Purpose

The purpose of this document is to explain how ExactTarget handles unsubscribes and what happens to your lists when a subscriber chooses not to receive your publications. As a user, you cannot control when your subscribers unsubscribe, but rather you can understand how to identify an unsubscribed subscriber and how to respect their wishes with future sends. 

Note: This document describes the typical unsubscribe scenario, but depending on your account type, you may not experience what is described here. For example, Enterprise 1.0 accounts experience a different unsubscribe process. For a customized description of what occurs within your account, contact your ExactTarget representative.

What Is an Unsubscribe

Unsubscribes are statuses in the ExactTarget application that signify a subscriber has either unsubscribed from your communication or you have unsubscribed them. When a subscriber clicks the unsubscribe link in an email, their status is set to Unsubscribed.

Note: An unsubscribed status only affects sends with a Commercial type send definition (or those with a Transactional type send definition if you configure the system to do so).

Explanation

Unsubscribe links appear at the bottom of every email you send with ExactTarget.

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A subscriber can choose to click the Manage Subscriptions link, which provides unsubscribe options, or they can click One-Click Unsubscribe. One-Click Unsubscribe unsubscribes the subscriber from the list that the send originated from. To unsubscribe from every list, the subscriber must click Manage Subscriptions and unsubscribe from every list. 

Note: When a subscriber unsubscribes, they are not removed from a list or account. Their status is changed to Unsubscribed, and a red icon appears next to their name on the list. /Global/Documentation/6762/red.png

A subscriber can unsubscribe in three different ways:

Let's dig a little deeper.

What Is a List Unsubscribe

A list unsubscribe is when a user unsubscribes from a list only.

For example, if a user unsubscribes from your Monthly Newsletter list, they remain on any other email lists under which they exist.

Here are several ways a user can unsubscribe from a list:

Import

You can unsubscribe a subscriber from a list via subscriber List imports by including an Unsubscribed status in the import file.

API

You can unsubscribe a subscriber from a list via the API's Subscriber Update call by passing in the appropriate ListID and Subscriber Status of "unsubscribed"

Subscriber Properties

Follow this procedure to unsubscribe a subscriber from a list in the application via Subscriber Properties.

  1. Click the Subscribers tab.
  2. Click my lists.
  3. Select the subscriber you want to unsubscribe.
  4. Click View Properties.
  5. Click the Lists tab.

    /Global/Documentation/6762/subscriberProperties.png

  6. Select the list from which you want to unsubscribe the subscriber.
  7. Click Details.
    The subscriber details for the highlighted list are displayed.

    /Global/Documentation/6762/listDetails.png

  8. Click Unsubscribe.
    The Unsubscribe window appears where you can enter an unsubscribe reason if appropriate.

    Once unsubscribed, the list has an Unsubscribed date on the Lists tab and the user has a red icon (indicating unsubscribed) when viewing the subscribers that are on the list.

Email

Unsubscribe Center

Subscribers can unsubscribe themselves from a list via the Unsubscription Center.  Subscribers can reach the Unsubscription Center by clicking the Manage Subscriptions link, Unsubscribe link, or One-Click Unsubscribe link (depending on what's provisioned in your account) at the bottom of the email. The unsubscribe links may be customized in your account and appear differently than what's listed here.

When the subscriber sees the page below, they have successfully unsubscribed from a list. 

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Subscription Center

Subscribers can also unsubscribe themselves from a list via the Subscription Center.  Subscribers can reach the Subscription Center by clicking the Manage Subscription link at the bottom of the email.

/Global/Documentation/6762/SubscriptionCenter.png

The list unsubscribe occurs in the Available Publications section of the Subscription Center.  In order for a list to show up in this section, the list needs to be marked as "Public" when the list is created.  If the checkbox next to the list name is selected, this indicates the subscriber is currently subscribed to that list.  In order to unsubscribe from a list, the subscriber clears the appropriate checkbox and clicks the Update button.

What Is a Master Unsubscribe

A master unsubscribe is when a subscriber chooses to unsubscribe from every email sent from your company. When a subscriber master unsubscribes, their status is set to Unsubscribed on all your lists as well as your master list.

For example, if a subscriber is on three of your lists and master unsubscribes from one of your emails, they'll appear Unsubscribed on all your lists.

A subscriber can master unsubscribe in various ways:

Import

You can master unsubscribe a subscriber via subscriber List imports by including an Unsubscribed status in the import file and importing into the All Subscribers list.

