I deleted our newsletter from Mailchimp ! Please re-subscribe

and no, we didn't have backup

Posted by Alexander Todorov on Tue 11 February 2020

Hello testers, I have to admit that I made a rookie mistake and deleted the entire email database for the Kiwi TCMS newsletter! And of course we didn't have a backup of this database :-(. Please re-subscribe here and read below if you are interested to know what happened.

Last week, while exploring how to cancel active subscriptions for our deprecated GitHub Marketplace listing I found there is no way to cancel those programatically. So I've compiled a list of email addresses and decided to send subscribers an email asking them to cancel their subscriptions.

For this purpose I decided to import the contacts into Mailchimp because it gives you a better interface to design the actual message, include images in the message body, preview and test the message before it is sent! The import of addresses went fine, new addresses were tagged appropriately to separate them from the rest of the newsletter audience but they were not subscribed to receive emails automatically.

I selected "non-subscribed" option when importing as a second barrier to accidentally emailing people who do not want to receive regular news from us! However it turned out Mailchimp can't send messages to non-subscribed addresses! Maybe that's part of their attempts to be GDPR compliant.

So I decided to delete the freshly imported addresses, import them again and this time tag + subscribe them during the import! When selecting the addresses for deletion I am 99% confident I did filter them by tag first and then selected DELETE! And the entire contacts list was gone!

I've also contacted Mailchimp immediately to ask whether or not the addresses can be restored. Unfortunately they are trying to be super GDPR compliant and claim they don't have this information into their system anymore. And in this particular case we've been relying on the vendor to keep backups on their end so didn't even think about trying to backup this database!

For users who have accounts at https://public.tenant.kiwitcms.org we do have their email addresses but we're not going to automatically re-subscribe them. We've stopped auto-subscribing 2 years ago and also there's no way of telling which addresses were on the list in the first hand.

Please re-subscribe here and I promise we're going to start backing up the newsletter database as well.

Thank you!

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