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Audience groups

All of the contacts in your account are collectively referred to as your "audience". To help keep your contacts organized you can create groups, for example, donors and volunteers, or customers, prospects, and partners. They can also be used to organize contacts by geography, gender, customer type, or subscription preferences.

Create and manage groups

You can create as many groups as you like, and they can be for internal use only — for organizational purposes — or, you can display them to contacts as a way for them to self-select their interest groups.

Groups make it easier to effectively target your audience with relevant content because, when you select recipients to send a mailing to, you can choose from groups, or segments.

Regular versus test groups

There are two types of groups that you can create: regular and test groups. Test groups are intended for sending test emails to select groups of people, prior to doing the final send to your audience. For example, you might have some colleagues who can proofread the email for typos, or there may be stakeholders who want to see the content before it's sent.

When choosing recipients to send a mailing to, your test groups are available along with your regular groups. When you send to a test group, the email subject line is prefaced with [TEST].

Test groups can contain a maximum of 10 contacts, and they cannot be added to signup forms like regular groups can.

When creating test groups, use the word "test" in the group name so you can differentiate these from regular groups when choosing recipients to send to.

Create a group

To set up a new group within your audience:

  1. Open the Audience section in your account, then click Groups on the left.
  2. Click Create a group.
  3. Enter a name for the group, then click Create. You can optionally tick the checkbox below the name field to make it a test group.

The new group will be added to your "Groups" page. If you chose to make it a test group, open the "Test" tab to see it.

The "Groups" page showing a newly added group

Archive a group

If you no longer need a group, you can archive it:

  1. Open the Audience section in your account, then click Groups on the left.
  2. Select one or more groups to archive, then click Archive, above.

One group selected, which displays the archive button above

Archiving a group will not archive or delete any of the contacts in the group, and it will not affect the contacts' subscription statuses. However, if it contains contacts who are not members of any other group, they will become "in limbo".

You can also rename groups, or export a list of contacts in the group. To do so, click the down arrow, to the far right of the group name, then make a selection from the dropdown menu.

Delete a group

After a group has been archived, you can optionally delete it:

  1. Click on your name in the top right corner of your account, then select Archived items from the dropdown menu.
  2. Select one or more groups to delete, then click Actions, above.
  3. Click Delete.

Group membership

Here's some useful information regarding contacts and groups:

  • Groups differ to segments because group membership is manually controlled by you — or the contacts themselves, if you add groups to your signup form.
  • Contacts who are not a member of any group are referred to as being "in limbo", which can make it tricky to send emails to them.
  • A single contact can be a member of multiple groups: both regular and test groups.
  • You can merge groups by adding one group of contacts to another.
  • Contacts are copied to groups, not moved. If you no longer want contacts to appear in a specific group, you'll need to manually remove them.
  • If a contact is a member of multiple groups, and you send a mailing to two or more of those groups, Emma will deduplicate to ensure the contact is only sent one email.

Contacts in limbo

Contacts who are not in any groups are left floating around "in limbo", which can make it difficult to send emails to them. When choosing recipients for a mailing you can enter contact email addresses individually, as shown below, but it's easier to make sure you've included everyone if they're in a group — or alternatively a segment.

The "choose recipients" field showing one email address entered

Even if you're adding contacts to groups when importing them into your account, there are a couple of ways that contacts can accidentally end up "in limbo". This can happen when:

To see if you have any contacts "in limbo", you can use the segment builder to find contacts who are not members of any group.

Add contacts to groups

You can add contacts to groups in the following ways:

  • Via file import — When importing a file, you can add the contacts to an existing group or create a new group.
  • Via manual import — Group membership can be assigned when adding a new contact.

Remove contacts from groups

To remove a single contact from a group, open their contact record and deselect the group you want to remove them from:

A contact record in edit mode

To remove more than a few contacts from a group:

  1. Go to Audience > Groups, then click on the group you want to edit.
  2. Select the checkbox alongside any contacts you want to remove.
  3. Click Actions, at the top of the list, then select Remove from group.

Add contacts from one group to another

Contacts are copied to groups, not moved. Depending on your reason for adding the contacts to another group, you may need to remove contacts from the original group afterwards. Or, if merging groups, you can optionally archive the original group afterwards.

To add an entire group of contacts to another group:

  1. Go to Audience > Groups, then click on the group you want to edit.
  2. Click Actions, at the top of the list, then select Add all to group(s) from the dropdown menu.
  3. Select the group you want to add the contacts to, then click Add.
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