API

You can unsubscribe a subscriber from a list via the API's Subscriber Update call by passing in the All Subscribers ListID and Subscriber Status of "unsubscribed"

Subscriber Properties

Follow this procedure to perform a master unsubscribe on a user within the application:

  1. Click the Subscribers tab.
  2. Click my lists or whatever folder the subscriber lives in.
  3. Select the subscriber you want to unsubscribe.
  4. Click View Properties.
    The Subscriber Properties window appears with the General tab selected by default.

    /Global/Documentation/6762/MasterUnsubscribeWindow.png

  5. Click Unsubscribe from all....
    The Unsubscribe window appears where you can enter an unsubscribe reason if appropriate and master unsubscribe.  When you return to the General tab, the Unsubscribed field is populated with the unsubscribe date and the icon in the upper left corner appears red. The subscriber has a red icon when viewing the All Subscribers list. 

Email

Unsubscribe Center

Subscribers can master unsubscribe themselves from a list in the Unsubscribe Center. Subscribers can reach the Unsubscribe Center by clicking the Manage Subscriptions link at the bottom of the email. Next, they click the Unsubscribe From All button that appears at the bottom of the window.

/Global/Documentation/6762/UnsubscribeCenter.png

Subscription Center

Subscribers can master unsubscribe themselves from the Subscription Center.  Subscribers can reach the Subscription Center by clicking the Manage Subscription link at the bottom of the email.

The master unsubscribe occurs in the Unsubscribe From All section of the Subscription Center.  To master unsubscribe, select the "I no longer wish to receive any future publications" checkbox and click the Update button at the bottom of the section.

/Global/Documentation/6762/SubscriptionCenter2.png

Profile Center

Similarly, subscribers can also master unsubscribe themselves from the Profile Center.  Subscribers can reach the Profile Center by clicking the "Update Profile" link at the bottom of the email.

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The master unsubscribe occurs in the Unsubscribe From All section of the Profile Center.  To master unsubscribe, users can select the "I no longer wish to receive any future publications" checkbox and click the Update button.

Reply Mail Management

If the account is set up for RMM (Reply Mail Management), the subscriber can master unsubscribe by replying to the email and typing one of the appropriate requests in either the subject line or body.

Enterprise 2.0 - Business Units

 

As an Enterprise 2.0 administrator you can manage how business unit level unsubscribes are handled. Two options are available under the properties settings of a business unit:

  • Subscribers will be unsubscribed from all business units in the Enterprise
  • Subscribers will be unsubscribed from this business unit only

Subscribers will be unsubscribed from all business units in the Enterprise

  • Unsubscribing the subscriber in All Subscribers at business unit level via an import activity unsubscribes the same subscriber in the All Subscriber list at the enterprise level.
  • Activating the subscriber in All Subscribers list at business unit level via an import activity does not activate the subscriber at the business unit level. This is because the subscriber is unsubscribed in the All Subscriber list at the enterprise level (master unsubscribed).
  • Activating the subscriber in the in All Subscribers at the enterprise level via an import activity does not activate the subscriber at the business unit level. This is because the subscriber is unsubscribed in the All Subscriber list at the business unit level. The subscriber should be activated at the business unit level manually or via an import activity.

Subscribers will be unsubscribed from this business unit only

  • Unsubscribing a subscriber in All Subscribers at business unit level via an Import Activity does not unsubscribe the subscriber in the All Subscriber list at the enterprise level.
  • Activating the subscriber in the All Subscrbers list via an import activity at the business unit level activates the subscriber at the business unit level.

What Is a Global Unsubscribe

Note: In order for a subscriber to globally unsubscribe, the ability to perform a global unsubscribe must be enabled in your account. For more information, contact your ExactTarget representative.

A global unsubscribe is an event that occurs when a subscriber chooses to unsubscribe from every email sent from ExactTarget.

ExactTarget manages this list, so if someone globally unsubscribes, their status is changed to Unsubscribed on a global list. This means that none of our clients can email that subscriber, regardless from what email send they clicked the unsubscribe link.

When a subscriber is globally unsubscribed, the subscriber has a red icon in the All Subscribers list. When viewing the General tab on Subscriber Properties, the Activate. button is disabled.

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In order to reactivate the subscriber, the subscriber must first be removed from the global unsubscribe lists.  There are 2 types of Global Unsubscribe lists which are explained below.

Master Global Unsubscribe List

The master global unsubscribe list is maintained by ExactTarget. The majority of email addresses on this list are spam traps or spam complaints. An email address on this list doesn't receive an email from any account that uses ExactTarget. When an email address is added to our database, it is validated against this list. Accounts can't add or import email addresses that appear on the master global unsubscribe list. 

