How to organize your Mailchimp Audience and improve your email marketing

How many audiences do you have in your Mailchimp account? If you have multiple audiences—and it's likely you do—it may surprise you to know there's a better way to organize your contacts.

And when I say better, I mean it may help you save money, save face, and save time. 

In this post, we'll explore the benefits of using a master audience and three ways to organize it that will improve your email marketing.

Let's dive in, shall we?

Why one Mailchimp audience is better than multiples

If you’re a fan of saving money, avoiding frustration, and keeping things simple, a Mailchimp master audience is the way to go.


Most agents have multiple audiences in their Mailchimp accounts—as few as five and some well over 50. But I've never encountered a single master audience in the wild.

Using a master audience instead of multiple audiences is a money-saving best practice for audience management in Mailchimp. Here’s why:

“Mailchimp treats all the audiences in your account separately, and billing is based on the total number of subscribed contacts across all your audiences. If you have duplicate contacts across audiences, one master audience could save you money.”

If you have multiple audiences in Mailchimp, it's likely you’re overpaying now or will overpay in the future.


Do you ever worry about sending an email to someone who has unsubscribed from your audience? How about sending the same email multiple times to a single subscriber? Using one master audience will ensure this never happens to you. Here’s why:

  • Mailchimp looks for duplicate email addresses within an audience but it doesn’t search for duplicates across all the audiences in your account.
  • When someone unsubscribes, Mailchimp removes them from the specific audience from which they unsubscribed, but it doesn’t unsubscribe them from the other audiences in your account.

So if you have multiple audiences, you run the risk of sending an email to someone who received it already or to someone who unsubscribed from one but not all of your audiences.


If you’re a fan of simplifying things, having one audience makes it easier to see how your account is performing. All your data is in one location, and that makes reviewing and reporting straightforward.

How to organize your Mailchimp master audience

Audience management tools

Mailchimp offers three useful ways to help you manage your audience: groups, segments, and tags. 


In Mailchimp, groups provide a simple way to categorize collections of subscribers by interest or preference. Buyers and sellers, for example.

Groups are meant to be contact-facing and are commonly used to collect information from people on your sign-up form. For example, you can ask subscribers a question and let them select the group(s) they'd like to join.

What Portland real estate info interests you?

You can also hide groups from your signup form and assign subscribers to groups inside Mailchimp. For example, you can use hidden groups when you use Mailchimp Subscribe (the mobile app that turns your tablet into a signup form) to collect email addresses at your open houses. 

  • Create an open house group category and then add property addresses as group names
  • Assign everyone who attends an open house at a specific property, automatically (this is done inside Mailchimp Subscribe)

The end result is that you'll have a record of where you met specific contacts—and it only takes a minute of your time to set up.


Another easy way to organize contact information internally is with tags. Tags give you the flexibility to label your contacts in a way that's meaningful to you: clients, referral, PieDay2018, etc.


A segment is a collection of subscribers who share similar characteristics. But unlike groups, a segment can filter subscribers by as many as five pieces of data—including groups and tags. For example, you can create a segment of 1) new subscribers 2) who are interested in condos 2) in NE Portland. 

Segments give you a lot of flexibility when you want to send an email campaign to a collection of subscribers who meet a specific set of conditions. And when you're ready for advanced segmentation, Mailchimp Pro allows you to create segments with unlimited conditions. #NerdOut

What's the point?

When you have your contacts organized in a meaningful way, it allows you to send the right message to the right person at the right time. 

A master audience streamlines your budget, shields you from embarrassing mistakes, and gives you an easy way to track the performance of your email marketing. 

Mailchimp's audience management tools make it easy to add information about your subscribers, collect details from your subscribers, and filter all the data in a way that moves your marketing to the next level—because you're starting with a solid foundation.

Mailchimp changed Lists to Audience in 2019. This article has been updated to reflect that change.



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