If a person gives their business card does that explicitly mean they’ve given permission to be emailed by MailChimp standards?

This is the actual question below in full that was asked on one my forums here


“Have a question for you guys about MailChimp. I’m a new user myself and haven’t really done much with it, but recently a client asked me to input her contacts into MailChimp, so this question is mostly pertaining to that job. When you go to manually enter contacts into MC, you have to click a box saying something to the effect of: “This person gave me permission to be added to this list.” When I click on “more info” for this, it basically tells me that the person has to have given permission to be on the list, either by opting in on your (they specifically say ‘your’) website, or given you permission in person to email them. These are contacts who have given them their business card. Does that explicitly mean they’ve given permission to be emailed (by MailChimp standards)? Thanks!”


… and my answer was.



Image by RVO

Just because someone hands over their business card it is not permission to add them to your list. According to MailChimp this is called spam – unwanted or unsolicited bulk email. Here is a link to MailChimp’s Acceptable Use Policy.


The person may request either verbally and then give you their card to add them. They may input their info in your optin form. These are acceptable adds to an email marketing list.


It’s my opinion it’s your responsibility to check with and inform the client before adding them. Your client, may not be aware of this fact and should be informed so they can then make an informed decision about whether or not to add them. 


They may in fact have given your client permission, and when you talk to your client you will be able to find out. If they have not given your client permission though then you should inform your client that by adding people that did not explicitly request to be added they could be reported for spam to MailChimp. This could resort in MailChimp suspending or even terminating their account. 


Have your client read the link for MailChimp and also have them read this link for the CAN-SPAM Act as they could also be reported to the FTC for spam.


Here’s the link to actually file the complaints.


Bottom line – it is only your responsibility to inform the client. It is up to the client what to do with that information. If the client wants to proceed with something that is in violation with either MailChimp or FTC regulations then you have to follow your own ethics to decide if you will do that or not.


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Christian Mom of 2, animal lover, your virtual business partner helping you create success in your business, owner and CEO of Rhonda's Virtual Office and Partner of One Life ... Plan-It! discovering new passions in my business everyday and loving it!

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