How do I manage my unsubscribes?

You work hard to grow your contact list and of course, you don't want your contacts to unsubscribe from your emails. In this article, you can delve deeper into managing unsubscribes.

In this article, you will learn more about:

Why do contacts unsubscribe?

There are several reasons why contacts unsubscribe from your emails. Perhaps your contacts are no longer interested in your product or service, or they have already made a purchase and do not wish to receive further updates. It is also possible that contacts receive too many emails. It often happens that an inbox is overflowing with all the emails a contact receives.

To ensure that contacts will unsubscribe less quickly, you can send custom content (or multiple emails) to your contacts based on tags, or you can send fewer campaigns to your entire contact list. Despite there being ways to prevent unsubscribes, it is inevitable that your contacts will never unsubscribe.

How do unsubscribes work? 

It is useful to understand how unsubscribes work within your MailBlue account. You send a campaign to multiple lists. When a contact (who is subscribed to multiple lists) unsubscribes via the campaign, the contact is unsubscribed from each list to which the campaign was sent. 

How Do Unsubscribes Work 1

When a contact unsubscribes from an email in an automation, the contact is often unsubscribed from every list they are subscribed to. You can find here more information on which lists unsubscribers in automations are exactly unsubscribed from and why.

Contacts who unsubscribe from your mailing list are directed to a standard page. To view this screen, you can click on the dropdown menu of the relevant list under 'Lists'. Then click on 'Advanced settings' to view the screen on the public page.


As you can see, contacts are asked why they want to unsubscribe from your mailing list. Contacts can also indicate that they unsubscribed by accident as a reason. 

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Contacts who click on the 'Other' option have the opportunity to leave feedback. A text box is displayed where they can indicate why they unsubscribed.

Creating an unsubscribe page


To manage the unsubscribes, you can create a page on your website. This way, you can bring all unsubscribes to one central location. You need to do this before proceeding further in this article. The new form you are going to create will be placed on this created URL/page. Therefore, you can create your own form for managing unsubscribes.

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The content of your message

Before you continue with managing your unsubscribes, it is important to pay attention to the different styles of communication, such as a newsletter or a blog. Different types of communication correspond to different target audiences. Additionally, you may offer multiple products or services. To differentiate your contacts, you can use tags or create conditional content. As a tip, we want to advise you: the clearer you are in defining your messages, the more engaged your contacts will be.

Managing unsubscribes in lists

The first step to manage unsubscribes through lists is to create a list. We recommend having one list that serves as the 'main list'. This list should include all contacts. The list should have a friendly, customer-focused title that explains the types of messages they will receive. When contacts unsubscribe, they see the name of the list, and the list names precisely inform them what they are resubscribing to. In our example, we use three different lists:

  1. General updates and notifications

  2. Event updates

  3. Customer communication

The list of general updates will function as the main list, and for the other lists, contacts can subscribe if they want to receive additional updates. You can update the unsubscribe page for each list with your pre-made URL or website. Make sure to link this unsubscribe page to all lists so that contacts land on a new page after unsubscribing.


After the lists are created and the unsubscribe URL is added, you can create a form. This way, your contacts can select for which list they want to unsubscribe. And therefore, which campaigns they would like/not like to receive. You need to select an inline form for this.

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When creating the form, it is important to add the action 'Subscribe to list', as this is mandatory. Each list that a contact can subscribe to will be added as an action to the form. When editing the form, select 'List selector' under standard fields. The list selector automatically retrieves all lists.



Attention! We recommend disabling double opt-in (in this case). If you have double opt-in enabled, contacts will receive a confirmation email for each list they subscribe to. You can read here how to disable double opt-in. 

After creating the form, click on 'Integrate' to get the embed code for the form. Add the embed code to the unsubscribe page and publish.

Tip! If you want to add the contact's email address to the form, you can add the following code at the end of the unsubscribe URL as shown in this example: http://www.example/com/unsubscribe/?email=%EMAIL%. This will display the contact's email address on the form. 


Tip! If you want to add the contact's email address to the form, you can add the following code at the end of the unsubscribe URL as shown in this example: http://www.example/com/unsubscribe/?email=%EMAIL%. This will display the contact's email address on the form. 


Managing Unsubscribes via Custom Fields

In addition to managing unsubscribes through a list, you can also manage unsubscribes through tags and custom fields. You can use one list and multiple custom fields for this purpose. In 'Lists', click on 'More options' to edit the unsubscribe settings. Start by adding your own URL or webpage, as described earlier.

You can then add tags under the 'Manage labels' tab in 'Contacts' in the main menu. After saving the tags, you can create segments using the 'Advanced search' option. Segments replace the functionality of maintaining multiple lists. You can select these saved segments in campaigns or automations.

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Based on the tags, you can use 'Advanced search' under 'Contacts' to find contacts with these tags. You can add contacts with these tags to a list or automation. You can read more about it here.

After creating the tags, you can create an inline form. Contacts can (re-)subscribe based on their interests. With tags, you use one list, so you only need to select one list. 

Keep in mind that when contacts unsubscribe from your list, they will also be unsubscribed from the only list they were on. You can use this form as a reminder to re-add contacts to the list, but based on the correct interest. 

You can add a 'Custom field' to the form and ask contacts what information they would like to receive. 

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You can then integrate the form by placing the integration code on your unsubscribe page. This way, contacts can indicate their interests. 

Next, you will create an automation where contacts are re-subscribed to the main list, including their indicated interests. You can load a standard template for an automation into your account using this link:


You can set up the automation using the automation installation Wizard. This Wizard will guide you through the automation step by step, allowing you to customise it to your personal preferences.

Please note! In the form, contacts can select multiple interests. This means that in the automation, they will proceed to the next action for each "yes" option. By using this form in combination with the automation, contacts who have unsubscribed can resubscribe based on their interests. This way, contacts will no longer receive unnecessary emails that do not align with their interests. This increases the likelihood of them staying subscribed to your mailing list.

The key to retaining contacts is to send relevant emails. Only send information that your contacts are interested in. This way, contacts will not receive emails that do not interest them, reducing the likelihood of them unsubscribing.

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