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View or change a contact's status

When you choose recipients to send a mailing to, the only email addresses that will be sent to are contact's with an Active status. There are three status types that can be applied to a contact. Below, we'll explain what each status means, as well as how and when you can change a contact's status from within your account.

Contact statuses

There are three status types:

  • Active — These contact's will be sent a mailing if they're included in your list of recipients.
  • Error — This can mean one of two things: either the email address is invalid due to a formatting issue, or the email address has bounced.
  • Opt-Out — This can mean one of two things: either the contact has unsubscribed by clicking the "Opt out" link in an email, or their status has been changed to Opt-Out in your account.

Contact's with a status of Error or Opt-Out do not count toward your total for billing purposes.

Open a contact record

To look up subscription and status details for an individual contact:

  1. Open the Audience section in your account, then click Contacts on the left.
  2. Use the search field to find the contact's email address.
  3. Click on the contact's email address to view their contact record.

The contact's current status is displayed near the top of the contact record page, to the right of their subscription date.

Status changes

Below are the different types of status changes you can make within your account.

Active to Opt-Out

If you receive a direct request from a contact to be unsubscribed, you can change their mailing status from Active to Opt-out. This will ensure that they are permanently removed from your audience, even if you accidentally import them again.

You cannot do the reverse: change a contact's Opt-Out status back to Active. However, the contact can resubscribe themselves.

Error to Active

The Error status will be applied to email addresses imported with formatting issues, for example, addresses that:

  • Don't have an "@" symbol.
  • Are missing the ".com" or ".org" from the end.
  • Have spaces between characters, or before or after the email address.

If a formatting error is detected in a file import or via an API call, those contacts will be added to the "Error" tab on your Audience > Contacts page. In the "Reason" column you'll see the word "format".

The import summary for a file import does not include notification of format errors. Before you do a file import, make note of the current error total. If it increases after the import, you'll know there are some invalid addresses to fix.

From the "Error" tab, you can click on an email address to fix the formatting issue. However, this will not automatically change the contact's status to Active. After you've saved the corrected email address, change the status.

Near the top of the contact record, you'll see "Status: Error". Click Error to display a dropdown menu, then select Active.

A contact record for an email address with Error status

Bounced email addresses are also listed under the "Error" tab. In the "Reason" column you'll see the word "delivery", which indicates a temporary or permanent delivery failure.

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