How Mailchimp can help your business towards GDPR compliance

Apps and Processes

Unless you have been living under a rock somewhere you will have heard about the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) coming into force on 25th May.  This new EU directive comes into effect to replace the existing Data Protection Act.  It has left many small business owners panicked with the impending changes.  A big concern for many small business owners is how they will continue with their marketing strategies.  Mailchimp may well have the answer to help businesses towards GDPR compliance.


Why are business owners concerned about their marketing?

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is clear that consent to process personal data must be obtained freely and unambiguous.  But they are also looking for transparency.  They are encouraging businesses to be clear, explaining why they are collecting personal data and how they intend to use it.

Many marketing platforms are restrictive in their designs.  They don’t allow individuals to choose or control what information they are receiving.  This is where the ICO are pushing to give EU citizens the right to control how their data is being used.

Current Mailchimp signup forms are basic.  There are a few fields to collect personal data, with a free text box to include some sort of description.  But no ability to choose what information you want to receive or what list you want to be added to.


What has Mailchimp done to overcome this?

Mailchimp has been working towards GDPR compliance.  They have recently announced an update to their signup forms to include checkboxes with editable sections.  Their aim is to help business owners stay compliant with the new regulations.


What this means to those using Mailchimp

A typical method to tempt people to opt-in is by using a lead magnet (often a free download).  But the design of current forms doesn’t give them an indication of what they are opting in to receive.  What are they going to be sent?  How is their data going to be handled?  This change will give transparency and control.  They can choose what information they want to receive, giving clear consent.  It will also allow businesses to explain how they plan to use their data.

But there are a few caveats to these changes.

  • The forms won’t be enabled automatically. You will physically need to go in and set these up.
  • Enabling these forms doesn’t ensure you are being compliant; it’s just one part of it.
  • To gain consent with these new sign up forms, you will need to enable them for new and existing contacts.  This is done by creating segments within your lists and sending a campaign to gain consent.
  • GDPR sign up forms are not compatible with embedded forms or Mailchimp subscribe.  You will need to review how you currently are directing individuals to your sign up forms.
  • GDPR forms are only compatible with certain types of pop up forms.  Again you will need to review your current setup.

This is great news for those hoping to continue using Mailchimp to grow their lists, whilst ensuring this aspect of their business is compliant with the GDPR.

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