubscribed, non subscribed, and cleaned.
- Edit the exported CSV files.
Open each CSV file in Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets or an alternate editor. Remove any fields you don’t want to import into the master audience. Note that the email address is required, the TAGS column is needed (if in the CSV file) the column/s containing the group/s from the old audience are needed.
- Decide on your import order.
Before the next step, which is to import the contacts, plan the order in which you’ll import contacts. If you are importing multiple old audiences into the master audience, you may choose which old audience to import first. Very importantly, at this step, is to plan to import unsubscribed, non-subscribed, and cleaned contacts before importing any subscribed contacts. This is important so that you don’t, for example, inadvertently import an unsubscribed contact as subscribed.
- Import contacts
Import contacts as you normally would from a CSV file. Note:
a) At the “Organize your contacts” screen, be sure to import unsubscribed contacts as unsubscribed, subscribed as subscribed, and so on.
a) At the “Organize your contacts” screen, don’t select any groups (we do this later).
b) When you reach the “Tag your contacts” screen add the name of the old audience as a tag (this helps identify contacts in the future).
c) At the “Match column labels to contact information” screen, be sure that the column/s of your group in the import match the corresponding group field in Mailchimp.
d) At the “Match column labels to contact information” screen, ensure that your tags are being imported into the Mailchimp “Tags” field.
Complete the import and check that all is good.
- Archive the old audience contacts.
You may now go to your old audience, select all contacts and archive the contacts. Mailchimp doesn’t bill for archived contacts so this will save you some money whilst still being able to unarchive the contacts should you so wish.
- Delete the old audience.
When you’re confident that you’re ready to delete the old audience then, well, delete the old audience.
If you need assistance with this process please book some time with me.