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How to bulk subscribe or unsubscribe contacts
How to bulk subscribe or unsubscribe contacts

Subscribing multiple contacts that are excluded in Engage

Alyssa avatar
Written by Alyssa
Updated over a week ago

As of July 13th, 2023, the default subscription status for new contact imports is subscribed.

If you’re creating a new message in Engage, and your draft is displaying zero contacts or excluding your contacts, this is because your contacts are unsubscribed. Your email or SMS message will not be sent to them, even if an email address or phone number is listed in the contact.

engage excluded contacts

Why are my contacts excluded? 🤔

If you did an import of contacts before July 13, 2023, this is often due to the omission of a column for subscription status. The default subscription status for imported contacts was unsubscribed if you didn't specify otherwise – for example, if the column is missing or blank. You can download a contact import template that includes this column.

Contact imports after July 13, 2023 will default to subscribed status, if not otherwise specified.

This guide is intended to address unsubscribes that have occurred as the result of a data import issue. If contacts have unsubscribed themselves by clicking the "Unsubscribe" link in an email, or replied STOP to an SMS message, resubscribing them can result in complaints that could put your account at risk for compliance issues.

Bulk subscribing ✉️

If the unsubscribed contacts are a result of a data import issue, you can bulk subscribe your existing contacts to fix this.

  • Head to the Contacts page in your dashboard.

  • Select the contacts you’d like to subscribe. You can select all the contacts on the page by clicking the box at the top of the list of contacts.

select all contacts
  • Click the Actions menu on the left side, and select Manage Engage Subscriptions.

actions menu
  • A window will pop up where you can edit Engage subscriptions for these contacts. You can subscribe contacts to email and SMS messages separately.

  • Check the box to confirm that you have permission to perform this action, and don't forget to Save after you make changes!

subscription confirmation screen

After this, you should be able to create a new Engage email or SMS draft, without your contacts being unsubscribed.

Have LOTS of contacts? 😱

If you have several pages of contacts that were previously imported into Givebutter, you can use the same import spreadsheet to bulk subscribe them!

What values should you use in your import file columns to indicate status?

  • To subscribe: true/on/yes/1

  • To unsubscribe: false/off/no/0

Using "Subscribed" as a value will not work – please choose a value above to indicate subscribed status instead!

Bulk unsubscribing ❌

If you would like to bulk unsubscribe your contacts, you can also accomplish this with an import! Simply follow the same steps as above, but instead of editing the subscription status column to subscribe your contacts, you'll instead need to use a value to unsubscribe them. (Use false/off/no/0.)

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