Contact list statuses explained

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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

Active

A contact receives this status if they confirmed their subscription to your list (if you are using opt-in confirmation) and have 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 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 used to determine your billing plan). A contact with this status is counted once, regardless of how many lists they are subscribed to.

A contact is no longer “Active” if your campaigns bounce or if they unsubscribe from your lists.

Unconfirmed

A contact receives this status if they submit a double opt-in form but have not clicked the confirmation link.

"Unconfirmed" contacts will not be sent campaign emails until they receive an “Active” status. THis can be achieved 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.

Unsubscribed

A contact receives this status when they click the "Unsubscribe" link in your email, or if they have been given an "Unsubscribed" status by you or an “Unsubscribe” automation action. 

Contacts 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.

Bounced

A contact receives this status when their receiving email server rejects an email campaign sent to them. 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 email 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." 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 contacts. Click "Any" next to "Status" to display a menu of contact statuses.

Status

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

Note that you can combine filters to narrow your contact list further. 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.

  If "None" is selected for the List filter, the status dropdown will be hidden. This is because a contact must be on at least one list to have a status.

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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