As your subscriber base grows, you may find it necessary to decrease the number of active subscribers in your account.  When that time comes, however, it can be difficult to determine whether you should prune your list by unsubscribing users or delete those subscribers altogether.

Generally speaking, it is recommended to prune your subscriber base in order to keep your list healthy and up to date.  By selecting subscribers who fit criteria for inactivity (they haven’t opened your last 10 emails, for example) and unsubscribing them from all mailings, their email is removed from your list of active subscribers.  You can still find these users under your Subscriber List by selecting ‘Showing unsubscribed only’ from the drop-down menu in the upper-left corner.


The alternative to pruning your list would be to delete subscribers from Drip altogether.

Many users will add their personal email or throwaway email addresses as subscribers in order to test some of Drip’s functionalities.  These subscribers are perfect examples of when you would want to consider deleting instead of unsubscribing—there is no need to retain their historical data, nor would you want to include them in your list of unsubscribed users as they may skew any analytics you are reviewing. 

Once a subscriber has been deleted from your account, there is no way to undo the action or to recover their subscriber data.  Because of this, we highly recommend exporting their subscriber data before deletion.

One advantage to unsubscribing over deleting is the subscriber record remains in your account and is accessible at any time.  This can be helpful when looking at historical data to determine trends in subscriber actions (for example, determining what percentage of your unsubscribed customers made a purchase but did not receive a welcome campaign).


Alert: Once unsubscribed or deleted, the only way previous subscribers can receive commercial mailings from you in the future is by opting-in again to receive your mailings.

If an unsubscribed subscriber opts-in again with their same email address, their record will show that they reactivated their subscription while maintaining all historical data.  


If a subscriber who was deleted opts-in again with the same email address, a new subscriber record is created for them as they are, essentially, starting from scratch.

If you have any questions, please contact support for further assistance.