If your business is based in the European Union (EU), or you process the personal data of EU citizens, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) affects you.
In this article, we'll answer common questions about MailChimp and the GDPR.
MailChimp offers tools and information as a resource, but we don’t offer legal advice. We recommend you contact your legal counsel to find out how the GDPR affects you.
Can I collect consent for other tools through MailChimp's GDPR signup forms?
Yes. You can edit the suggested language for the GDPR fields of our signup forms to collect consent for use outside of MailChimp. If you choose to write your own descriptions, make sure you’re explicit about why you’re collecting data.
How can I prove consent?
- Export your list.
If a contact signed up for your list through a MailChimp-hosted form, you can export your list and review the OPTIN_TIME and OPTIN_IP fields in your exported CSV file. These fields contain the date, time, and IP address associated with the signup.
- Turn on double opt-in.
You can enable double opt-in, which includes an extra confirmation step that verifies each email address. After turning on double opt-in, export your list and review the CONFIRM_TIME and CONFIRM_IP fields in your exported CSV file. These fields contain the date, time, and IP address associated with the confirmation.
- Take a screenshot of your signup form.
You can capture an image of your signup form to prove you accurately described your marketing activities. You can also access this information in our form versions.
How can I use MailChimp features to help comply with the GDPR?
- Use MailChimp’s GDPR signup forms and double opt-in to collect your contacts.
- Ensure the language in your signup form accurately describes your marketing activities.
- Sign our Data Processing Agreement (sample here). When you’re ready to execute the DPA, please visit this page where you will be directed to log in to your account. If you are not authorized to sign agreements on behalf of your organization, please email the link to that individual. Valid login credentials are required; however, please do not share your own login credentials. If the authorized signer does not have access to the account, you may use the steps found here to grant account access and invite them to create their own login profile with valid login credentials.
- Turn on two-factor authentication for added protection.
- Update your website's privacy statement or policy to state you use MailChimp to store information.
- Make sure your Cookie Statement describes any cookies or tracking technologies you might use.
If you’re not sure, MailChimp’s Cookie Statement includes a section called Cookies served through the Services that describes technology you (or your website) might use, depending on the features you use through MailChimp.
The GDPR could affect your business outside of MailChimp. We recommend you contact your legal counsel to find out how the GDPR affects you.
Do I need to get consent from my existing contacts?
If you collected consent from existing contacts in a way that complies with the GDPR, you may not need to collect consent from those contacts again.
Otherwise, you'll need to collect GDPR-friendly consent from the contacts you already have. Send a consent email to everyone on your list that includes a link to update their settings. We are not aware of anything that specifically prohibits you from sending a reconfirmation email after May 25th. Some EU authorities recommend that businesses periodically refresh consent, suggesting that reconfirmations can still be sent.
The important thing is that you need to ensure that you have a legal basis – such as consent or a legitimate interest – to send an email to a contact.
If you don’t feel like you have a proper basis under the GDPR to email a contact, you may want to refrain from sending a reconfirmation email and remove the contact from your list. As always, we suggest you reach out to local counsel in your area to discuss the specifics of your situation.
If my contacts don’t consent, should I stop communicating with them?
You need to have a legal basis, like consent, to process an EU data subject’s personal data.
Use your Marketing Permissions segments to communicate only with contacts who have expressly opted-in to your marketing. You may find it helpful to bulk unsubscribe all contacts who have not opted to receive any marketing from you.
Do I need to use double opt-in?
We recommend you enable double opt-in if you are subject to the GDPR.
Double opt-in includes an extra confirmation step that verifies each email address. This confirmation provides additional evidence of consent.
How can I see who signed up using double opt-in?
Export your list and review the OPTIN_TIME and CONFIRM_TIME fields in your exported CSV file.
OPTIN_TIME The time a contact accessed your signup form, if they used it to sign up. CONFIRM_TIME The date and time the contact clicked the link in the opt-in confirmation email. If the values of the OPTIN_TIME and CONFIRM_TIME fields are different, it is likely the contact signed up using double opt-in.
If you’ve combined your lists into a master list, the __OPTIN_TIME__ field won't be included in your exported file. You won’t be able to verify the opt-in status of contacts.
Imports and Exports
Can I import contacts who have given consent outside of MailChimp?
Yes. If you have GDPR forms enabled for a list, you can import contacts who have given GDPR-friendly consent for marketing permissions.
Can I view marketing permissions in a list export?
Yes. If you export a GDPR-enabled list, one CSV file header will match the GDPR form field label in your segments. This field will display each marketing permission the contact has opted-in to.
How do I fully delete a contact's data?
Choose the delete and remove option from their profile page. This action permanently removes all of a contact’s personal information and anonymizes their data in your reports. After you delete and remove a contact, you won’t be able to add them back to your list.
If one of your contacts asks us to remove their data from every account in MailChimp, we'll notify you with an email. After you receive the email, you'll have 30 days to delete and remove the contact from every list they're on, as well as any connected integrations.
Can I translate GDPR fields in MailChimp's signup forms?
Can I use GDPR fields with MailChimp Subscribe?
No. GDPR fields are not compatible with form integrations or MailChimp Subscribe.
Can I make the Options field on GDPR forms required?
Yes. When you edit the fields on your GDPR-friendly form, check the box next to Require at least one option. If this is enabled for your form, at least one marketing permission checkbox must be selected before a contact can subscribe.
Are GDPR tools available in the API?
Yes. We've added marketing_permissions as a field with a boolean value, so you can enable GDPR fields and sync contact marketing permissions using the API. To learn more about managing lists with MailChimp API, check out our API documentation.
To comply with requests to fully delete data, you can also permanently delete contacts using the API. After a contact is permanently deleted, they cannot be re-imported.
Connected Sites and Integrations
What if I transfer data from a site or e-commerce store to my MailChimp account?
You are responsible for determining whether other third-party applications, including connected sites and e-commerce stores, meet GDPR requirements.
If you rely on consent to process subscribers' personal data, double check whether the consent that you previously obtained meets the GDPR's standards. For example, check third-party integrations to be sure they don't automatically add people to your MailChimp list without an opt-in checkbox that clearly states how you'll use that person's data. You should also review the terms associated with any MailChimp add-ons or third-party integrations you use.
Do I need to sign MailChimp’s Data Processing Agreement?
If you’re located in the European Economic Area (EEA) or send to anyone in the EEA, you should sign our Data Processing Agreement (sample here). When you’re ready to execute the DPA, please visit this page where you will be directed to log in to your account. If you are not authorized to sign agreements on behalf of your organization, please email the link to that individual. Valid login credentials are required; however, please do not share your own login credentials. If the authorized signer does not have access to the account, you may use the steps found here to grant account access and invite them to create their own login profile with valid login credentials.
What’s the penalty if I don’t comply with the GDPR?
Chapter 8 of the full text of the GDPR discusses remedies, liability, and penalties.
Where are MailChimp’s servers?
Our servers are located in the United States. Because MailChimp certifies to the Privacy Shield framework, we can lawfully receive EU data.