Don’t Be a SP*Mmer: How To Upload Your Suppression List to MailChimp


Get Shift Done: Tips and Tricks

If you’re just getting started with MailChimp, you probably have some email addresses that you shouldn’t send to any longer — those that have unsubscribed previously, bounced or reported your list as spam.

Due to the CAN-SPAM laws, you’ll want to make sure you get those off your subscriber list before you send another email out. The good news is, MailChimp has a way for you to add these addresses, quickly, to a suppression list that will essentially remove them from your list.

First, let’s prep the list. Add your email addresses to an Excel file as shown below. Next, we want to export this file as a CSV, so click on the File menu.

Once in the File menu, select Export.

From there you’ll get the export screen. Click on Change File Type.

Last step with Excel. Under Change File Types, find Text (Tab delimited), select that and then click Save As. Save that text file — you’ll import that into MailChimp next.

Now switch over to MailChimp. Log in and from your Account Dashboard page, click on the View Lists button.

Once you’re in the Lists screen, find the list you want to add the suppressed addresses to. On the right you’ll see a button with an arrow next to it. Click on the arrow to open the list action menu.

In that menu, click on Import.

This takes you to the Import screen. Make sure that the “CSV or tab-delimited text file” radio button is selected, then click on Next Step: Setup. Don’t let it fool you — there aren’t a lot of steps. You’re already half done.

Now we’re going to open that text file you just saved from Excel. Click browse, and a file browser will open. Find and select that text file. Also, make sure you click the “I understand my billing plan” check box. Just remember, you’re removing addresses, not adding, and your billing goes against your subscribers, not your number of unsubscribed addresses.

Once you have the file selected and checked the box, the Next Step: Match button will become active. Click on that.

You’re ready to import! Double check that you have the Unsubscribed radio button selected. You don’t want to add these address, you want to remove them. Also make sure you select the auto update checkbox — you should do this any time you import a list, btw. Last step: click the Import button.

You’ll be sent to the page for the list you’re importing to. There are a couple of things you’ll see here. First, you’ll get confirmation of the number of address that were successfully added to your unsubscribed list at the top. You’ll also see the list of addresses that are subscribed to this list. Above those, there is a menu with an arrow that says All Subscribers. Click on that.

Now you can click on Unsubscribed in that menu and see the address on your list that will be suppressed when emails go out.

Double check to make sure the addresses from your list are there. You’ll also see that they have been added as Unsubscribed by admin.

There is one more thing to remember. These unsubscribes only apply to this list. If you have addresses that should be suppressed from other lists, you’ll need to go through the process again to add those.

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