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Understanding Campaign Opt Outs


Sugar has two types of campaigns that send emails: newsletter and email. Both of these campaign types include opt-out links, however, the behavior of each is different. When recipients opt out of a newsletter campaign, they will still receive emails from all other Sugar campaigns. When recipients opt out of an email campaign, the email address in the Sugar record will get marked as opted-out and they will no longer receive emails from any Sugar campaign. Email addresses can also be manually marked as opted out by a Sugar user by enabling the Opted Out button to exclude the email address from future email campaigns. In addition, administrators can configure whether new email addresses added to Sugar records default to opted-in or opted-out by using the "Opt-out new email addresses by default" option via Admin > System Email Settings. For more information regarding this option, please refer to the Email documentation. This article outlines how the opt-outs work and how to revert recipient opt-outs so that they may receive future campaign emails. 

Please note that opting a recipient back into campaigns should be done with careful thought since doing so against their desire may have negative impacts on your business relationships.

Beginning with version 9.1.0, each user's license type (e.g. Sugar Serve) determines what functionality is available as described in the License Types Matrix documentation. The Campaigns module covered in this article is not available for Sugar Serve users. 

Newsletter Campaigns

After you create a newsletter campaign, Sugar will automatically generate three target lists for you. One of the target lists will end with the name "Unsubscription List". This is a suppression-type list of records that are excluded from this particular newsletter campaign based on their Sugar record's ID number. When a recipient clicks the opt-out link in a newsletter-type campaign's email, their Sugar record is automatically added to the unsubscription list for that campaign. This prevents them from receiving any future emails from that specific campaign. However, they will still receive emails from all other Sugar campaigns. Opting out of one newsletter-type campaign does not affect a recipient's ability to receive emails from other campaigns.

Reverting Opt Outs via Unsubscription List

Once a recipient has opted out of a newsletter campaign, you can revert this opt out by removing them from the campaign's unsubscription list. Use the following steps to remove a contact from the subscription list so that the contact will resume receiving emails from this particular campaign:

  1. Navigate to the newsletter-type campaign.
  2. Click the unsubscription list's name in the Target Lists subpanel.
  3. Locate the desired contact in the Contacts subpanel and choose "Unlink" in the row's Actions menu.
    TargetList UnsubscriptionList UnlinkContact 

Now that the contact (e.g. Adam Adamson) is no longer a member of the newsletter campaign's unsubscription list, the contact will receive future emails sent by this campaign.

Reverting Opt Outs via Person-Type Records

For person-type records such as contacts, leads, and targets, you can also revert a newsletter opt-out via each individual's record view. Use the following steps to re-subscribe a contact to a newsletter-type campaign so that they will resume receiving emails from this particular campaign:

  1. Navigate to the desired contact by searching in the Contacts module or clicking the contact's name in the Contacts subpanel of the unsubscription target list.
  2. Choose "Manage Subscriptions" from the actions menu to view all newsletter-type campaigns to which this individual is subscribed to or opted out from.
    Contact ActionsMenu ManageSubscriptions
  3. Drag and drop the desired campaign from the right to the left column and click "Save".

Once the newsletter campaign has been moved to the "Newsletters Subscribed To" column, the individual will be removed from this campaign's unsubscription list. The individual will then resume receiving emails from this campaign.

Note: The Manage Subscriptions option can also be used to manually opt out an individual from any newsletter campaigns they are currently receiving.

Email Campaigns

Emails originating from email-type campaigns also include an opt-out link, but the link functions differently than for a newsletter-type campaign. If a recipient clicks the opt-out link on an email-type campaign, the email address on their Sugar record will display the opt-out status which is indicated by a blue circle with a line through it. The Opt Out option prevents that email address from receiving any campaign emails from Sugar. Even if a new email-type or newsletter-type campaign is created, Sugar will block all emails originating from a Sugar campaign from being sent to this email address.
Contact EmailAddress OptOut

Reverting Opt Outs via Email Address Option

The opt-out status on a recipient's email address can be manually enabled or disabled from the record's record view. Use the following steps to remove the opt-out designation on a contact's email address as an example:

  1. Navigate to the desired contact's record view and click "Edit".
  2. Click the Opted Out button to toggle it off then click "Save".
    Contact EmailAddress Disable OptOut

Now that the email address is not marked as "Opted Out", all campaigns may once again send emails to this recipient.

Note: If the recipient is included on a newsletter campaign's unsubscription list, they will still be prevented from receiving emails from that particular campaign.

Viewing Campaign Opt-Outs

After at least one email has been sent by a campaign, the campaign status page will begin to populate with data. By navigating to a campaign's detail view and clicking "View Status" you will be able to see various results of the campaign including two subpanels with particular importance to opt-outs: "Opted Out" and "Suppressed by Email Address or domain".

The Opted Out subpanel contains a list of recipients who clicked the opt-out link sent by this campaign. Whether the campaign is an email-type or newsletter-type campaign will determine how that opt-out action is handled.

The Suppressed by Email Address or domain subpanel contains a list of email addresses which were not sent the campaign email because they had previously opted out, were a member of a suppression list, or were invalid addresses. If a person is not receiving a campaign's emails but wishes to, checking this list is a good first step for troubleshooting the issue. For more information about campaign status, please refer to the Campaigns documentation.