ActiveCampaign Forum

Stop automation for unsubscribed contacts


I have a question: if I build an automation with several steps that are activated after reaching a certain date and time contacts are queued. So far so good. If people (are) unsubscribed from the list which is used for the automation before the next step is activated they nevertheless receive for instance an email which the should receive because they are unsubscribed from the list. It seems that they stay in the queue although they are no longer on the list. What do i do wrong? How can i stop people beeing part of an automation if the unsubscribe along the way?

Best regards

PS: sorry for my English :slight_smile:


Hi Ko (@jezaakvoorelkaar),

Once a contact is in an automation they will continue to go through it regardless of their list status. Meaning the unsubscribed contact will keep hitting the wait steps, tag steps, etc, they just won’t receive any emails from the automation.

If you absolutely do not want those contacts to stay in the automation, you could add a goal to the end that looks for “unsubscribed from list” so they can skip everything and end.

Hope that helps,



I have the same issue and I don’t see that option Perry.


I just thought I’d share my solution to this problem.
We use only automation, no lists. But ActiveCampaign is built around using lists, so you have to work around some of their default implementation.

In our case, I created a state machine system using tags for people to enter and exit automations. For examples, tags like “Promote Product ON” and “Promote Product OFF”. My automation starts when tag ON is added.

I created a custom Unsubscribe page based on a form with a radio button for people to choose which types of e-mails they would like to receive.
I did this following this guide:
Section “Managing Unsubscribes via Custom Fields”
That form gives a URL that can be used as the unsubscribe link.

Then I created an automation that triggers on the form submit (run “multiple times”). In there, I added several IF/THEN statements to test the value of the radio box, and take the contact out of the automations they don’t want to receive.
You can do this one of two ways:

  1. Simply use the “End other automation” action
  2. Add the OFF tag to the contact (for all my e-mail automations, I have a check before sending every e-mail, that if the corresponding OFF tag exists, the automation ends) – it’s more complicated, but if contacts re-enter an automation, they will exit right away

The last thing to do is to change the Unsubscribe link in your e-mails. Just be mindful that ActiveCampaign will add its own footer if it doesn’t find a reference to %UNSUBSCRIBELINK% in the email (i.e. you may add your link to your custom Unsubscribe page, but it will add its own).
My workaround for this was to leave their link in the e-mail, but color it white.

If you use a template for your e-mails, you’ll need to update the template. But you’ll also need to update every e-mail that you’ve already created, so make sure that it works all ok before starting to create plenty of e-mails. I had to retrofit this into 30 e-mails, and it’s a pain.

Hope this helps.


@jezaakvoorelkaar @greyt @pleon

I was having the same issue and think I found the solution to this.

Create another automation that looks like this:

Here’s what’s happening with the new automation:

  1. Automation A (a drip campaign in my case) is running for contact
  2. Contact clicks unsubscribe
  3. Automation B (the attached image) runs
  4. Automation A is ended

Here’s what’s happening without the new automation:

  1. Automation A (a drip campaign in my case) is running
  2. Contact clicks unsubscribe
  3. Contact removed from lists but still receives drip emails from Automation A

One easy mistake to make is manually putting the contact in Automation B. It will automatically end Automation A, which is not what you want.

If you really want to be careful you can set up a Notify Someone automation to receive unsubscribes when first deploying this, which is what I did.



@Kyle I was looking at the same solution - but I’m wondering if the tag is even necessary, other than for later tracking. I have it set up with an “if” to cover two different automations, and ends whichever they’re in.

Thoughts? Thanks!