If you don't already have a MailChimp account and at least one list setup, go through Step-by-Step to Your First Email Campaign first.

How do you determine who in your mailing list has signed up for what? What if you only want some people in your list to receive a particular email?

While you could create a new list for each of your needs, it would be much simpler to put everyone related to your business in the same list. The secret is to use the MailChimp's Groups feature to group people so that you can organize a list for targeted sending.

People on your list can belong to multiple groups. For example, you could have one group for your newsletter and another for participants of your recent workshop or teleclass. That way, once they've signed up, you can send out email campaigns specifically to your newsletter subscribers or communicate with participants of your teleclass. You can also have a group for employees and another for customers. You will still have them all as part of your main list so that you can send out general notices and announcements for specials or upcoming events.

When would you want to use multiple lists instead? This might be important if you are working for several clients or different organizations. For example, you could have one list for the parent committee at your child's school, another for work and another for a community service you are working with.

Step-by-Step to Creating a Group

Important Note: Once you create a group, you will not be able to change any of its settings, however, you will be able to rename it. Take the time to do it right when setting it up.

  1. Log-in to your MailChimp Dashboard
  2. Click the List link in the top horizontal menu
  3. Locate the list in which you want to create a group and place your mouse over the Groups link in that section. If you only have one list, the choice will be simple.
  4. Click the Create Groups link.
  5. These Groups Go In Which List should indicate the name of the list you are working on. If not, change it.
  6. How should We Show Group Options On Your Signup Form has four options:
    • As check boxes (people can select more than one): Use this option if you want to let people choose which of your groups they want to be on.
    • As radio buttons (people can select just one): Use this option if you want to give people a choice of being part of only one of your groups.
    • As a select menu (people can select just one): This is the same idea as radio buttons except that they pick from a list. Useful if you have a long list of groups.
    • Don't show these groups on my signup form: Lets you create a group that will not show up on your sign-up form. This is useful for your own filtering purposes. For example, you can have a group for people who signed-up for a particular event or even something as simple as flagging them as an existing customer.
  7. Group Title is where you will enter what you want to call your group. Each group can have several sub-groups. For example, you can have a group called "Interested in" and another called "Purchased". Each of these can have subgroups such as "Lawn Care", "Gardening", "Pool Supplies". Why? Because that way you can send special offers, articles and reminders to existing customers and advertising of special promotional offers to potential customers. When doing so, you can actually tailor your emails to the products the recipient will most likely be interested in purchasing from you.
  8. Once you have filled out all of the fields, click the Save button.

Now whenever you send out a mail campaign, you will be able to specify which group(s) of people should receive the emails.