Requirements and Best Practices for Lists

Your marketing will generate the highest return on investment (ROI) when you take the time to build and maintain a healthy contact list. Mailchimp has built-in tools to help you along the way.

We also have certain list requirements all Mailchimp users must follow, and recommend some best practices that can help keep your list in good shape.

In this article, you'll learn about required and recommended best practices for list collection and maintenance.

Requirements for Lists

As a marketing platform with millions of users all over the world, we have an obligation to maintain a reliable service. This means we have requirements for your contact list you should be aware of in order to remain compliant with our Terms of Use.

Here are the most crucial requirements for your list.

Don't Use a Third-Party List

Third-party lists are prohibited under our Terms of Use. This includes purchased or rented lists, and lists scraped from third-party sources including public websites. Your list should be collected entirely by you.

Get Proper Permission

You can store different contact types in your Mailchimp list, including contacts who haven't signed up to receive marketing content. You're required to respect the permission levels for contacts on your list. Take a look at this article on contact types to help you determine which marketing materials to distribute to different contacts.

Recommendations for Your List

Mailchimp has some built-in tools to help keep your list clean, but you should exercise best practices for list collection and maintenance. Poor list maintenance can result in low engagement, abuse complaints, and compliance issues. Depending on the situation, these issues can force us to shut down your account.

In addition to our requirements, follow these recommendations to optimize the health of your list.

Use a Master List

If you can, it's best to use a single list that you organize with groups or segments, rather than maintain multiple lists in your account. Mailchimp treats all the lists in your account separately, and billing is based on the total number of subscribed contacts across all your lists. If you have duplicate contacts across lists, one master list could save you money. One list is also easier to manage and keep clean.

Check out this article to learn how to combine multiple Mailchimp lists into one master list.

Maintain Proper Permission

For subscribed contacts on your list, permission can go stale if you don't actively engage with them. If you have subscribers you haven’t engaged with regularly, we recommend you email them outside of Mailchimp to reconfirm their subscription. This will help reduce bounced emails and abuse complaints.

Re-Engage or Remove Inactive Subscribers

We strongly recommend that you periodically re-engage inactive subscribed contacts to confirm their interest in your business or product. If your inactive subscribers don't respond to your re-engagement campaign, it's best to unsubscribe them from your list.

Allow Subscribers to Update Their Profiles

If you use Mailchimp for email marketing, include an update profile link in your email campaigns so your recipients can update their personal information and subscription preferences. If you use interest groups, subscribers can change groups from their profile.

Consider Your Opt-In Method

You have the option to use a single or double opt-in method for your list. Double opt-in requires people to confirm their signup via email before they’re added to your list as subscribed contacts. Double opt-in can help ensure your subscribers are interested in your business, and keeps invalid email addresses off your list.

Learn more about double opt-in for your list.

Use reCAPTCHA Subscribe Confirmation

To prevent fake signups, we add a special reCAPTCHA check to our hosted signup forms that spambots can't access.

If you use landing page signup form blocks, or embedded or pop-up forms, you can enable reCAPTCHA in your list settings.

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