FAQs - What should I do if my contacts were suspended?

❗️ Important
As of December 20th, 2023, a new process has been implemented, and contacts are no longer being suspended. To learn more about the new procedure, check our dedicated article Clean your contact database after the suspension of your email campaigns.
If your contacts were suspended before this date, you can still follow the procedure in this article ⬇️.

In this article, we'll explain why your contacts can be suspended after importing them or sending them an email campaign and what you can do about it.

When your contacts get suspended, we send you an email and a notification in your Brevo account. Here is how suspended contacts are displayed on the Contacts page:

Why are my contacts getting suspended?

There are two reasons why your contacts may get suspended:

Import quality Deliverability checks

When you import a large number of new contacts, relative to the size of your current contact list, a verification check is automatically performed by our system to verify that they are valid contacts who gave their consent to receive emails from you.

💡 Good to know
You will receive a notification offering you the option to continue with the import and verification check or to cancel and import a smaller list of contacts.

Your contacts will remain suspended with the status Pending until the verification check has been completed.

Based on the results of the verification check, there are three possible outcomes:

  • The contacts are automatically validated and you can send them emails.
  • The contacts are automatically rejected, suspended with the status Declined, and you can't send them emails. 
  • You receive an email from our support team with questions about the list you imported. Based on your answers, the contacts are:
    • validated and you can send them emails.
    • rejected with the status Declined, and you can't send them emails. 

To learn how to proceed if your contacts get suspended with the status Declined, check our next section What should I do if my contacts get suspended with the status Declined?.

What should I do if my contacts get suspended with the status Declined?

You can't send emails to suspended contacts with the status Declined without additional list maintenance. You have to delete them from your Brevo account and reimport a cleaned list of contacts following the procedure below.

This process allows us to maintain good deliverability and sender reputation for our shared IPs.

Step 1: Segment your suspended contacts

Before exporting your suspended contacts, segment them using our Flagged status condition. We highly recommend you add a dependent condition to only include subscribed contacts in your segment. That will prevent you from deleting blocklisted contacts, and they'll stay blocklisted.

To segment your suspended contacts:

  1. Go to Contacts.
  2. Click Add filter.
  3. Select Contact details > Flagged status > Declined.
  4. Click + And to add a dependent condition.
  5. Select Email > Email campaigns subscription > Subscribed.

The segmentation results with the list of suspended contacts will appear below the segment.

Step 2: Export your suspended contacts

Now that you've segmented your suspended contacts, you can export them as a CSV file.

To export your suspended contacts:

  1. In the segmentation results, check the box next to CONTACT and click Select all contacts.
  2. Click More actions > Export.

  3. Select all contact attributes except for the CONTACT ID attribute.
  4. Select the CSV field separator of your choice.
  5. Click Export to begin the export process.
  6. Once your export file is ready, download it from your notification center.

Step 3: Delete suspended contacts

❗️ Important
Deleting contacts is irreversible and all their data will be permanently lost (attributes, history, etc.).

Once you’ve exported your suspended contacts, you need to delete them.

To delete your suspended contacts:

  1. In the segmentation results, check the box next to CONTACT and click Select all contacts.
  2. Click More actions > Delete permanently.

  3. Type the number of contacts that you want to delete.
  4. Click Delete.

Step 4: Clean up your contact list

Before reimporting your contacts, you need to clean up your export file to remove any invalid and unengaged contacts.

To clean up your contact list, you can manually remove any invalid or unengaged contact from your list by following the guidelines from our dedicated article Optimize and clean your contact list to improve email deliverability.

Step 5: Reimport your clean contact list

❗️ Important
Only import contacts who have given their consent to receive your emails. If new imports repeatedly result in contacts getting suspended with the Declined status, your Brevo account may incur further review or be permanently invalidated.

Once your contact list is cleaned up and all invalid or unengaged contacts are removed, you can reimport it to Brevo. To reimport your contacts, check our dedicated article Import contacts to Brevo.

🤔 Have a question?

If you have a question, feel free to contact our support team by creating a ticket from your account. If you don't have an account yet, you can contact us here.

If you’re looking for help with a project using Brevo, we can match you with the right certified Brevo expert partner.

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