General Data Protection Regulation FAQs

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.

Existing Contacts

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.

To ensure maximum response before May 25, you might want to send a reminder a week after your first email. Use a descriptive subject line to let your contacts know that an action is required.


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.

After May 25 2018, 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.

Double Opt-in

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.

    The time a contact accessed your signup form, if they used it to sign up.
    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.

Deleting Contacts

How do I fully delete a contact's data?

We’ll soon be releasing tools to let you comply with deletion requests. You can use these tools to delete a contact’s data without affecting the accuracy of your MailChimp reports.


Signup Forms

Can I translate GDPR fields in MailChimp's signup forms?

You can translate any GDPR field except the Privacy Policy and Terms field. You can also translate other parts of your signup form. For more information, check out  Translate Signup Forms.


Can I use GDPR fields with embedded forms or MailChimp Subscribe?

No. GDPR fields are not compatible with embedded forms, form integrations, or MailChimp Subscribe.


Can I edit the Privacy Policy and Terms field in my form?

No. The Privacy Policy and Terms field lets your contacts know that you’ll be storing their info in your MailChimp account. A link to MailChimp’s Privacy Policy and Terms is included. 


Can I make the Options field on GDPR forms required?
No. On GDPR forms, the  Options field uses checkboxes to get consent for each marketing activity you conduct. For the GDPR, consent must be unambiguous and involve a clear affirmative action. This mean no required or pre-checked consent boxes can be used.

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.

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