Mailchimp Audience – Does It Give You A Headache or Are You In Control?
May 13, 2019, 13:44 Mailchimp by Hilde Haustreis

Mailchimp is one of the world’s most popular softwares for email marketing and marketing automation. Mailchimp offers endless opportunities when it comes to creating great and efficient newsletters. Many of these opportunities can be utilized in the email audience. The audience, previously known as lists, are the core of the software and an aspect that often can become overwhelming for the users. But by using the audience correctly you should be able to get control and full overview. By segmenting your audience, the ones who need certain information will receive it, and the ones who don’t, won’t. So simple, yet so hard. But what is the best practice when it comes to email audience? The answer is not straightforward, but I will give you some tips so you can easier identify what’s best for your company.

Out of all the participants who have attended HCL Nordic’s Mailchimp training, I would say more than 90% have had more than one audience in their Mailchimp account. Not only have I seen two audiences, but ten, twenty, some even have a hundred audiences in their account. How many do you have?

Mailchimp was designed for one purpose: one audience, that’s ideal. This often comes as a shock for most people. Many see audience-organizing as time-consuming and frustrating. But don’t despair, it can be done both quick and easy.

So Why Is Only One Audience Ideal?

There are many benefits by keeping to one audience. First of all, you get a full overview. All your customers are registered in one place. Your customers can be a part of different groups and segments, but the moment they choose to unsubscribe from your services, they can trust that they won’t receive any more emails from you. By keeping one audience it is also easier to stay in line with the customer privacy policy. Easy to sign up – easy to leave. One audience means one set of signup forms to adjust and maintain, and one place to manage groups and segments. Low maintenance, with a full overview. You can send emails to everyone or just to some.

If a subscriber wants to see what groups they belong to, they can go to the link “update profile” in the footer of the newsletter. Here they can see or update their contact information. If they no longer want to receive information from you, they can click the unsubscribe link. You are required to have these links in your emails. Many Mailchimp users panic at the thought of people using the unsubscribe link, as this link changes the status of the receiver as passive, and they are no longer reachable through Mailchimp.

Why Are Signup Forms So Important?

If a subscriber changes their mind, they can sign up again through your signup form. I do hope you already have a signup form embedded into your Facebook page and your website. In the future, these forms will be the only way to enter your audience if you want to act according to the new EU privacy regulation, GDPR, which went into effect on May 25th, 2018. After this date, you need active consent from all the people in your audience if they want to continue receiving information from you via email. The ones who don’t give consent, have to be deleted. New subscribers have to fill in personal information themselves.

Are you still with me? Overall, this is a good change for you as an individual but also for the company you represent. You will get dedicated readers, and the subscribers left in your audience are the ones who have a true interest in your message, your campaigns, and your brand.

Do you need help setting up GDPR in your Mailchimp account? Contact us here.

One Or More Audience?

Back to the number of audiences. Is one audience always the best solution? If the answer to this was yes, then Mailchimp wouldn’t give us the option of creating more than the one audience. Maybe your Mailchimp account is used by several departments in your company? Maybe these departments are so different from each other that separate signup forms are the best solution. Or maybe a customer should be able to continue being a member of other audiences, and not automatically be deleted when unsubscribing from one audience.

Groups and segments are usually the best way to categorize your customers, but an individual assessment is always necessary. You should know that Mailchimp offers billing plans depending on the number of subscribers, so if you have several audiences with the same people subscribed, you might end up paying for more than you need.

Any Wiser?

You should think twice before creating more than one audience in Mailchimp. Do you want control over the chaos? Start with organizing, combine audiences and work on your groups. It might not be as complicated and time-consuming as you think.

My Top 5 Tips for Mailchimp Audience

  1. Stick to one audience
  2. Use groups and segments when organizing your subscribers
  3. Design your signup forms to match your company profile and the purpose of the newsletter
  4. Don’t be afraid of losing subscribers
  5. Build an organic audience by having people sign up through your signup form