Creating a customised unsubscribe form


If you want to give your contacts the choice about which specific type of campaigns they can unsubscribe from (opt down instead of opt out), then you'll be interested in creating a customised unsubscribe form.

A customised unsubscribe form allows you to better manage which email communications your recipients receive. They might wish to unsubscribe from receiving one particular newsletter that isn't of interest to them but still want to receive other information about your products and services.

Creating the form

  1. Go to Contacts > Signup forms

  2. Select contact data fields, preferences, and address books that you're happy for contacts to be able to unsubscribe themselves from

  3. Decide whether to include consent information

  4. Move down to the 'On completion' section. You have the option to add a recipient who completes the form to an address book, enrol them into a program, or redirect them to a landing page. Should you choose to redirect the recipient to a landing page, select URL from the dropdown and insert the URL you'd like the recipient to be taken to (this could be a survey, if you wish, to ask why they're unsubscribing)

  5. Select Generate code

  6. Cut and paste this code to give to your web developer for inclusion on your website. An easy way to do this is to highlight the code, right-click (or select and hold) and select Copy, open a basic editor, such as Notepad, and paste the code in.

  7. Place a link in your campaigns that will go through to your webpage that displays this customised unsubscribe form. In addition to this, you'll also have the required standard unsubscribe link if you chose that option in the 'Display settings' section.


You could use this function in conjunction with a triggered campaign. When a contact unsubscribes from a particular address book using this form, you can ensure a campaign gets automatically sent to them, perhaps to collect feedback on why they're unsubscribing from it. This can be done by editing the settings of an address book to include an 'unsubscribe action'.
Have more questions? Submit a request


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    "Finally, replace the unsubscribe link in your email template with a link through to the web page displaying this form."

    Do we just put our own link in and do you need to check it's there? We want to offer different list subscriptions first and a global unsub underneath - a reverse of the current standard page you do.

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    The unsub process has changed considerably. There is now only a way to unsubscribe from all address books (standard) or from a single address book.

    Alternatively, if you are managing segmentation preferences through contact data fields, you can turn on the preference center to allow folk to unsubscribe or amend their profile. Sorry to say, though, that the way the labels display the data fields and the order in which they do so is awkward.

    Since contact data fields cannot contain spaces and the preference center displays data fields in alphabetical order, using the preference center with public contact data fields is somewhat clumsy. See attached as a sample.

    Are there updates planned for the future?

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    Once this customised unsubscribe is set-up, when a contact submits this - where are the details of the forms stored? 

    I have created the form coding and passed to my web designer, we are going to set up a return page, but still yet to be designed.  How do I go back in and add this information in later?

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    Hi Ally

    The code that is generated for you can be edited at anytime via the code, simply find this piece of the code:

    <!-- ReturnURL - when the user hits submit, they'll get sent here -->

    <input type="hidden" name="ReturnURL" value="**url goes here**">

    We do not store a copy on the system as you can easily re-generate at any time and it wouldn't impact any previous code generated.

    It must be clear that if you do intend to use a custom link to manage suppressions you should contact your account manager to have the process you implement approved as you are required to honor all opt-out requests. This also includes requests in the reporting replies.

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    Instead of putting the html code on my company's website, I simply created a microsite from my DotMailer account called <campaign name> unsubscribe, created a page, and put the html code there. Now an unsubscriber for this particular campaign just gets a simple opt out page and they are taken out of the campaign's address book. Isn't this the easiest way to do this? Why isn't this given as an option?

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    I'm currently using a custom unsubscribe page, how can I get it to report on these unsubscribes and not the default one? Is it possible to have the default unsubscribe turned off? Thank you.

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    Hi Lisa,

    As no campaign is being sent, there will be no reporting on this webform. You could, however, trigger a 'sorry to see you go' campaign connected to the address book/s being unsubscribed from, achieving reporting in that way instead. This is covered at the foot of the article.

    However, I may not fully be getting the gist of your question?

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    We're using a dotsurvey form to sign up subscribers' and capture their data / email preferences.

    We'd like our users to be able to be to opt themselves out of specific alerts, without unsubscribing fully.

    We've got the preference centre option enabled, but the issue we're having is that the different types of alerts link back to contact data fields, so consequently look odd - is there a way to edit the text on the preference centre to make these appear more human?

    Also, not being able to reorder the data fields is a bit annoying.

    See screen shot attached.

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    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for raising this issue. As I'm not entirely sure how this has been set up, I'd recommend contacting and they'll do their best to assist you.

    However, in the meantime, I can try to provide a couple of pointers that hopefully may prove useful. Apologies though if they're not exactly what you're after. Firstly, when using contact data fields or address books that will be used publicly, we always recommend giving the names some thought so that they're meaningful, as your contacts will be able to see them. In which case, you might be interested in the following articles on contact data fields:

    Secondly, I'm afraid contact data fields are listed alphabetically in the preference centre and you can't currently reorder them.

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    Hi there. I've created a customised form and hosted the code on my website. Looks nice, but the email box doesn't allow me to put an email address in, and therefore the preferences can't feed back to my address book. Am I doing it wrong? I need some guidance! Thank you!


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    If you don't make the fields required and someone just enters their email address and clicks Unsubscribe (without selecting specific Address Books), are they unsubscribed from all?

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    Hi Joe. Thanks for your question. To clarify, the 'Require all fields to be filled in?' option only applies to contact data fields that are part of your form, and not address books. As you're dealing here with the 'Single address book removal' form mode, contact data fields aren't available for selection from the wizard anyway.

    However, yes, if an email address is entered but no address book is selected in the 'Single address book removal' form mode, the contact will be unsubscribed from all address books, including 'All contacts'.

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    Hey Neal, with your above note regarding unsub from all address books, I'ven noticed using this approach won't track the specific unsubscribe against a campaign. So while an unsub from an email campaign is captured in platform under suppressed contacts, it does not track the specific unsub against the campaign.

    How can you get around that utilising the custom unsub form that's linked to from an email? Thx

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    Hi Trent. Thanks for your question. Yes, when using the custom unsubscribe form, it's not possible to track unsubscribes against the specific campaign the form was linked from.

    If you wanted to, you could click on an unsubscribed contact in the 'Contacts' > 'Suppressed contacts' list, then click on their 'Activity' tab, and then compare their 'Date removed' against the 'Date sent' of campaigns sent to them. It's likely (but not guaranteed) that the campaign sent closest prior to the removal is the one they used to unsubscribe from.