Contact list statuses explained


Contacts on your list(s) can have one of four statuses: Active, Unconfirmed, Unsubscribed, or Bounced. In this article, we will define each contact status and show you how to filter contacts by their status.

Contact statuses


An active contact is a contact who has confirmed their subscription to your list (if you are using opt-in confirmation) and has not unsubscribed or bounced. Note that an active contact is not the same as an "engaged" contact, which are contacts who open and/or click links contained in your marketing emails. Learn how to track engagement of your active contacts.

An active contact can opt in through a form, can be added by you manually, through an integration, through the API, etc. Learn how to add contacts to your ActiveCampaign account.

Active contacts count toward your contact limit (the number that is used to determine your billing plan). An active contact counts as only one contact regardless of how many lists they are on. A contact will no longer be counted as “Active” if your campaigns bounce or they unsubscribe from your lists.


A contact is labeled as unconfirmed if they submit a form that includes an opt-in confirmation email (also known as double opt-in), but have not yet clicked the confirmation link.

Unconfirmed contacts will not be sent campaign emails until they have been moved to “Active” either by clicking the confirmation link or being manually added to a list by an admin user. Note that manually adding unconfirmed contacts to lists violates our terms of use and may upset your contacts resulting in spam complaints.

Unconfirmed contacts do not count toward your contact limit.

Learn how to resend a confirmation email to an unconfirmed contact.


A contact is labeled as unsubscribed when they have either manually unsubscribed by clicking an unsubscribe link in an email campaign you've sent, or if they have been manually removed from a list by you or an “Unsubscribe” action in an automation.

Contacts that have been unsubscribed from all lists are not counted toward your contact limit. If they are "Active" on at least one list, they will be counted to your contact total. 

For information on managing unsubscribes, read this guide.


A contact is labeled as bounced when an email campaign that is sent to them is rejected by their receiving email server. These rejection notices indicate the email address is either invalid or inaccessible.

There are hard bounces and soft bounces:

  • Hard bounce
    This happens when a message is returned with the error that it was permanently rejected. If we receive a hard bounce, the contact is immediately given the status of “Bounced” and we will no longer send to them.
  • Soft Bounce
    This means that the email address may be only temporarily unavailable. If a contact experiences a soft bounce, we will not attempt to resend them the same email unless it's a type of soft bounce that says "Try again later." In order for a contact to be given a "Bounced" status, they must receive three soft bounces in a row, for three different campaigns.

Contacts with a bounced status are not included in campaign sends and do not count toward your contact limit.

Learn about campaign bounces and bounce codes.

Filter contacts by status

You can filter contacts by status on the Contacts Overview page.

Here, you'll see a row of filters above your list of contacts. Click "Any" next to "Status" to display a menu of contact statuses.


Click the status you are interested in filtering by to display those contacts.

Note that you can combine filters to further narrow your contact list. For instance, you could filter first by the list and then by the contact status to find contacts on that list that are unconfirmed or unsubscribed.

As a reminder, only contacts with an "Active" status for at least one list will count toward your contact limit. Learn more information on whether or not you should delete unsubscribed or bounced contacts.

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