When someone unsubscribes from your mailing list, their email address is automatically suppressed from your list of subscribers. But usually it’s not deleted.
The email marketing companies have this practice in place in order to keep unaltered the reports provided for your previous mailings.
It looks fine, but there’s a problem hidden here… Some companies charge you not only for your subscribers but also for the unsubscribes.
I was very surprised to find out that AWeber claims that it charges you based on the number of subscribers while the reality is different.
The truth is that AWeber also charges for the unsubscribes and many users aren’t aware of it.
Paying, for example, $29 instead of the expected $19 is quite an unpleasant surprise, isn’t it?
So I’ve decided to investigate this issue, see the practices of the other email marketing companies and make their users aware.
1. Who Charges for Unsubscribes and Who Doesn’t Do it?
MadMimi: “The suppressed list is where Mad Mimi stores all your Bounced, Unsubscribed, and Unconfirmed subscribers. The amount of contacts stored here DO NOT count toward your total of stored contacts (what we use to determine your plan level).” – Source
GetResponse: “With GetResponse you are not charged for unsubscribed contacts. You can see them in your account as ‘inactive’. ‘Inactive Contacts’ are those who have unsubscribed themselves, or have been removed by the account owner form the mailing list. The list also contains unconfirmed contacts, i.e. those who did not click on the confirmation email when it was sent to them, as well as bouncing emails.” – Source: email correspondence with Daria Kikola, Customer Success Team.
Campaigner: “You are not charged for hard-bounces (invalid email addresses) or unsubscribes that you carry over into the next billing period.” – Source: email correspondence with Paul Bourgault, Campaigner Support Specialist.
iContact: “iContact only charge our customers based on the number of contacts that are subscribed to lists. The unsubscribed, do not contact, and bounced contacts are not taken against the subscriber count. Yes, we do not charge for unsubscribes, we would only charge you for subscribed contacts.” – Source: email correspondence with Fred, Technical Support Representative.
VerticalResponse: “As soon as an email address has unsubscribed from your mailing lists they are no longer counted towards the total number of active emails in your account. The subscription is based on the active members so you are not paying for the unsubscribed addresses.” – Source: email correspondence with Jaime Woo, Customer Support Representative.
ActiveCampaign: “We only count ‘active’ contacts. Bounced and unsubscribed contacts do not count towards your limit.” – Source: email correspondence with John M., Customer Support Rep.
ImnicaMail: “The subscriber count is unique, so whether or not the subscriber’s email address is on multiple lists or only one list, it will only count as one subscriber. Email addresses in your Global Suppression List does NOT count toward your account limit.” – Source
TheirInbox: “We charge for the number of contacts that you have in your lists. This does not include subscribers that may have unsubscribed from your list.” – Source: email correspondence with Vince Smith, TheirInbox CEO.
Companies that don’t charge based on the number of subscribers/contacts but only on the number of messages that are sent: StreamSend, EmailBrain, JangoMail, SendGrid, SendinBlue, MailGun, MailJet
PinPointe: “Our pay-as-you-go prices allow you to pre-purchase credits that can be used any time during a 12 month period. […] We also offer a subscription based on the total number of active contacts you will upload and store in Pinpointe.” – Source
INinbox: “People that unsubscribe from your list still stay in the database. They will be transferred to the tab ‘inactive’. These contacts do count as a subscriber, however you can delete them manually from the database so they do not count and you don’t pay for them. Furthermore, people that hardbounce or click spam will always stay in the database, but do never count as a subscriber.” – Source: email correspondence with Jelle Mostert, INinbox Relationship Manager.
GraphicMail: “With our Per Contact plan we charge you for the net amount of email addresses that you have in your account — addresses that are repeated across lists are only counted once. If you have unsubscribed addresses in your account, these will still be counted unless they are removed from the account.” – Source: email correspondence with Juan Sebastian – The GraphicMail Team.
MailKitchen: Unknown policy. The only company who didn’t respond to my question.
As you can see, the good news is that very few email marketing companies charge their customers for unsubscribes.
If you’re one of these customers, here are some solutions…
2. Solutions for Avoiding Extra Charges for Unsubscribes
2.1. Change your email marketing service provider. That’s the most radical solution but may not always be the most appropriate. Make sure that the new service provider:
a) lets you import your subscribers without needing to re-confirm their subscription.
b) doesn’t have greater disadvantages than the previous one.
2.2. Before each billing period ends, delete the unsubscribes. Beware: deleting the unsubscribes will result in altering some of the past reports from your account. If you need such pieces of information, copy them somewhere else or make a screen capture.
To Your Email Marketing Success!
P.S. Your turn. Who is your email marketing service provider? Does it charge you for unsubscribes? The comment area below is waiting for you…