Here are some quick examples of lists that are okay, and lists that are not okay to use in MailChimp. This is just a guideline that we compiled from the most common lists we see and the most common questions we get. Your situation may be different, so always refer to our terms of use for detailed requirements.

In this article:

Your list is okay

Your list can be used in MailChimp if it includes:

  • People who have opted in to your list on your own website
  • People who have opted in to receive emails from you offline
  • People who opted in to receive emails from you at a co-registration site
  • People you're sending to on behalf of your customer, and they comply with the above.
  • People who purchased one of your products, or attended an event, and gave you their email address so they could receive updates from you.
  • Your internal employee list (such as for company notices)
  • Press releases sent to reporters who signed up at your website

Your list is NOT okay

If your list includes any of the following, it can't be used in MailChimp:

  • Lists that you purchased from a 3rd party (even if it's "opt-in", and even if Chuck Norris or THOR HIMSELF sold you the list)
  • Lists that you are renting from someone else
  • Lexis-Nexis, Real Estate MLS databases, Advertising Redbooks, AdBase lists, D&B, Experian
  • Lists from a local Chamber of Commerce or local club or organization.
  • A LinkedIn connection, even one that has granted you access to their email address, is not proper permission to add that person to your list.
  • Do NOT export your entire email address book into MailChimp. There are email addresses in your address book that you probably don't know are in there, like: tech support contacts from companies you've requested help from (techies get really mad when they receive emails from people they don't recognize, and they know how to report you for it, fast), and companies who've sent you email order receipts, etc
  • Emails that you "scraped" (either manually or automatically) from other websites
  • You may not send personal resumes to potential employers. They did not opt in to receive emails from you.
  • Recipients whose emails you collected without their permission, but you think they could really use your product or service, and you think they'd really want to hear from you.
  • Members of a group/organization who never asked for your emails (even if you're a member of the group)
  • Emails collected by Facebook Login. You can only send to those email addresses through Facebook, not MailChimp. Signing into your App with Facebook does not necessarily equal permission to be added to a mailing list.
  • Unsolicited press releases to reporters
  • Lists of customers who dropped their business cards in a fishbowl, but they had no idea they were going to receive emails (because you didn't say that on the fishbowl).
  • Lists of registered voters in your district obtained from your local government.


Still not sure? View specific examples

Was this article helpful?
What can we do to improve your experience with articles like this?
Thanks for submitting your feedback!
At this time, we are unable to reply to any responses,but we'll use this information to keep the site up-to-date.
Sorry, we were unable to submit your feedback. Please try again later.Thank you for your patience.

Related Articles