What happens when people click the unsubscribe link?

Every email campaign you send must include an instant unsubscribe link. If you don't add one yourself, it will be added automatically. Below we explain how unsubscribe links work, and what happens when recipients unsubscribe.

How is the unsubscribe link created?

In your HTML page or template, and in the plain text version, there is a special unsubscribe tag. When you send your campaign, each subscriber gets their own individual copy of your email, and that tag is replaced with a unique link for each subscriber.

It is different for each person, and also for each campaign, so you can't just copy an old unsubscribe link and place it into your next email.

What happens when someone clicks unsubscribe?

The unsubscribe link sends the person who clicked it off to our software, where the click is recorded, and the software works out which subscriber, list and campaign it is associated with.

That person is immediately changed from an active subscriber to unsubscribed in that list, no need for you to manually do anything at all. In the campaign report that subscriber will now appear as having unsubscribed.

Unsubscribe settings and the suppression list

By default, unsubscribing from a list will also unsubscribe that address from all other lists in the same account. So if the address is on your "Customers" list and your "Newsletter" list, they will be unsubscribed from both.

Unsubscribing also adds the person's email address to the suppression list. This is to prevent you from accidentally importing it into your account after they have unsubscribed. But you can change the unsubscribe settings for your lists so that clicking unsubscribe will only remove the subscriber from the specific list that campaign was sent to.

To do this, open your list details page and click Unsubscribe settings in the right sidebar. On the page that loads use the the radio buttons to change the setting, as shown here:

NOTE: If a recipient marks an email as spam, they will be removed from all subscriber lists regardless of your unsubscribe settings.


What happens if someone wants to sign up again?

The suppression list only prevents you, the list owner, from re-importing an address. The owner of the email address can resubscribe at any time through your list's subscribe form.

How does clicking unsubscribe work when a campaign is sent to more than one list?

In that case, regardless of the unsubscribe settings for the lists, they will be unsubscribed from all of the lists they are on. That's because the software can't know which list they intended to unsubscribe from.

Does unsubscribing count as a click or open?

Clicking the unsubscribe link does not count as a click, as an unsubscribe doesn't help to measure the success of a campaign.

Usually if a recipient has images turned off in their email client, we register their first click as an open, however as we don't count an unsubscribe as a click, it doesn't register as an open, either.