MailChimp’s Opt-in Change – What You Need to Know

This month, we welcome a guest blog post from our Sales Account Manager, Kate Kisner. 

 Kate is an experienced MailChimp marketer and is responsible for developing new Whereoware business.

Have you ever completed a webform to subscribe to a brand’s email list and then received a follow up email confirming your opt-in? This second email typically thanks you for subscribing and asks, “are you sure you want to receive these emails,” prompting you to confirm.

This double opt-in email subscription process is most common in countries where it’s legally mandated, like Canada and Germany.







These double opt-in emails are often triggered via the email service provider like MailChimp, but not for long. MailChimp previously defaulted clients to use a double opt-in process, but found 61% of people never complete the full opt-in process.

On October 31, 2017, MailChimp ended their double opt-in requirement. Today, all accounts default to a single opt-in process for MailChimp hosted, embedded, and pop-up signup forms. The new update requires all MailChimp users to manually activate the double opt-in function.

Need to Know Facts:

  • All MailChimp signup forms (including current forms) shift from double opt-in to single opt-in.
  • With single opt-in, the opt-in confirmation emails are not sent.

Opt-In Process Options

Let’s Start with Opt-In Basics

MailChimp offers two signup methods for users to subscribe to email lists. Both are sufficient ways to collect data, while safely growing a subscriber base.

With a single opt-in email marketing signup process, once the user enters contact information into a webform, their email address is instantly added to the company’s subscriber list, so they’ll start receiving company emails.

Benefits of single opt-in:

  • Instant gratification for both company and subscriber.
  • Limited friction for the user.

Disadvantages of single opt-in:

  • Increases invalid email addresses.
  • If email addresses are invalid, then overall email deliverability suffers. Violates some countries’ regulations and requirements (see below).

With a double opt-in, the user enters their information into the webform, but later receives a triggered email asking for confirmation that they want to receive future emails.

Benefits of double opt-in:

  • Decreases “bad” email addresses (typos or fake information), improving data quality.
  • Immediately communicates with subscribers through confirmation email. Gives the company the opportunity to talk about their brand, provide a special email offer, or ask to be added to the subscriber’s address book.

Disadvantages of double opt-in:

  • Failure to complete double opt-in (many subscribers won’t complete the second step).
  • Slow database or email list growth.

Who Isn’t Impacted by Mailchimp’s Change?

No European Union (EU) primary contact addresses change from the double opt-in process to the single-opt-in process. MailChimp received feedback from the EU MailChimp customers that the single opt-in subscription model didn’t align with their business needs, due to the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) changes and other local requirements.


Should you stick with Mailchimp’s single opt-in default or manually change your subscription settings to double opt-in?

Protecting the quality and health of your email list and your sender reputation is key. Ultimately, you need to weigh the importance of your business goals, like growing your list, providing your potential subscribers with easy sign up options, or protecting your list quality and sender reputation.

Be sure to follow the email marketing laws and regulations in your subscribers’ country, and always test to see what works best for your audience and engagement levels.