HubSpot Ideas


Opt users out of certain email types

It would be extremely helpful to have the option to only subscribe contacts to a certain email type when they fill out a form, instead of automatically opting them into ALL email types automatically. At least have the option to opt contacts out of certain other email types.


The reason is, if you wanted contacts to opt into your blog subscription emails ONLY and not any other email types, then that should be the only email type they should be subscribed to. I don't want contacts to get any other email types (if, let's say that I send out a marketing email that they weren't subscribed to).



20 Replies

Fully agree - in general it would be helpful to be able to use the contact properties "Opted out of email: [email type]" in workflows and forms.


Ideally I'd like customers to opt in to the email types they're interested in receiving, rather than having to direct them to the subscription preferences page and have them opt out of emails they don't want. 


This is an issue for us as we have account-specific (billing, install, etc.) emails for customers that are different than our marketing/sales-oriented emails. If a customer calls in and asks to opt out, we can't pick and choose, which creates a bad user experience.


Due to CANSPAM, etc., I understand not being able to opt them in or resubscribe, but to not be able to opt-out for specific email types? Please, HubSpot...I don't ask for much! 😉


@jmgrand - you can set up email types and manually unsubscribe customers from different types.


Email types are in Content Settings > Email > Email types, and you can set up as many as you want (as far as I know). The types will be offered on the subscription preference page to opt out of individually or all. you can also manually unsubscribe users from email types, as in the situation where they call you and ask to unsubscribe.



I know how to set up email types, and have a subscription center, however HubSpot Support told me I can't opt out a contact individually from a specific subscription. If you know a way to do that, do tell. as I'd love to be able to do that. 



you're quite right, my apologies. I thought I'd seen a help article about how to do exactly that - i must have been mistaken.

Top Contributor | Gold Partner

We have e-mail-types for different services (pr, online marketing, trade fairs). People are confused when they open the e-mail-settings and take a look at all their subscriptions for services they are not interested in...


We are also very interested in this feature, thank you. Has a work-around been identified?

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Q: [How to] Opt users out of certain email types?

Short A: You can't. Not using conventional HubSpot wisdom.


Longer A: Think - "there is no spoon"


Whenever faced with the limitations of any SaaS platform we do what works best for us -- i.e., look for workarounds that adhere to best practices. Our workaround goes like this.


First of all, it may be helpful to think of all HubSpot Email Types as marketing emails. (bold statement considering there is a sales module attached) Then minimize the number of HubSpot Email Types.


It seems that HubSpot may have been overzealous when recommending use cases for their original Email Types considering the impracticality of how they're applied -- i.e., all subscribers are subscribed to all Email Types (by default).


As such, we typically limit HubSpot Email Types to only those absolutely necessary (usually 2) - i.e., Marketing and Blog Subscription. We do this expressely because of the HubSpot default 'subscribe-to-everything' subscription model described above.


In our view, subscriber preferences should be as minimal as possible so as to encourage their proper use and discourage subscribers from ticking the 'Unsubscribe me from all mailing lists.' checkbox -- effectively opting out of all emails (not good). Hey, but that may be just us. haha



So how do we handle segmenting our lists for the purposes of controling email sends?

We create or own email groups (something that technically doesn't exist in HubSpot) -- see dev example from our Coffee Connoisseur LP [please excuse unrelated imagery and lack of styling ... no time for css today. haha]


Once we open our minds to the fact that we can build just about any solution using HubSpot, the sky's the limit.

- Want 40 email groups? No problem.

- Want to use groups yet not have some of them appear on your email groups preferences page? A cinch.

- Want your email groups named so they appear nicely in emails? Easy!

- Want to limit subscribers to a single email group? (use radio buttons)

- Want smart lists that update against email group selection to trigger workflows? A walk in the park!

- Want to protect your Customers from accidentally receiving emails from a certain group? Child's play! (explicitly exclude them from the smart list managing that email group membership)


See the possibilities?


Potential Issue: This workaround gives us unrestricted control (and therefore responsibility) to manage email sends to our newly created email groups. But wait, aren't all of those 'marketing emails' anyway? Yep. A single unbscribe on the default HubSpot communications preferences page will still disable all sending. (so we're good)


Potential Benefit: This workaround allows us to periodically send a friendly reminder linking subscribers to a non-threatening, fully brandable, and very easy to understand page from which they can control the groups to which they wish to belong (if any) -- a practical and valuable transfer of granular control to the user and away from the platform.


Just a thought.





OK, thank you. Well, my point is I want to make sure all my actual customers are going to receive this "request for review" email if I put this in a flow, and I don't know which default I should choose from the list that is there. Is there one that ALL contacts are DEFINITELY placed in? I have the Sales and Marketing modules, and I'm just now leaning HubSpot. Thanks!

Top Contributor

Hubspot only tracks users that are opted out of ALL, or SPECIFIC email types.

Contacts by default are subscribed to everything - though there is NO RECORD OF THIS in hubspot.


There is only a record of UN-subscriptions. It has never made sense to me from a information architecture perspective.




I am having an issue where some of our contacts will call in and ask us to unsubscribe them from certain marketing emails. The current set up does not allow the Hubspot user to manage this. Our folks are not super tech-savvy so it is important that we have a way to accommodate them when asked.


Will there be any changes to this issue? 

Top Contributor

 Yes, we need this. Only customers should be opted IN for specific customer marketing emails and alerts. Consequently, having this property (opt into ABC email type) is needed to creating lists.



giving this a follow as it's driving us insane not being able to use subscription types to create lists..

Top Contributor

We soooo desperately need this. We have a number of different email types. The audience of each email type has absolutely nothing to do with the others. I'd love to be able to filter smart lists and workflows based on the email types contacts have opted into and out of. Users can opt out of individual email types from the subscription screen, but I'd prefer to not show everyone all the email types since they target very different audiences.


We need the same thing as @theScott : not everyone should be able to subscribe to all emails. But we can't find a way to configure this, it seems it's not there yet. Or otherwise, if anyone knows please let me know!



We need this as well. Hard to believe there's been no progress on this front for more than 4 years.


@FPaganelli @M2 we had the same issue, ended up resolving it by turning on the GDPR toolkit, which automatically lists contacts as "not opted" instead of "opt-ed in"


You do have to deal with the legal basis for processing data property with this solution however. Not a huge deal, but did require some training for the sales team.


I agree. It would be extremely helpful for us to not have users be able to unsubscribe from both business units. Having more options would be beneficial.

Top Contributor | Platinum Partner

Seems to me like this has been possible for a long time? Through GDPR it's already pretty granular to set up which subscription type people are consenting to opt into. But you can always use custom properties and workflows to manage exactly which subscription types to opt people in and out of.