V3: Create Your Mailchimp List

Creating and setting up Your Mailchimp List (In your Mailchimp account)

Anne Heath avatar
Written by Anne Heath
Updated over a week ago

A critical first step to getting started with Mailchimp is setting up your list. Whether you’re starting from scratch, or bring an existing audience into Mailchimp, your list is where you’ll store and manage all your contact data.

In this article, you'll learn how to create and organize your list.

Before You Start

Here are some things to know before you begin this process.

  • Mailchimp was intended to be used with a single list, so you shouldn’t need to create more than one.

  • You’ll organize your list with tags.

  • If you absolutely need to maintain separate lists, you can repeat this process to create them. Lists are independent of one another, so contact and list data will be siloed on a per-list basis. Contacts that appear on multiple lists will also count multiple times in your overall subscriber count, which could increase your Monthly Plan.

  • If you’re using Mailchimp’s bulk email service, make sure you're familiar with our anti-spam practices and list requirements before you begin this process.

Create a List

When you create a Mailchimp account, we generate a list for you and populate it with details you provide. Each time you create a new list, you'll be prompted to input default information like your From email address and a message to remind your contacts who you are.

To create a new list in your Mailchimp account, follow these steps.

  1. Navigate to the Lists page.

  2. Click Create List. 

  3. In the box, click Create List.

  4. Type in the List details in the fields provided. 

  5. Review the Contact information for this list, and edit if necessary.

  6. In the Form Settings section, choose the opt-in method for your list. Check the box next to Enable double opt-in to send an opt-in confirmation email when someone signs up to your list. Or, leave it unchecked to use single opt-in and add subscribers to your list right away.

  7. Enter the email address where you'd like to receive notifications about your list, and select your notifications. 

  8. When you're finished, click Save.

After you create your list, you'll be able to import subscribers or set up a signup form to collect new contacts.

Organize Your New List

Now that you have a list, there are a few technical things you should know before you add contacts. No need to memorize it all right now, but just an overview of the basics can help you decide how to best manage your list.

Here are some definitions that will help you understand list structure in Mailchimp.


Your list should be your total collection of contacts, so you should only need one overall list. If you still choose to create multiple lists, be aware that lists are independent of each other. They don’t share data or contact information. For example, if [email protected] is in two of your lists, we count that as two people. It’s almost always best to have a single list, and use our list organization tools to separate and manage contacts.


Tags are customizable labels for your contacts that you can use to organize your list. Create tags for sets of contacts based on data only you know about them. You can send directly to tagged contacts, or segment based on tag data.

This article was taken from MailChimp's help desk. It can be found on their website by clicking HERE.

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