Should I delete my unsubscribed and bounced contacts?


While you can delete bounced and unsubscribed contacts, it is a decision that you should carefully weigh.

You may choose to delete these contacts for the following reasons:

  • You no longer need these contacts in your account.
  • You wish to keep your list clean and avoid any potential GDPR violations with contacts you no longer use. Click here to learn more about the GDPR.

Or you may choose to keep these contacts in your account for the following reasons:

  • They might update their email address or subscription preferences with you.
  • They may have a deal and are progressing through your pipeline.
    You are communicating with them on different channels.

Before you delete these contacts, it's important that you consider the following:

  • Contacts with a bounced or unsubscribed status do not count toward your contact limit and you are not charged for them.
    Note that it's possible for a contact to be unsubscribed from one list, and subscribed to another. If this is the case, the contact will still be considered "Active" in your account. Read more about contact statuses here.
  • Deleting contacts is done at your own risk and once deleted, they cannot be recovered.
    We recommend exporting contacts into a CSV file before you delete them. Learn how to export a list. Or, how to export all contacts in your account instead. Note that it's possible for a contact to be unsubscribed from one list, and subscribed to another. You'll need to check the contact's subscription status for each list before you delete them.
  • When you delete contacts, you're also deleting all past statistics associated with those contacts.
    All contact history (such as the links they've clicked, which campaigns they've received, any other actions they've taken, etc) will be deleted. This information will also be deleted from all campaign reports.

Once you have exported your contacts and double-checked that you do not need their history or statistics in your account, you can delete these contacts in bulk with the List Cleanup tool. Note that this feature is only available on ActiveCampaign accounts created before February 22, 2022.

To remove unengaged contacts from your account, we recommend using the Engagement Management tool.

For more information on how to manage unsubscribes, read this guide.

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