Part 10 – Use Segments To Send To Only Part Of Your List

Last time we talked about MailChimp, we had you send a letter to your entire list of supporters. But what if you only want to send a note to pastors, or only to your financial supporters? MailChimp lets you send a note to a segment that represents only a part of your list.

You have several ways to pick a segment when sending an email, but the easiest way to do it is to send to those subscribers who fit into one or more groups. Back in part 5, we created a few groups for our subscribers, including the following:

  • A Pastor
  • A Family Member
  • A Missions Committee
  • A Financial Supporter

After you add several subscribers and assign them to groups, you may have a list that looks something like the picture below. In this example, the group that we created is called “This supporter is….”

Existing Subscribers
Existing Subscribers

For this example, let’s suppose you want to send an email only to those people who are either pastors or financial supporters (or both). With this list of people, that would be everyone except Sample Subscriber.

Send To A Segment

Sending to a segment of your list is a lot like sending to your entire list, except for a few extra steps near the start of the process.

Check out part 9 of this series if you need a refresher on how to send email through MailChimp


You’ll recall that when we sent last time, the second step was to tell MailChimp to send to the entire list. This time, we’ll choose Send to a new segment instead.

Send to New Segment
Send to New Segment

Describe This Segment

Now MailChimp wants you to tell it which subscribers belong to this segment. To do this you describe the Conditions that a subscriber must meet to be part of the segment.

Each condition is made up of three parts:

  1. The field to check
  2. How to look at it
  3. What to look for

The Field To Check

The first button in the condition holds a list of the different fields that MailChimp records for each of your supporters. Each group that you create becomes one of these fields.

To create a segment based on the type of supporter, choose This supporter is… from the Groups section of this button.

How To Look At It

A supporter can belong to more than one group, and you can select more than one group when you set up the condition for your segment. With so many possible combinations, MailChimp needs to know how to decide whether to include a supporter in the segment. When MailChimp checks a group field like this one, there are three ways it can decide whether a supporter will be in the segment:

  • one of: The supporter will be in the segment if they belongs to even one of the groups you choose.
  • all of: To be in the segment, the supporter must belong to every group you choose.
  • none of: The only supporters in the segment will be those who do not belong to any of the groups you choose.

We’ll be sending the next email to supporters who are either pastors or financial supporters or both, so choose one of from the second button.

What To Look For

The third part of this condition is a list of groups that are part of the This supporter is… group set. You’ll want to choose both A Pastor and A Financial Supporter.

Tip: To select more than one option in a group list, hold down the Ctrl key (on Windows) or the command key (on Mac) when you click the second choice.
Select the group options
Select the group options

Check The Results

Click the Update Recipient Count button at the top of the screen, and MailChimp will tell you how many of your supporters fit in the segment.

Click the number itself (“5” in the example above) to see exactly which of your supporters will be included.

Preview who will receive your email
Preview who will receive your email

You can see from this list that every included supporter is either a pastor or a financial supporter. Click the back button on your browser to close the list of subscribers and continue preparing to send your email.

That’s All

That’s all it takes to restrict an email to a segment of your list. Click the Next button at the bottom of the MailChimp window to continue setting up the rest of your email.

Take Action

Even if you don’t have an email ready to send, start a new campaign and try out a few ideas of your own with segments and conditions. If you’re not ready to send an email yet, you can always delete your experimental campaign.

By the way, if you’re just joining us, welcome! I do assume that you already have an account at MailChimp and that you already understand what an email manager can do for you as a missionary. If you don’t have an account, check out Part 2 of this series to set one up.

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