What Does the Mailchimp Member Rating Mean?

Mailchimp has a very impressive, built-in, way to decide who the most active subscribers in your audience are. This Mailchimp member rating system is a 16-point scale that is used to measure engagement. It’s oftentimes referred to as a contact rating. You’ve probably seen these ratings before when you logged in to your Mailchimp account. Your audience list has five-star ratings. This is the member, or contact, rating we’re going to talk about today.


The Rules Behind a Mailchimp Member Rating

As we mentioned above, there are 6 points of interest used by Mailchimp to calculate a contact rating. We won’t go over all of these today. It’s important to know some of the basics of how this all works though.

One of the most important facets of the system is the open and click rate. Mailchimp is monitoring how often your subscribers actually open and interact with your emails. To be even more specific, this oversight of activity even breaks down engagement based on the frequency of your campaigns. In other words, audience members opening up monthly emails are scored differently than those who open up weekly emails.

You can’t see all of the points of interest inside of Mailchimp. What you can see is a visual representation through star ratings. When you see a one through five-star rating next to a contact in your Audience that is their Mailchimp member rating.

Why Are My New Mailchimp Subscribers Given Two Stars?

A brand new subscriber, and those who don’t take “negative” actions, are rated at two stars by default. The only thing that can take a subscriber to a lower Mailchimp member rating is if they register a complaint or their address results in a hard bounce. Other than that, the only way for them to move is up based on their engagement levels.

Here, in broad strokes, are what each of the star ratings translates to in the eye of Mailchimp:

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ – Five Stars

When a user in your audience receives a five-star Mailchimp member rating they are your most engaged subscribers. These contacts are the ones who open and click on your campaigns the most. They are your most engaged, and active, members reading your newsletter.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ – Four Stars

Mailchimp considers a four-star rated member to be one that is “moderately” engaged. They don’t offer specifics as to how their algorithm determines moderate. By reading between the lines, one can assume a subscriber who regularly opens and clicks on links in your email can hit a four-star rating quite quickly.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ – Three Stars

A three-star user is considered someone with a low open and click-through rate. Low engagement is basically the minimal effort or interaction with your campaigns. There is also a time penalty, of sorts, involved with this level. A subscriber can’t get higher than a three-star rating until they have spent an undisclosed amount of time subscribed to your newsletter.

⭐ ⭐ – Two Stars

Like we already said, a two-star member rating is usually applied to new subscribers. It’s also possible for a long-time subscriber, whose engagement has fallen off, to slip back to this level. It’s slightly unfortunate that Mailchimp lumps those two groups together in this way. It means you need to take a little more effort when setting up segments to separate truly new members of your audience from disengaged, older ones.

⭐ – One Star

This is as low as you can go in the Mailchimp member rating system. A one-star contact has had a history of unsubscribing, and then resubscribing, to your list. Or, even worse, their email address has had a soft bounce during one of your previous campaigns. Either way, the one-star rated contacts on your list are the least engaged and most likely to be disinterested in your content.


ChimpBridge Logo

Check out our plugin, ChimpBridge! Write and send Mailchimp newsletters to your audiences inside of WordPress. Work as a team on newsletters, preview campaigns, and send your emails in an interface you and your clients are already used to publishing with.


What Does Engagement Really Mean?

Mailchimp contact ratings, and therefore engagement scores, are updated every time you send a campaign. This is an ideal way to rank members of your lists. Having up-to-date engagement numbers is important if you want to make changes. But what does engagement actually mean?

Positive Engagement

At the most basic level, positive engagement in the eyes of Mailchimp is a subscriber who is regularly opening emails. Positive engagement doesn’t just stop at opening though. Mailchimp is also monitoring click-through rates on all of the links in your campaigns. The more often a person clicks on your links the more likely they are to score high positive engagement marks.

In addition to clicks and opens, Mailchimp also applies e-commerce statistics to positive engagement as well. Users who have recorded successful purchases at your site and have had that information sent back to Mailchimp receive boosts in their positive engagement metrics.

Negative Engagement

The three big ways that Mailchimp measures negative engagement are probably obvious to anyone used to sending email newsletters. People who unsubscribe, mark your emails as spam, or issue a direct complaint are negatively engaged.

These are the users you don’t want sticking around. Negatively engaged subscribers can impact delivery rates, cause ISPs to flag your emails as spam, and other bad outcomes. Do your best to deal with these members quickly.


How to Make Good Use of the Mailchimp Member Rating System

What do we do now? We know how the Mailchimp contact rating system works, how engagement is scored, and just what exactly engagement means. One of the best ways to take advantage of the Mailchimp contact rating system is to make audience segments. Using proper audience segmenting techniques allows you to send specific content that is better matched to your goals.

Target Your Best Subcribers

Once you begin to take advantage of the segment system you can begin to send very targeted and focused campaigns to your “best” subscribers. This is ideal if you are trying to sell products or merchandise. It is a safe bet that your most engaged members are most likely to be interested in buying. Sending special offers to your four and five-star subscribers is a sure way to improve sales and performance.

Target Your Disengaged Subscribers

The reverse is true as well. By writing campaigns to target the lower-scored subscribers of your list you can possibly get them re-engaged with your content and business. Take advantage of this segment by trying out new ways to get higher open and click rates on your emails. Try and increase the engagement levels of these hard-to-reach users. Therefore, doing so can improve the quality, and engagement, of your entire audience.

Clean Up Your List

Finally, there’s no reason whatsoever to send your Mailchimp campaigns to people who don’t open them. Take advantage of the member rating system to prune your audience list. You might even be able to save yourself some money on your monthly Mailchimp bill by deleting disengaged members from your audience.


A Mailchimp Member Rating Offers Insight

We hope you’ve come to the end of this post with a better idea of how the Mailchimp contact rating system works. Hopefully, in addition to a better understanding, you’ve come up with some useful ways to take advantage of the ratings. Mailchimp is doing all of the behind-the-scenes monitoring for you. All you need to do is look at the overall picture and figure out how to write the best campaigns for your subscribers.