MailChimp changes all signup forms to single opt-in

A friend of mine who I set up a WordPress website for and who is using MailChimp for her newsletter just received an email some hours ago she forwarded to me:

In this email, MailChimp was informing her, that starting October 31, all signup forms will be switched to a single opt-in process, rather than the current default of a double opt-in.

A big problem for websites in Europe

She didn’t really knew, what that meant, but when I saw the email, I couldn’t believe what I’ve just read. The double opt-in ensures that anyone who ends up on your email subscribers list confirmed this by clicking a link in an email sent to them after filling out the signup form.

Many companies in the U.S. or elsewhere in the world might not have liked this, as many subscribers might not have clicked the link in this „welcome emails“. But this double opt-in process is fundamental in Europe. It is actually the only legal process that allow anyone to send a newsletter to a subscriber. Any single opt-in process will endanger you to be sued. In Germany this is bases on a lasw against „unfair competition“.

How to fix it

At the end of the mail you’ll find a link that gets you to a settings page, where you can find all your lists and chose those, you want to set the double opt-in process for:

For any website owner in Germany (and probably any other country in Europe), I highly recommend to set this signup setting immediately.

Update: If you have not (yet) received the email, try this link: https://admin.mailchimp.com/lists/opt-in-status/

Conclusion

Even though MailChimp probably has it’s reasons for this step, I don’t understand how they can change this even for existing signup forms and only inform their users a week in advance. It was always a bit difficult, if not to say dangerous, to use MailChimp in Germany. But with changes like this, many customers might want to look at competitors like CleverReach.

Disclaimer

I am not a lawer, so all information in this blog posts are bases on best of my knowledge. Please consult a specialist attorney for your case.

 

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Bernhard is a full time web developer who likes to write WordPress plugins in his free time and is an active member of the WP Meetups in Berlin and Potsdam.

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