How does contact management work in ActiveCampaign?



In this article, you'll learn about the various contact management features we offer. We'll also provide examples of when you might use these features and where to find them in your ActiveCampaign account.

What is a contact?

A contact is a unique email address. You can create a contact with only an email address (no other information is needed). You cannot create a contact without an email address.

An email address counts as a single contact no matter how many lists the contact is subscribed to. You are only billed for the active contacts in your account (unsubscribed and bounced contacts do not count toward your contact total).

What is the Contacts Overview?

This is the page you see after clicking “Contacts” in the left-side menu. It displays a sortable, searchable list of your contacts.


Most bulk contact management takes place on the Contacts Overview page. From here, you can sort and search your contacts, bulk edit your contacts, do multi-dimensional searches on your contacts, and open up individual contact records.

Clicking a contact's name or email address will open their Contact Record.

What is a Contact Record?

The Contact Record aggregates and organizes all the information you've collected about a contact. From the Contact Record you can edit and add information and a variety of contact management features are available to you. You can subscribe and unsubscribe from lists, start and stop automations, and add and remove tags. From the contact record you can also see a stream of the contact's recent activity, create tasks, and add notes.

Example Contact Record.jpg

Filter, sort, and adjust columns

The contact list that appears on the Contact Overview can be filtered and sorted.

You can filter the contacts by the list they are on, the tags they have, and their status (confirmed, unconfirmed, unsubscribed, or bounced).

You are able to display additional columns by clicking the gear icon in the upper right-hand corner of the contact list:

Gear Icon on the Contact Record.jpg


You may need to find a single contact so that you can add information to their contact record, remove them from a list, or add them to an automation.

You can search for a single contact by their name or email address. To find a single contact, click into the search field that appears in the upper right-hand corner of the contact list:

Search Bar on Contacts Overview.jpg

Advanced search

You may want to find groups of contacts that match specific conditions. For instance, you may want to see the contacts that have viewed a certain product on your site or all the contacts that live in a certain state of the U.S.

To use the Advanced Search feature, click into the search field located on the Contacts Overview page, then click "Advanced Search."

Click into Search Field to reveal Advanced Search option.jpg

The segment builder will load. Here you can select from several different conditions and combine them with AND or OR logic to create your search. For example, you can search for contacts using any of the following conditions:

  • Tags added to contacts.
  • Visits to pages of your website.
  • Clicks on specific links in your campaigns.
  • Contact data including custom fields you've created.
  • Contact location.
  • Events you are tracking.
  • Where the contact was referred from.
  • The device they used to visit your site.
  • And more.

After you've identified the contacts you are looking for, the Advanced Search can be saved so you can quickly reuse it or the conditions can be used to create a segment of contacts so you can send campaigns to them.

Example Advanced Search for Tag exists Engaged.jpg

Learn more about Advanced Search.

Bulk Editor

The Bulk Editor is a time-saving feature that allows you to manage groups of contacts. You are able to:

  • Add to or unsubscribe from lists
  • Add to or remove from automations
  • Add or remove tags
  • Update fields

After you've found a group of contacts with the Advanced Search feature, you can use the Bulk Editor to perform actions on them without having to modify each contact one-by-one.

Example of the Bulk Editor Add a Tag to three contacts.jpg

Learn more about the Bulk Edit tool.

Manage tags

Tags can be added to your contacts as a way to organize and group them. Tags can also add information to your contact (in addition to the use of default and custom fields).

The Manage Tags feature allows you to create and edit your tags. You can merge duplicate tags and also describe a tags purpose (so that you don't forget why a tag was created or what it indicates).

To access the Tag Manager, click "Tags" from the Contacts Overview page under Manage.

Learn more about the Tag Manager.

Custom Contact Fields

Custom contact fields are used to store additional information about your contacts in addition to default fields provided. The custom fields that make sense for your business may be different than what someone else needs, so we've made custom fields very flexible and you can create an unlimited amount of fields.

There are a variety of field types you can use to store different types of data:

Field types when creating a new custom contact field.jpg

You can also click from the Contact Record to manage these fields.

Example Contact Record and Manage Fields link.jpg

Learn more about Custom Contact Fields.

Contact Scoring

Contact scoring gives you a numerical score that can indicate the contact's fit for your product and level of engagement so that you can prioritize your leads and treat them differently depending on their score. It's a flexible feature that is useful to both marketers and salespeople and has many applications throughout the customer lifecycle.

To manage your contact scores, click “Scoring” from the Contact Overview page under Manage.

Learn more about Contact Scoring.

Database Sync

Database Sync allows you to quickly import contacts from a MySQL, MSSQL, or PostGreSQL database.

To access Database Sync to import your contacts, click "Database Sync" from the Contacts Overview page under Manage.

Learn more about Database Sync.

Manage Exclusions

You may not want to send to groups of email addresses. For instance, you might find that you are getting poor quality contacts from certain domain names. With our exclusion feature, you can block those email addresses so that no emails get sent to them.

To access the Exclusions List, click "List Exclusions" from the Contacts Overview page under Manage.

Learn more about managing exclusions.

Engagement Management Tool

Available on Marketing Lite, Plus, Professional, and Enterprise.

The Engagement Management tool cleans your list(s) by unsubscribing unengaged contacts. Using this tool regularly will keep your lists healthy and can improve open rates over time.

Note that using this tool will not delete contacts from your account. It will only update the contact status.

To access the Engagement Management tool, click Contacts > Lists, click the down carat next to the list you wish to clean, then click "Engagement Management."

Learn more about the Engagement Management tool.

List Cleanup Tool

This feature is only available for ActiveCampaign accounts created after February 22, 2022.

The List Cleanup tool helps you delete contacts from your list(s) that you no longer need.

For example, you can use the List Cleanup tool to:

  • Delete all contacts with a particular status from all lists
  • Delete all contacts with a "Subscribed" status from selected lists
  • Delete all contacts with an "Unsubscribed" status from selected lists
  • Delete all contacts with an "Unconfirmed" status from selected lists
  • Delete all contacts with a "Bounced" status from selected lists
  • Delete all contacts with any status from selected lists
  • Delete specific email addresses (contacts) from selected lists

To access the List Cleanup tool, click "List Cleanup" from the Contacts overview page under Manage.

Learn how to use the List Cleanup tool.

Learn how to delete contacts.

This help article contains information to help you prepare for GDPR. See Article 16, Right to rectification.

Click here to learn more about the GDPR.

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