MailChimp changes default Opt-In method – read here, why this is a bad idea

MailChimp, a bulk mail sender for small and medium-size senders is changing its default subscribe method from October 31st from Double-Opt-In to Single-Opt-In. In my opinion, this is not only a bad idea, but also against the evolution in times of GDPR and data security.

What does the change actually mean?

Currently, when you want to subscribe to a mailing list hosted by MailChimp, you will receive a confirmation mail. Without clicking the confirmation link, people don’t get subscribed at all. From October 31st, this will change – subscribers will be automatically added to the list – no confirmation mail anymore with a link to click.

So it becomes easier? What’s the problem?

The tricky thing is the following: While Double-Opt-In (DOI) is not explicitly mandatory, the German legislations (and in 1 month the European ones as well, thanks to GDPR) require the sender to proof consent from recipients to receive mails with advertising content. In fact, it’s not possible to proof consent without DOI. That’s one part. Secondly, DOI is seen as a best-practice from the ISP community – so called Spamtraps are controlling whether this best practice is followed or not. And if this is not the case, senders risk running into IP blockages and major Deliverability issues.

OK, this sounds kind of risky now – but what if you take care about my subscribers a lot?

Actually the effort for that is higher, than simply implementing DOI. The myth, that subscribers are lost with DOI doesn’t make sense to me – why should a confirmation mail prevent an interested person from subscribing? Is the trust in the recipients that low? It is true that you’ll not see 100% churn, but that’s actually a part of what DOI should do: separating valid addresses from bad and malicious ones.

Mistrust your neighbours

Even if you do everything perfectly correct – the tricky part is that MailChimp uses Shared IPs. This means, that senders share the same IPs with other senders – which means sharing IP reputation as well. If somebody else is running into an IP block due to hitting spamtraps and not following best practices, other senders suffer from those Deliverability issues as well. The industry trend goes into the direction of stricter rules, GDPR and higher security standards, so lowering the Standards might be a bad idea and against the trend nowadays. There’s no way to protect you with that IP strategy.

What can senders do now?

With a professional quality sender, you have the possibility to send your campaigns over dedicated IPs. You are not sharing reputation with anybody, so it’s possible to independently implementing latest industry standards and best practices to avoid Deliverability issues upfront.

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