Mailchimp's practice of restricting each email address to only appear on each list once is normally (99.99% of the time) very sensible. As a seasoned Mailchimp user, I'm keenly aware of the benefits of using email as the primary identifier: it prevents people from receiving duplicate emails and allows us to quickly sync subscriber details with an import.

However, it is sometimes the case that we would want an email address to be included on the same list more than once. In our case this is because of the way we use automation, but I can imagine this also being the case with certain uses of merge fields in non-automated lists.

If I want to force an email to exist multiple times in my list, is there any way to do this?

As an aside (and to pre-empt the need to include this in an edit!) our specific use case is that our recipients are people who've said they'd take part in an event. These events are quite numerous, but all call for emails (e.g. reminders, instructions) to be sent at certain points prior to the event date - a clear opportunity for automation. The spanner in the works is that a non-insignificant number of our participants will be taking part in more than one event and that their email "journeys" will overlap in many cases.

  • I'm not sure I'm following here. Why not just add these people to the list once? What's the advantage of sending them multiple emails at the same time?
    – user5676
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 16:29
  • @barrycarter They won't be getting multiple emails at the same time. The date (and other merge fields) will be different. It will only be the email (and name) that will be the same.
    – Tom Wright
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 17:40
  • OK, so you're saying each email you send only goes to a subset of this list, but there are some people who happen to be on multiple subsets? Sounds like a good case for having multiple lists, one per event?
    – user5676
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 18:07
  • That's the gist of it. We currently do manage this as multiple lists, but it seems awfully redundant to have the same automation plans (and email content) replicated across dozens of lists.
    – Tom Wright
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 18:09
  • A subscriber can belong to more than one segment or interest group. These segments or groups can correspond to your events. Why doesn't this work?
    – rahi
    Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 12:26

1 Answer 1


This is an old question now, so I thought I'd follow up with our eventual solution...

Rather than trying to coerce an email to appear in a list multiple times, we wrote a program that used Mandrill (transactional email solution from Mailchimp) to send emails one at a time.

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