Manage blacklisted contacts

The blacklist contains a list of all the contacts who cannot or do not want to receive any of your campaigns. There are several reasons possible why contacts end up on the blacklist: they unsubscribed, they reported a spam complaint or they were added manually, by import or due to a hard bounce. 

Correct use of the blacklist keeps your database clean and helps you being fully GDPR-proof. Email addresses on the blacklist cannot be imported or added manually to the database anymore, making sure they won't receive any unwanted communication and keeping your reputation up to standard. 

This article will show you all the possible reasons to be added to the blacklist, how to remove contacts from it and how to search for your blacklisted contacts. 

  1. To manage your blacklisted contacts, go to Contacts > All contacts section in your account.

  2. On your contact overview, you'll find three tabs: 
    • Active or confirmed contacts
    • Unconfirmed contacts
    • And finally your blacklisted contacts
  3. Next, click on the Blacklisted tab. Here you will be able to see a list of all the contacts on your blacklist. You'll find the date on which they were blacklisted and the reason why. 

    Contacts who cannot or do not want to receive any of your campaigns end up here when you have set this up in the general settings of your account. More information about these settings can be found in the article Configure bounces

  4. To get a closer look at a contact on your blacklist, click on its name to open the detail page. You'll find the following information: 
    • Their email address 
    • The reason why they ended up on the blacklist  
    • The status that they got, depending on the reason why
    • The date on which they were added to the blacklist 
    • The option to remove them from the blacklist, depending on the reason why and their status

Add a contact to the blacklist

Blacklisted contacts will receive a reason, depending on the way they were added, manually or automatically. Let's have a look at those reasons: 


If a contact is no longer interested in receiving your campaigns, he will have the option to unsubscribe from them. Contacts who unsubscribe will, by default, be added to the blacklist. You can change this in the general settings in your account, but we do recommend adding them to the central blacklist after unsubscribing, to be fully GDPR-proof. 

Attention Contacts with this reason can be removed from your blacklist, if you've collected their consent outside of Flexmail. 


When a contact receives an email that they consider to be spam, a lot of email clients offer them a button the mark that email as spam. This would send that email to their spam folder and lets the email client know they no longer wish to receive emails from this sender. Most of those email clients return that information to the sending servers. When we receive such a notification, we place that email address on your blacklist with this specific status.

AttentionIt will not be possible to delete this type of blacklisted contacts from the blacklist, because they specifically indicated that they consider your campaigns to be spam. 

Support tip When your unsubscribe link is that unclear or invisible in your email, it's far easier for your recipient to mark your email as spam. The latter is worse for your sender reputation, so we always advise you to make unsubscribing as easy as possible. If they are no longer interested, simply let them go.

Bounced (soft or hard)

A contact will be considered as bounced out when we received multiple consecutive soft and/or hard bounces for this address. How many bounces this will be, can be set in the general settings of your account under the section Bounces. By default, it's set to 3. 

Attention If we receive a hard bounce (non-existing email address) with bounce code 5.1.1 we can be absolutely certain that email address doesn't exist anymore. They would also affect your deliverability if you would continue sending to them. That's why we immediately add that contact to the blacklist. He doesn't exist according to the receiving mail server. For that reason, it's not possible to delete this type of blacklisted contacts from the blacklist. 

Unsubscribed (manually) 

Contacts can be added manually by moving them one by one from their detail page or by importing them to the blacklist. 

To add one single contact to the blacklist, open the detail page of that particular contact and click on Blacklist this contact. Then confirm that you are sure that you want to move this contact to the blacklist.

If you have a list of contacts that need to be added to your blacklist, you can import this file directly into the blacklist. Go to your contact overview >  Blacklisted tab. Click on the Actions gear icon and select Import contacts on the blacklist.

Click on Browse to select your CSV, Excel or TXT file with blacklisted contacts. Then click on Start import. First, choose the separator you used in your file to separate data in the same field. Next, unlike an import in the database, there is no need to link all the fields from your file to the database fields, except for the email address. Your file needs to contain email addresses to add them to the blacklist.

Warning When contacts are added to the blacklist, all their data will be lost. It will not be possible to retrieve this data afterwards.

Export blacklisted contacts

In case you need an export of your blacklisted contacts, go to your contact overview > Blacklisted tab. Click on the Actions gear icon and select Export all contacts. A file will be downloaded after you click on Download CSV

The export file will contain the email address, the reason and the time a contact was added to the blacklist. 

Delete a contact from the blacklist

Contacts end up in the blacklist for a reason. But sometimes it may be necessary to remove one or multiple contacts from the blacklist. There are however, two types of contacts that can't be removed from the blacklist because they have the status blocked: contacts that have marked your emails as spam and contacts that hard bounces (non-existing email address).

Contacts can be removed one by one or in bulk. 

To remove one single contact from the blacklist, open the detail page of that particular blacklist contact and click on Delete this contact from the blacklist. Then confirm that you are sure that you want to remove this contact from the blacklist.

If you want to remove multiple contacts at once, go to your contact overview > Blacklisted tab. Thick off the checkboxes in front of the contacts that you want to remove and click on the Actions gear icon and select Delete (number) non-permanently blacklisted contacts. Then confirm that you are sure that you want to remove the selected contacts from the blacklist.

Attention You will have to confirm those actions since you are removing contacts from your account completely and not adding it back to the database.

Search for a contact in the blacklist

If you want to check if a certain contact has been added to the blacklist, you can use the search bar at the top of your blacklisted contact overview. Enter the email address you are looking for and, if found, you will see when the contact has been added and why it's added. 

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