To find out more about your MailChimp lists, create a segment.
I’m not sure why it took me so long to figure this out, (just dumb, I guess..) but MailChimp actually has a pretty good built-in querying ability directly from the management interface. It involves the segmenting function, where you create subsets of your list. MailChimp calls these subsets segments, and the classic use for this is to break up a large list so that you can test different segments by using different subject lines, or mailing times.
From a database perspective, it looks like this:
MailChimp vs. Database
create a segment = create a query
segment = query results, aka a “cursor”
segmenting options = query criteria, aka an SQL WHERE clause
saved segment = saved query results
In SQL, this would be the equivalent of:
SELECT * FROM <my eMail list> WHERE <my criteria> INTO <my segment>;
The available criteria are fixed, but there are a lot of useful ones. You can combine up to five criteria in a single segment request. For example, let’s say you want to see how your list is performing. You can query how many subscribers opened:
- all of your last five campaigns
- one or more of the last campaigns
- none of your last campaigns
The criteria are chosen from a convenient drop-down list.
To see the results of this query, click on the “Preview Segment” button at the bottom of the dialog box.
One thing you may note in the listing above, is a field called “Grade Level”. We include this field on our MailChimp sign-up form. It will be populated only if we acquired the user through that form and if they choose to give us that information. We also ask for zip code.
The “Contact Rating” field, with the stars, rates the quality of the contact based on their campaign activity and the length of time that they have been on the list. Oddly enough, new acquisitions start out with two stars. If they fail to respond to several campaigns, then they are demoted to one star. These stars are the basis of determining how to pare down your list; eventually you might consider removing 1-star contacts altogether, or sending them a “re-engagement” eMail beforehand. This is well documented on the MailChimp web site. To cut to the chase… 4 and 5 star members are engaged, 3 star members either have low activity, or haven’t been on the list long enough to earn a higher rating.