Why Bloggers, Marketers, and Coaches Shouldn't Use MailChimp for their Email Provider

Today I got dumped.

Yep, the big monkey in the sky decided that, after using them for over a year to send out my 1099 Mom email newsletters, I was in violation of their TOS.  It all started after I spent over an hour crafting this month's email newsletter (full of legit freelance postings and tips for balancing work and family), and got this email instead of the newsletter:

Hello Linsey,

Omnivore detected content, keywords, or activity that can sometimes tell us harmful information is being sent through our service. The account requires human review at this time. To begin the review, you can either log in to the account and follow the instructions on your dashboard or visit our Contact Us page here: http://kb.mailchimp.com/contact. Be sure to choose 'MailChimp Compliance' in the drop down menu to reach us directly.

We appreciate your patience during our human review and can usually resolve the issues within 24 hours to get you sending again.


The MailChimp Compliance Team

I followed their instructions and simply sent a message for them to get back to me on my review.  I immediately received an email from their account team: Kennedy, specifically:

Hi, Linsey,

Thanks for reaching out.

Thank you for interest in our service.

Unfortunately, MailChimp is not able to serve as your email provider, because there is something about your industry, or something about your list, that conflicts with our terms of use:


Your account falls under this prohibited content and / or industry noted in ours Terms of Use under exhibit (f):

Work from home, Internet Lead-gen, Make money on online opportunities, etc.

We want you to know that we're sorry we can't help you, that we don't judge people, and we don't judge what industry you're in. Most importantly, as a business, we truly do want your money.

But there are just some very strict and complicated spam laws, spam filters, and ISP rules out there that we have to comply with in order to get emails reliably delivered for all of our customers. Some industries and list types tend to generate more than average complaint rates (legit or not) with their emails, which is a risk that we unfortunately cannot take.

Please email us back if you have other specific questions or comments that we can help you with.

MailChimp.com / System Compliance

I had heard all the bad things about MailChimp a year ago, when I started my list, but I didn't listen.  I had heard how they weren't as "intuitive" or as "savvy" as Aweber, iContact, and the others.  I hadn't heard that they would terminate my account with no notice for using the words "work at home".  (Note that I don't sell ANYTHING on my blog.  I have a few well-placed Google ads and Amazon aff links.  I don't offer anything for sale, however.)

Now, before you go all "didn't you read the terms of service?" on me.  I had.  However, it never crossed my mind in a MILLION years that my industry was "make money online."  It was more "start a small business from your living room."  I guess they can't tell the difference, nor, do they want to.

So, it's good-bye to MailChimp.  We had a nice run.  I liked your templates.  I didn't like your inability to distinguish my list from the list of a fake "mom blog" site.

If you have a site, blog, or business that tells others how to make a living using a computer OR you use affiliate links in any of your newsletters -- beware.  MailChimp could dump you, too.  You could lose a good chunk of your list in the transition to a new provider.  You could also be locked out of your account and not even be able to get to your past newsletters for record-purposes (like me.)

Have you been dumped by MailChimp?  If not, are you prepared to be?

Angie from The Work at Home Wife did a great article on getting ready to move.  I recommend it.

Wanna Save? I have been using iContact for one of my other email lists for some time. I will now be changing my MailChimp list to that service.  If you were thinking of signing up through them, use this link, and get a discount toward a paid account! (Disclosure: I'll get a credit, too!)


  1. Oy. Sorry, Linsey. I hope you can at the very least get your lists downloaded for the move. It's a bump in the road, but keep moving.

  2. Done and done. Thanks, Angie. It was a rude way to start the day (and a waste of my time), but probably for the best :)

  3. Crap. I better go copy my list.

    They had rejected me from the beginning but I emailed and they did a more in-depth review and approved me.

    I have two email lists with them both about working from home.

    So sorry Linsey...

  4. I wonder if they are getting more strict again? I had initially been approved, which is why I am confused. They absolutely refuse to reconsider, and, to be honest, if they are going to be so fickle, I don't want to trust them with my precious email list!

    Thanks for your concern. I'm glad I was able to quickly sort it out and have it transferred to my other email provider (icontact).

  5. Linsey,

    I use Mail Chimp because it is free and easy but now I am surely contemplating moving to a paid service. My niche is WAHM who makes an income online BUT legitimately. I talk about how it takes a while and all that stuff. No scams. Now I am scared.

    Aweber here I come...

    Thanks for your insight.


  6. Hi, Allie!

    Yes, I was surprised to hear that my emails wouldn't be allowed, because I view my site the same way. Sad that they would lump us in with the scammers..

    Thanks for your comment!

  7. Thank you for this... I was thinkin about using them as my eNewletter.

    I'll probably go with Constant Contact that was reccommended to me by the Party Plan Coach, Lynsey Jones.

    I sell Mary Kay Cosmetics, and I have a beauty blog and I am trying to get a toehold in the online market... so, I need no trouble or anyone deciding that my postings are against the rules.

  8. Thank You! I was considering a free service, but maybe I should look into the paid services a little more. I don't "sell" anything from my blog, but have affiliate links and in the wide scope of things I blog about earning money online is one of them; although I'm just getting started :)

  9. Carla and Kendra,

    Thank you both for your comments! I am glad you found us, and your insights are valuable. I loved the idea of a free service, but, you often get what you pay for. If you have any questions about building your lists, please let us know!

  10. I use Aweber and am so far pretty satisfied. I hope your transition was easy! I hate that MailChimp did that to you. I started to use them at one point and then found out that they occasionally give blogs in the work at home niche a hard time so I skipped over them.

  11. I wish I would have asked around before I started with them, but it turned out OK. My provider for my other list had no problem transitioning everything over. Lesson Learned :)

  12. Hi Linsey, thanks for the big heads-up.

  13. OMG I just noticed that mailchimp is.... what for it... .charging money online for their service.

    Gee I guess they should shut themselves down, since they are trying to make money online... :)

    I have been using aweber for years and never any hassles like this. As for free services - I would never suggest anyone pay for free email delivery if it's key to their business.

    I recently wrote about my love affair with aweber on my blog.


  14. I signed up with MailChimp and after spending hours learning their software, culling and uploading lists and designing a newsletter,they sent me an email that I was not in compliance. They did not like the content of my newsletter. My newsletter was a change of address notice because my company is moving offices.

    After doing all this and signing up with a paid account, the rug was pulled out from under me.

    Very frustrating!!!

  15. gosh. this happened to me a few days ago and i wasn't even aware until when the newsletter was supposed to be sent. according to my mailchimp account, i was in violation and that there was an email sent to inform me. what a load of BS. i checked my mail and my spam box, but nothing was sent to me about this. man. i am a tech blog and newsletter was sent based on the blog post from my RSS feed and i don't see what's wrong with it. anyway, just thought you guys should know that not only "work from home" is being targeted. it is more than that. it is lucky i didn't pay for it. got to run, time to migrate to any email provider.


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