Enterprise Level Global Unsubscribe List

The enterprise level global unsubscribe list is maintained at the enterprise level by the account itself; however, the ability to do so may not be enabled in your account. For more information, contact your ExactTarget representative. 

Reactivating a Subscriber

If a subscriber has unsubscribed from your lists or email sends, and they express interest in being resubscribed, you have several options for returning their status to Active.

  • If a subscriber has unsubscribed at the list level, they can reactivate their subscription by resubscribing in the Subscription Center. You can also reactive their subscription by reimporting a list with their information.
  • If a subscriber has unsubscribed at the master level or the global level, they have to be reactivated manually. Contact your ExactTarget representative. 

Reactivating a Subscriber on a List

You can reactivate a subscriber on a list in the application via Subscriber Properties. 

  1. Click the Subscribers tab.
  2. Click All Subscribers.
  3. Select the subscriber you wish to reactivate.
  4. Click Properties.
  5. Click the Lists tab.
  6. Select the appropriate list and click Details...
    The subscriber details for the selected list display.
  7. Click Activate...

Once you reactivate the subscriber, the Unsubscribe date for the list is removed on the Lists tab, and the user has a green icon (indicating an active status) when viewing the subscribers that are on the list.

Import

You can reactivate a subscriber via Subscrber List imports by including an active status in the import file. Any new import overrides previous attributes.

API

You can also use the API to reactivate a subscriber on a list. Pass the appropriate ListID and a Subscriber Status of Active as part of a subscriber update call.

Reactivating a Subscriber from an Email

Subscribers can reactive themselves from the Subscription Center. What they're essentially doing is resubscribing to an email list.

A subscriber clicks the Manage Subscription link at the bottom of an email and selects what lists they want to subscribe to in the Available Publications section of the Subscription Center.

Reactivating a Subscriber who has been Master Unsubscribed

You can reactivate a subscriber who has been master unsubscribed in the following ways: 

Note: Even though he subscriber has been reactivated, they still have a status of unsubscribe on any lists the subscriber was on when the master unsubscribe ocurred. The subscriber must also be reactivated on any lists they wish to receive emails from. You can also re-import your unsubscribed subscribers with a status of Active, but only if your subscribers gave you permission to do so. 

Subscriber Properties

You can reactivate a subscriber on a list in the application via Subscriber Properties.

  1. Click the Subscribers tab.
  2. Click All Subscribers.
  3. Select the subscriber you wish to reactivate.
  4. Click Properties.
  5. Under the General tab, click Activate...

Under the General tab, the Unsubscribed field should now be cleared and the icon in the upper left corner should be green. The subscribe will also have a green icon when viewing the All Subscribers list.

Import

You can reactivate subscribers via Subscriber List imports by including a status of active in the import file and importing into the All Subscribers list.

API

You can reactive a subscriber on a list from the API. Pass the appropriate All Subscribers List ID and a Subscriber Status of Active.

Subscription Center

Subscribers can reactivate themselves via the Subscription Center. Subscribers can reach the Subscription Center by clicking the Manage Subscription link at the bottom of the email.

When the Subscription Center displays, the check box in the Unsubscribe From All section will already be selected indicating the subscriber has master unsubscribed.  To reactivate, a subscriber must remove the check from the "I no longer wish to receive any future publications" checkbox and click the "Update" button at the bottom of the section.

Profile Center

Subscribers can also reactivate themselves via the Profile Center. Subscribers can reach the Profile Center by clicking the Update Profile link at the bottom of the email.

Reactivating a Subscriber who has been Globally Unsubscribed

If the subscriber is on the Master Global Unsubscribe Lists maintained by ExactTarget, the customer will need to contact their ExactTarget representative. Once the subscriber has been removed from the Master Global Unsubscribe List, the subscriber can be reactivated by using one of the ways to reactivate a subscriber who has been master unsubscribed.

Reactivating a Subscriber at the Enterprise Level Global Unsubscribe List

The enterprise level global unsubscribe list is maintained at the enterprise level by the account itself.  Before a subscriber can be reactivated, the subscriber's email address must be removed from the Enterprise Level Global Unsubscribe List.  The Enterprise Level Global Unsubscribe List can be viewed by clicking Admin and Global Unsubscribe Management under the Account Settings node.

To remove an email address from the list click the red "x" next to the appropriate email address.  Once the email address has been removed, the subscriber can be reactivated by using one of the ways to reactivate a subscriber who has been master unsubscribed.

Diagram

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(Click image to enlarge.)

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Last updated by bhobbs at 08:37, 15 Aug 2013