Unengaged Contacts list


Hi All,


I'm interested to know if there are many of you who use the Hubspot 'Unengaged List' option when sending emails? 

We are experiencing the issue that contacts are added to this list for not engaging in within 11 emails, however we have emailed this group of contacts twice through a different email platform and have recieved around a 10% open rate?




Many Thanks


4 Replies 4
HubSpot Employee

Hi @TerryB the unengaged list in HubSpot doesn't mean that those contacts are undeliverable. It means that they haven't engaged with your emails recently ...more specifically, for those who:

  • Never opened a marketing email from you and hasn't opened the last 11 emails you've sent them.
  • Previously opened a marketing email from you but haven't opened the last 16 emails you've sent them.

That checkbox is there to preserve email health and delivery. That's because if you continually send to users who don't open your emails, spam filters pick this up and begin routing your emails to the junk box. This impacts future opens not only for these contacts but when servers see this they may route your emails to legitimately engaged contacts to the junk box as well. In the long term this reduces overall opens.


Your natural next question is...how do I remediate this?


Ideally, you'll want to create a sunset policy to manage these contacts. When they hit that disengaged threshold, enroll them into a workflow that sends your best content (the content that gets you the best opens) and if they still haven't engaged run a breakup workflow that calls out their lack of engagement and asks them if they'd like to manage their preferences/unsubscribe.


Here's a good article that summarizes this: https://knowledge.hubspot.com/email/what-is-graymail-and-how-can-i-avoid-sending-my-email-to-unengag....


In summary, when you email the disengaged list in HubSpot it doesn't mean you will not get opens in HubSpot or somewhere else. Instead, it's recommended you avoid continually emailing those contacts over and over again, further damaging email reputation.


Hope this helps- have a great weekend!




Hi Hadar,


I've been in lengthy disccussions with our account manager, I'm aware of its purpose and the reason to have it in place - however there is no method to get contacts off of this list manually (without the contact opening an email from within Hubspot)

This is a limitation and I'm interested to know if any other users have experianced this


Kind Regards,


HubSpot Employee

Hi @TerryB that's great! They can usually tailor the strategy to your unique situation.


You're not required to use this list- it's a checkbox that can be selected on each email send. Many customers I work with create their own suppression list which they leverage during a send (though keep in mind that if you're using a different criteria for engagement like app logins or website activity, email servers can't see that and don't care about it so that if that contact continue to not open email it will still hurt email reputation).


@DSV I know your team has done a big exercise around this and also has a relationship with email health management vendors. Care to share your experience with Terry?


@ridingforlife @Max_at_Wave you also called out email marketing as core to what you do. Any experiences you can share here?


@HadarS thanks for tagging me in. I actually never use this checkbox and to my knowledge it hasn't impacted our email deliverability scores.

@TerryB one thing we have done that may interest you is paring down our lists using the "# of marketing emails opened" field on the Contact level. If we're sending out a survey email for example, and need a certain response rate, I'll make a few sample lists before setting certain thresholds of "opened 2 or more emails" + "last logged in within 6 months" or "clicked on 1 or more emails" + "last logged in within 3 months" to be even more granular.

It really all depends what your goal is. If it's to get engagement per email, the above method words on a campaign basis by tweaking the recipient list to more or less people. If, however, you want to boost up the average engagement rate of your users, I would suggest using a workflow that enrolls people after X months of activity and without opening any emails. Then you won't need to use the Unengaged Contact List in your campaign emails, because you're taking action to move that list elsewhere.

And lastly, if your main issue is not being able to remove people from the Unengaged List, you can always recreate it with similar parameters in the List tool, then simply use that as a list to exclude without clicking the box. Then you can manually remove people from that list if you do want them to get your emails.