A rant about MailChimp's list import restrictions and why I can't use MailChimp

MailChimp is a fun email campaign manager, and I just tried to import a sizeable list into their system. Unfortunately, they don't allow the importing of "role-based" email addresses. They define role-based addresses as addresses who are not people, like "billing@... or info@..." This is an obvious decision to cut down on spam from people who try to enter a bunch of fake addresses just to try to get a message through. Unfortuntely, I think this rule causes more harm than good.

When I went to import my list, a bunch of addresses were blocked because of their role-based restriction. The only way around this is to manually enter each address.

I'm sure this was a tough decision inside MailChimp to restrict people from adding role-based addresses automatically, but I still think the decision is pretty ridiculous, the reason being, not everyone conforms to MailChimp's definition of "role-based." While large companies might submit to the hierarchy of sales@ submitting to a lead tracking system or info@ being distributed to several people, in small businesses or in personal email management, many people use the same types of addresses in much different ways.

MailChimp really shouldn't decide for everybody that certain addresses should or shouldn't be considered role-based because they don't know how everybody uses email.

Here are some of the addresses from my import that were rejected as role-based:

  • mail@
  • me@
  • hello@
  • office@
  • info@
  • sales@
  • billing@
  • editor@
  • webmaster@
  • support@

I even tried contacting support who refused to help. It looks like, unless I know someone, I'm out of luck.

Because of this restriction, I'm looking into other email marketing providers who doesn't have this restriction. There's no way I'm wasting time manually importing addresses one by one.

MailChimp could have easily had my business (ya know, where I actually pay them for services), but because of this one restriction and no way around it for legitimate purposes, they lost me.