Subscriber Statuses and Subscriber Limits

At FlutterMail, the term “subscriber” refers to a single email address on your list. Any subscriber who is present in your account will have a status associated with them. There are four possible statuses: Subscribed, Unconfirmed, Unsubscribed, and Bounced. This article will describe what each status means, and how your subscriber limit on your account is calculated.


A "subscribed" subscriber is someone who is currently receiving your email messages. It’s the default status for all subscribers. When you send a campaign to your list or lists, only subscribers listed as subscribed will receive your messages.


FlutterMail allows you to enable a double opt-in feature, which sends all new subscribers 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. This is because they are being sent an email asking them to click on a confirmation link to affirm their subscription. When they click the link in the email they received, their status will change to active, and they will then receive emails from you.

If you do not have the double opt-in feature enabled, subscribers will be added to your active list right away unless you import subscribers as unconfirmed. If you import subscribers 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 remain marked as unconfirmed.


Users who use a subscription form to unsubscribe from your mailing list or click the unsubscribe link in a campaign you sent are not technically removed from your account. Instead, they will be marked as unsubscribed to ensure they will never be added back to your list erroneously. Any time you try to import or add subscribers, our software will check to make sure they have not already unsubscribed in the past. Subscribers whose status is unsubscribed will not receive emails from you.


Sometimes emails sent from your account may fail to be delivered, usually because the email address is invalid. Similar to unsubscribed email address, those that are removed from your list due to having bounced are also kept within the system to ensure they will not be accidentally added back to your list again during an import or other process. Also like unsubscribed addresses, they will not receive email from you despite being in your list.

Statuses and Subscriber Limits

It’s important to understand that all subscribers of all statuses are counted towards your account subscriber limit. This means that even though some of your subscribers might be unsubscribed or bounced, and therefore are no longer receiving emails from you, they are still counted towards your account’s subscriber limit.

If you have reached your account’s subscriber limit, your first reaction may be to delete subscribers who have statuses of unsubscribed or bounce. However, deleting subscribers is done at your own risk. There are a few reasons to be concerned when doing this:
  1. If you delete bounced or unsubscribed email addresses entirely, it will become possible for those subscribers to be added to the system again. There will be no checks to prevent that from happening in the future. You must be extra careful when importing or adding subscribers in the future so that you can be sure you are definitely not re-importing previously unsubscribed or bounced addresses. If you do re-import previously unsubscribed or bounced email addresses, and continue to send emails to them, your bounce and abuse rates will be much higher, and your deliverability will be negatively impacted. If you have a hosted account with us, this could cause your account to undergo manual review.
  2. When you delete subscribers, you are also deleting all past statistics associated with those subscribers.  All subscriber history (like the links they’ve clicked, which campaigns they’ve received, any other actions they’ve taken, etc.) will be deleted. Their activities will also no longer show up in previous campaign reports. Be sure you no longer need this data before deleting any subscribers from your system.
  3. You can certainly delete subscribers from your system at any time, and if you have hit your subscriber limit, you may wish to delete bounced or unsubscribed email addresses. However, given the loss of subscriber history and the potential for these subscribers to be erroneously re-added to the system afterward, we typically do not recommend doing this. Please keep the risks in mind when deleting subscribers.
Related posts:
1.     Importing Subscribers
2.    How to Use Database Sync
3.     Subscriber Date-Based Campaigns
4.     Avoid Duplicate Emails in your Lists
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