Single or Double opt-in for my email subscribers in Canada?

Are you wondering what changes, if any, your Shopify store needs to make after October 31, 2017 when MailChimp removes the double opt-in requirement for subscribers to join an email list?


MailChimp’s double opt-in option provides a time and date stamp for when a subscriber signs up to a list PLUS a time and date stamp for when they confirmed their subscription. This two-step process is considered a best practice as it helps eliminate sign-ups by bots and sign-ups with undeliverable email addresses due to typos.

Is double opt-in required to be CASL compliant?

One of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) requirements is EXPRESS CONSENT to send “Commercial Electronic Messages” (emails, texts, and social media communications) that encourage recipients to take part in a commercial activity like the promotion of products or services.

Canadian businesses (or businesses doing business with Canadians) can decide if they’re meeting CASL's requirements which are summarized here:

Express Consent is only valid with these 4 points:

  1. A clear and concise description of your purpose in obtaining consent
  2. A description of messages you'll be sending
  3. A statement that the recipient may unsubscribe at any time.

    The 3 points above can be covered with accompanying text adjacent to a sign-up form. For example:
    Join our email list and receive notice of specials, giveaways, and news each month.
    You can unsubscribe at anytime.

    1. Requestor's name and contact information (physical mailing address and telephone number, email address, or website URL)

    The last point can be covered with company contact information available somewhere on the website where the signup form is displayed.

    4 other CASL requirements include:

    You must retain a record of consent confirmations.
    This is covered with MailChimp’s time and date stamp for each signup and forms a part of each subscribers record. The record can be exported at any time.

    When requesting consent, checkboxes cannot be pre-filled to suggest consent. Each subscriber must check the box themselves for consent to be valid.
    Ensure the setting on your Shopify checkout page are, "customer doesn't agree to receive promotional emails" so the box will be set to "unchecked" on the checkout page.

    All messages sent must include your name, the person on whose behalf you are sending (if any), your physical mailing address and your telephone number, email address, or website URL.

    This information is covered in MailChimp’s email templates.

    All messages sent after consent must also include an unsubscribe mechanism, and unsubscribes must be processed within 10 days.
    Instant 1-click unsubscribe is a feature in every MailChimp email template. 

    If you’ve met these requirements, then you’re CASL-compliant.

    You can read more about CASL requirements.