How to add members to an email list in a GDPR-compliant way (via Zapier)

If you want to simply add members to an email list and don't need them to opt in first, you can read this guide instead.

Let's say, for example, you use an email marketing platform like Mailchimp to inform your members about updates and additional services through a monthly newsletter.

You probably want a way to add each new member sign up to an audience (i.e. list) in Mailchimp so you can later send them your monthly newsletter.

This is easy to do using an awesome tool called Zapier that allows you to send your member's data to over 1,000 other 3rd party services like Mailchimp, Trello, Google Sheets, Salesforce, etc.

Here's a quick overview of what our Zapier integration allows you to do. If you don't already have an account, you can join their Free plan here.

According to GDPR, you need to have explicit consent (i.e. opt in) from users when processing their data. What that consent is and how you obtain it is a discussion meant for you and your lawyer - but there are some use cases we can help you with. 

You might need explicit consent to send your member's data to another 3rd party, especially ones that are marketing in nature. Those typically require an unchecked checkbox to be explicitly agreed to by the end user.

Below are the steps to set all this up and get explicit consent from your members. We'll be using Mailchimp in this example, but you could repurpose these steps for other email platforms like ConvertKit, Drip, ActiveCampaign, etc.

  1. Go to your MemberSpace account > click on 'Customize' > click on 'Sign Up Fields' > click 'Add Sign Up Fields':
  2. Select 'Checkbox' as the 'Type of sign up field'. For the display name enter something like "Please add me to your monthly newsletter" and make sure you toggle off 'Require field during signup':Then click 'Add Now' at the bottom of the form when you're done.
  3. Now, whenever someone signs up as a member, they will have the option to provide their consent to be added to your mailing list by selecting the checkbox:

    Remember - the checkbox can not be required (as per GDPR) as this must be a voluntary action.

  4. Go to your Zapier dashboard > click the + icon to create a Zap > search for MemberSpace:
  5. Select 'New Membership' > click 'Continue' > connect your MemberSpace account > choose your website > click 'Allow Access':
    Then click 'Continue':
  6. Choose which Member Plans you want this Zap to apply for. We selected 'All Plans' in the example below, but you can choose just specific plans if you want. Then click 'Continue':
  7. You'll then need to click 'Test trigger' to test the connection in Zapier:
    After the test runs, click 'Continue'.

  8. Move to the next step and select 'Filter': 

  9. Click the dropdown for 'Only continue if' > click 'Show All Options' > click the text for the custom sign up field checkbox you created previously > For the 'Choose condition' dropdown select '(Boolean) is true' > click 'Continue':

  10. Zapier will then tell you if the Zap (based on the sample user from testing in Step 8) would have been stopped at this step (i.e. the user did NOT consent to get added to your email list):
    Click 'Done Editing' at the bottom.

  11. Move to the next step and search for Mailchimp > for the action event, select 'Add/Update Subscriber' and then click 'Continue':

  12. Add your Mailchimp account and click 'Continue':

  13. Fill in the two required fields at the top:
    You can choose to fill in any optional fields (e.g. Groups or Tags) if you want or just leave them blank.

    If you have any other required fields within your Mailchimp audience (e.g. First Name), you'll need to fill those in as well and can use any member profile information such as their first name, last name, or custom sign up fields:
    Then click 'Continue' at the bottom.

  14. Next, click on 'Test & Continue' to run a test of what was set up. This will actually add the member to your email list if they opted in. If you don't want that to happen, click 'Skip Test':

  15. Now, turn your Zap on if you're ready for the entire workflow to start automatically running:
    And you're done! Now, whenever a member joins a plan on your website, they will have the option to opt into your email list and then this Zap will automatically add them to Mailchimp for you.

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