Mailchimp supports IDNs in domain names, but not the username portion of email addresses.
I recently received an email from ICANN’s Universal Acceptance Outreach group about an error on Domain Name Wire.
Universal Acceptance refers to websites working with all top level domains as well as non-ASCII characters. Internet users can submit reports to ICANN about sites that don’t work with these and ICANN sends a notice to the site owner.
In my case, someone tried to sign up for the Domain Name Wire newsletter and got this error:
The username portion of the email address is invalid (the portion before the @: [redacted])
The username had a non-ASCII character in it.
As it turns out, Mailchimp supports international characters in the domain name portion of email addresses, but not the username.
I reached out to Mailchimp to find out if the company plans to support and a spokesperson told me, “We don’t have plans to implement IDNs in usernames at this time, but are always considering changes to the platform based on customer needs.”
I followed up to ask if this was a technical or demand issue, and Mailchimp responded:
From a technical standpoint there are many factors to evaluate in supporting IDNs in usernames. Currently, we don’t have the demand for this change, but we’re always listening to our customers and looking to provide the most useful service we can.