A “contact” in ActiveCampaign refers to a single email address on your list(s). Any contact who is present in your account will have a status associated with them. There are four possible contact statuses: Active, Unconfirmed, Unsubscribed, and Bounced.
This article discusses what each contact status means, and how your contact limit on your account is calculated.
An Active contact is someone who is currently subscribed to your list. “Active” is the default status. When you send a campaign to your list(s), only the Active contacts will receive your messages.
Our software allows you to enable a “double opt-in” feature, which sends all new contacts a confirmation email before they are added to your list as Active. If this feature is enabled, when a person fills out a subscription form on your website to sign up for your mailing list, they are first added to your list as Unconfirmed. Then, they will receive an email asking them to click on a confirmation link to confirm their subscription. If they click the link in the email that they received, their status will be changed to Active, and they will then be able to receive campaigns from you. (Note: If you do not have the double opt-in feature enabled, contacts will be added to your list as Active right away.)
You can also import contacts as Unconfirmed. If you import contacts with this status, they will each receive an opt-in email message as they are imported.
Any users who have been added to the system, but have not yet clicked the confirmation link in their opt-in email message, will be marked as Unconfirmed.
You can view Unconfirmed contacts and resend individual confirmation emails to them by going to the Contacts tab, and selecting “Unconfirmed” from the status drop-down menu.
Users who use a subscription form to unsubscribe from your mailing lists, or click the unsubscribe link in a campaign that you have sent, are not technically removed from your account — they are simply marked as Unsubscribed. This ensures that they will never be added back to your list erroneously — any time you try to import or add contacts, our software will check to make sure they have not already unsubscribed in the past.
Occasionally, emails sent from your account may fail to be delivered, usually due to the email address being invalid. Similar to unsubscribed email address, email addresses that are removed from your list due to having bounced are also kept within the system (they are not deleted, just changed to a “bounced” status), so that the system can be sure they will not accidentally be added back to your list again, such as through the contact import process.
If you have reached your account’s contact limit, your first inclination may be to delete your contacts who have bounced or unsubscribed in the past. However, deleting contacts is done at your own risk. There are a few things to be concerned with when doing this: