GPDR is affecting us all… and we might need to change how we do things…

If you’re in the UK/EU, no matter where you look, GDPR is likely to be something thats discussed – and unless you’ve been under a rock, you understand that it’s going to lead to a massive shake up of email marketing in the coming months.

As a MailChimp user, it’s something I’ve become very aware of and have been taking proactive steps to solve over the past 3 months with a combination of tools that I’ve created and increaseing awareness through my customers and followers.

…but I’ve just had a realisation of how some MailChimp users may be on a “cruisin’ for a bruisin’” if they haven’t got their MailChimp account set up in the right way when it comes to GDPR.

Without going into a massive amount of detail (trust me… it’s better that way), post May 25th (G-Day), you will not be able to email anyone in the EU if you can identify them by their email, unless you have a proven legal basis to do so.

There’s lots of discussion about what constitutes legal… but it’s agreed by pretty much everyone that if you can get “GDPR-compliant” consent from someone, you are covered.

As such, you’re likely to receive lots of communication between now and May 25th asking you to “ReConsent” to mailings or indicate you want them to stop.

…it’s something I’ve been doing for a few months – but unless your MailChimp account is set up the right way, you may have a problem.


One of my biggest campaigns when it comes to MailChimp is the need to have as few lists as possible.

It’s become almost a catch phrase: “Mo’ Lists, Mo’ Problems… the more lists you have in MailChimp, the more problems you’ll have”

This is based on the simple idea of can you send a single email to everyone who’s interested in you…

…if you’ve got multiple lists, with some people appearing on more than one list, then sending this email is difficult… as you need to manually remove some people so they don’t get it twice, or add people so they don’t miss out…

…it’s a pain.

…and I’ve recently realised how big a pain it could be when it comes to GDPR.


I realised this when someone pointed out that Honda UK received a big fine from the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) in the UK (I call them the GDPR-Cops).

Honda were penalised because they emailed a load of their customers asking them whether they wanted to opt in or out of future communication (i.e. did they want to “ReConsent”).  You may be thinking…. where’s the issue?

The reason they got fined was because they emailed people who had already opted out of “marketing” communication – but this wasn’t tracked – and as such were fined for emailing people with a marketing based email who had already said no.

But MailChimp tracks and manages all unsubscribes right?…  so what’s the problem?

If you have multiple lists in your MailChimp account and someone unsubscribes from one of those lists, I think they’d expect to unsubscribe from ALL of your marketing emails – but how do you ensure that that person is removed from all the other lists – unsubscribes are tracked via a list…

You can’t… unless you do it manually (and who likes to do things manually?)

If you are planning on doing a ReConsent campaign for GDPR, then you really need to consider consolidating all your lists into a single list.

That way, when someone does either ReConsent or Unsubscribe, there’s no confusion – and no need to transfer the information to other lists.

Yet another reason why…

“Mo’ Lists… Mo’ Problems”