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Ways to view or change a contact's status

In this article, we'll explain what the different contact statuses mean, as well as how and when you can change a contact's status from within your account.

In your Emma account, there are three status types that can be applied to a contact. However, when you choose recipients to send a mailing to, the only email addresses that it will be sent to are the contacts with an Active status.

Contact status types 

  • Active — These contacts will be sent a mailing if they're included in your list of recipients.
  • Error — This can mean one of three things: either the email address is invalid due to a formatting issue, the email address has hard bounced, or the contact's status was changed from within the application by a user who has access to the Audience section.
  • Opt-Out — This can mean one of two things: either the contact has unsubscribed by clicking the "Opt out" link in an email, or their status was changed to Opt-Out by an account user.
Please note: Contact's with a status of Error or Opt-Out do not count toward your audience total for billing purposes.

How to open and view a contact record

To look up subscription and status details for an individual contact, follow these three steps: 

  1. Open the Audience section in your account, then click Contacts on the left.
  2. Use the search field to find the contact's email address.
  3. Click on the contact's email address to view their contact record.

The contact's current status is displayed near the top of the contact record page, to the right of their subscription date. There are two different ways to change a contact's status within your account, as explained below.

Change a contact's status from Error to Active

When a formatting error is detected in a file import or via an API call, those contacts are then added to the Error tab on your Audience > Contacts page. In the "Reason" column you'll see the word "format." Some of the formatting issues that would garner the error status include email addresses that:

  • Don't have an "@" symbol.
  • Are missing the ".com" or ".org" from the end.
  • Have spaces between characters, or before or after the email address.
Please note: The Import Summary for a file import does not include notification of format errors. Before you do a file import, you should make note of the current error total, then if it increases after the import, you'll know there are some invalid addresses to fix.

From the "Error" tab, you can click on an email address to fix the formatting issue. However, this will not automatically change the contact's status to Active. You will have to fix the issue and then save the corrected email address in order to be able to change the status.

Once the issue has been fixed, near the top of the contact record, you'll still see "Status: Error." Click the arrow next to Error to display the dropdown menu, then select Active.


Bounced email addresses are also listed under the "Error" tab. In the "Reason" column you'll see the word "delivery," which indicates a temporary or permanent delivery failure.

Change a contact's status from Active to Opt-Out

If you receive a direct request from a contact to be unsubscribed, you can manually change their mailing status from Active to Opt-Out. This will ensure that they are permanently removed from your audience, even if you accidentally import them again.

Please note: Once a contact has been changed to Opt-Out status, it cannot be undone from within your Emma account. However, the contact can resubscribe themselves.