Why should I use email marketing?

Email provides a direct communications channel with your audiences and community – what you want to say goes straight to someone's inbox, when you want to say it. 

The development of this channel is therefore essential to:

  • Demonstrate EIT Food’s value proposition and purpose.
  • Build long-term relationships and inform audiences. 
  • Drive change in the agrifood sector and build reputation for innovation and entrepreneurship. 
  • Draw attention to projects, events and opportunities. 
  • Demonstrate the growth and power of the community. 

How does EIT Food use MailChimp?

As of June 2023, EIT Food has migrated its MailChimp audiences into one master audience and cleaned contacts using a verification system to delete any erroneous or duplicated contacts. The benefits of maintaining a single audience are:

  1. Targeting is more effective with all your contact data in one place. A single audience makes it easier to use tools like tags and groups to organise insights about subsets of contacts.
  2. A single audience simplifies sending by making the audience easier to manage and keep clean.
  3. It helps preserve data and avoid multiple unsubscribes. When you have a central location to look for details about your people, data is unlikely to get siloed or overlooked. 
  4. It makes it easier to maintain and 'clean' your contact data. With one view of contacts and one record of their history, it’s easier to decide if it’s time to re-engage or archive contacts.


If you would to use the EIT Food MailChimp account and be added as a Manager, please contact

How do I use the master audience on MailChimp? 

If you previously ‘owned’ or used a MailChimp audience, your contact data has now been migrated into the ‘master EIT Food audience’ database, with the exception of the large Education database. 


The master audience is categorised using a consistent tagging and grouping system. The tagging system follows a naming convention and should always be adhered to when setting up new tags. 


This should be: Internal/External_functional area/region/theme/category_further information/type of email 


Some examples are:



External_Education_Master in Food Systems 2022

External_Education_Master in Food Systems 2022_Applications 

Internal_Partners and Staff_MB


These tags should then be used to send, monitor and track campaigns. Every old audience has a 'master tag' and any tags that existed within that old audience are now also set up as new tags. 

Email campaigns should only be sent to tags that you own. You should never email a tagged group of contacts that you do not own or do not have permission to email - this is for GDPR purposes.


Groups have also been set up as a way to categorise contacts and allow for multiple subscription preferences. Audience owners should not send campaigns via groups – this has been set up for contacts themselves to be able to unsubscribe from specific categories if they wish, rather than unsubscribing from the entire database. 

If you want to send a campaign to multiple tags, you can do this using the filtering function in the master contact list. You can also send campaigns to multiple tags via segmentation when setting up a new campaign.

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To build your segment you simply add filters using the tagging option as seen below. It is important that you ensure you have permission to email this tag for GDPR purposes. 

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If you have any questions about tagging naming conventions, please reach out to

How do I add a new tag? 

As long as the tagging naming conventions have been adhered to, tags can be added in three primary ways:

  1. Manually: tags can be added to contacts manually, using the contact list to add tags. 
  2. By importing: tags can be added to the master audience at scale when importing a list of new contacts via a csv file. When uploading a csv file to be imported, it is important that tags are listed in quotation marks and separated by commas. An example can be seen below:
    • "External_Annual Impact_Newsletter","External_Annual Impact_Newsletter_2022"
  3. Via forms: when setting up a form that is integrated with the master audience, tags can be included. See below for further details. 

Can I still view and use campaign data from old audiences?

Yes! All contacts from old audiences have been archived within the MailChimp account. This means that historic campaign and demographic data can still be accessed as normal if needed. These contacts should not be unarchived unless flagged with the Brand & Content team via All old audiences currently exist with ‘0 contacts’ – but do not worry! All this means is the contacts have been archived and now form part of the master audience instead. 

Why has the number of contacts reduced from my old audience?

There are a number of reasons why your contact numbers might look lower than before (and this is a good thing!):

  • ‘Cleaned’ contacts have been removed – this includes erroneous contacts, junk and spam emails, and emails that have had 0 engagements to date. This should increase the level of engagement your campaigns receive. 
  • Unsubscribed contacts have been archived – data associated with these contacts can still be accessed via the archive lists, but removing these will again increase your level of engagement. 

How do I set up forms with the master audience?

In order to set up forms that enter contacts into the master audience, it is recommended that you use the Formie plugin on the EIT Food website and categorise via tagging. This can be accessed using the toolbar in the website CMS. 


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When setting up a form you will be asked to add a name and a stencil (template). The name should always be the tag you intend to use in the MailChimp master audience (using the agreed naming convention – see section above!)


After adding in the relevant fields you wish to collect (e.g. email, name etc), it’s now time to integrate the form with the MailChimp master audience. To do this, navigate to ‘Integrations’ in the left hand side toolbar and follow the below steps:


  • Enable MailChimp migration using the green switch.
  • Select ‘Master EIT Food database’ from the list of MailChimp audiences.
  • Select the fields you want to pull into MailChimp – this should always at least include email address, first name and last name. 
  • Select the tag as ‘Form name’ – this will be the tag used in MailChimp to send campaigns (as long as the form name is using the tagging naming convention correctly!). This is really important to ensure your contacts are collected and tagged correctly.
  • Select the interest category that is most relevant to your audience. 
  • Enable ‘Append Tags’. This is really important to ensure your contacts are collected and tagged correctly.
  • Good to go!

If you need further website support or training, please reach out to


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Where can I find further help regarding MailChimp?

You can read our article about email best practices.

The MailChimp & Co blog also includes a series of useful how-to guides and step-by-step techniques for improving emails. This could be a great place to start. 


If you’re still stuck, feel free to reach out to and we’ll do our best to help you!