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Optimizing data privacy for scalable and secure email programs with Mailgun by Pathwire and Transcend

Mailgun Team
5 min read

How to Optimize Your Data Privacy

Scalable and secure email programs with Mailgun by Pathwire and Transcend

Today, laws like European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and California’s California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) means that your applicable consumers have the right to request access or deletion of their data. These privacy requests, like access and deletion, have to be rolled through a company’s entire user data system, including Email Service Providers (ESP) like Mailgun by Pathwire and other SaaS partners. 

Seamlessly handling your data privacy operations is an essential part of ensuring that your emails get to the right people’s inboxes with all of the right permissions. There’s nothing worse than sending out emails that you shouldn’t have sent based on a customer’s privacy preference. Not only is it embarrassing, but there can be serious legal ramifications for violating data privacy standards. 

We hear a lot of concern about one big challenge: As your email volume grows, automating the individual privacy preferences of thousands or millions of people can be a complicated task. If data privacy is left to manual processes, errors can occur that are costly and detrimental to your brand’s reputation. Luckily, there is now an integration between Data Privacy Infrastructure provider Transcend.io and ESP Mailgun that can automate some of this process for you.

In this post, we’ll explain how Patreon, the global online artist and patron community, used the Mailgun + Transcend integration to better automate data privacy and scale their email operations. You’ll learn from Patreon about how they’ve simplified and streamlined their data privacy operations using Mailgun and Transcend to reduce risk, improve efficiency, and protect their brand. 


Patreon, the international online membership platform for creators and their fans, makes every decision with one goal in mind — getting creators paid. 

Through Patreon, fans can directly connect with the creators they love by subscribing to the creator’s monthly membership. In turn, creators enjoy the financial stability that is needed to build an independent, creative career. With over 200,000 creators and 6 million active monthly patrons, ensuring Patreon’s scalable and secure email programs while honoring privacy preferences is a big task.  

Patreon uses Mailgun to help manage email communications for their immense, online universe of creators and patrons. Mailgun handles all of Patreon’s transactional emails, which amounts to millions of password resets, receipts and new follower alerts a month. Patreon also partners with Transcend, a data privacy engineering company, to ensure robust data controls on data subject access and deletion requests. 

Before the Transcend and Mailgun integration, Patreon manually processed every data privacy request from a creator or patron. For example, if a patron requested to delete their data, Patreon would alert Mailgun - and every other SaaS vendor they used - which prompted Mailgun to delete the patron’s data. The manual process caused efficiency drains on Patreon’s internal teams, so Patreon searched for a solution to automate their systems at the code level. They found what they were looking for in Transcend. 

Now, the Mailgun and Transcend integration removes the busy work for Patreon, so they can focus on getting creators paid.  

“Our Mailgun plus Transcend set-up has been a real game-changer for us. Using the integration makes handling data privacy requests within our email systems seamless, simple, and powerful. Set up was two seconds long, and the results have made us more efficient and crazy-fast at handling data privacy at scale alongside our rapidly expanding business,” said Jason Bilog, Marketing Operations Manager.

Setting up Transcend and Mailgun 

Patreon’s Bilog says: Connecting Mailgun to Transcend is as easy as inputting one Mailgun API Key on the Transcend Admin Dashboard. Once connected, all we had to do was tell Transcend which data actions (e.g., access, erasure) we wanted to enable for which data points (in this case, our Mailgun mailing lists). We were also able to set access controls for our team and view our audit trail in this configuration module. 

Once we added the Mailgun integration to our Data Map, Transcend automatically started compiling and taking action on the data in the Mailgun platform for each new privacy request we received, without any manual intervention from our team. This automation means we no longer have to hunt down and manually orchestrate data across Mailgun and all of our other disparate data systems.

With our Mailgun interface hooked up to our Transcend data privacy infrastructure, we gain even greater confidence in our email communication. Given the size of our community, this is a massive benefit for us.

We also appreciate that the Mailgun + Transcend API is a part of Transcend’s end-to-end encryption model, meaning Transcend cannot see the data it's operating on in our systems. E2EE is incredibly important to us at Patreon because we want to solve data privacy automation without inviting unnecessary risk.

Seamless email deliverability with zero busywork

Since launching the integration, Patreon now automates hundreds of thousands of data privacy requests across Mailgun seamlessly with Transcend. Patreon benefits from a great email deliverability partner with a strong stance and robust integrations on data privacy. 

Most importantly, Patreon’s customers benefit from a smoothly integrated system that honors their data rights, such as access and deletion requests, instantaneously. For Patreon, the outcomes include saved time and money, increased efficiency, and smoother operations with nothing falling through the cracks.  


Mailgun has long been a champion of data privacy in the email arena, with various tools and data privacy support. Together with Transcend, this new tech integration allows customers to enjoy all of the benefits of Mailgun’s robust offerings and now realize full automation on the data privacy requests. To see how Mailgun integration works, check out Transcend

You can also catch our webinar on March 17th (replays will be available) to dive deeper into the world of data privacy engineering with Pathwire and Transcend.

Last updated on March 15, 2021

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