How to delete cleaned contacts in Mailchimp
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Wondering how to delete cleaned contacts in MailChimp? It’s super easy. Here’s how…
If you have a MailChimp account, you will more than likely notice that, after a while, you start seeing ‘cleaned’ contacts in your Audience section…
You may have tried to delete them. But it’s not especially obvious how to delete your cleaned contacts at first glance. Fortunately, it’s actually pretty easy. I’ll show you exactly how in this article.
But first up, what exactly are ‘cleaned’ contacts in Mailchimp?
What are cleaned contacts?
Cleaned contacts are email addresses in your audience that have hard bounced, or repeatedly soft bounced, and are therefore considered invalid by Mailchimp.
A hard bounce occurs when there is a permanent reason why an email cannot be delivered… For example a typo in an email address or the email address is no longer in use.
A soft bounce occurs when there is a temporary reason why an email cannot be delivered… For example the recipient’s mailbox is full, the email is too large or the recipient’s email server is down.
Do you have to pay for cleaned contacts in Mailchimp?
No, unlike unsubscribed contacts, you do not have to pay for cleaned contacts in Mailchimp.
(Did you know you have to pay for unsubscribed contacts in Mailchimp? Find out how to stop paying for them here >>> How to avoid paying for unsubscribed contacts in Mailchimp)
How to delete cleaned contacts in MailChimp
Cleaned contacts cannot be archived, like unsubscribed contacts, but can be permanently deleted by creating a segment in the Data Management Tool. Here’s how…
Step 1: Access the Data Management Tool
To permanently delete cleaned contacts in MailChimp, navigate to the Audience tab >> All Contacts >> Manage Contacts >> Data Management Tool.
Step 2: Create a new segment
Next, create a new segment and set the segmenting conditions to Email Marketing Status | is | Cleaned…
Step 3: Preview and select
Click on ‘Preview Segment’.
Then click the checkboxes next to the contacts you want to delete.
Step 4: Permanently delete cleaned contacts
Select ‘Permanently delete’ and then type PERMANENTLY DELETE into the pop up window, then click ‘Confirm’.
And that’s it!
Over to you…
I’d love to know if you found this helpful. If so, let me know in the comments below!
Or do you have any other Mailchimp related questions? If so, pop them in the comments and I’ll try to help you out!
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Found this post super helpful!
Thank you for this helpful article! I clicked on a few of your other ones and also found them extremely helpful! Thank you for your work.
You are welcome Lisa. So pleased to hear you have been finding my blog helpful! Eb 🙂
Trying to delete the cleaned contacts in our mailchimp account (approx 900), but when i select all (for cleaned) then click actions, I don’t get a ‘delete’ option. Just archive, unsubscribe etc. Any help would be appreciated!
Hi Ro, that’s very strange. Are you sure you are in the data management tool? (Step 1) What you are describing sounds more like what happens when you are not in the data management tool. So I would double check that step first. Hope that helps! Eb 🙂
I don’t find a delete option either.
Are you sure you are in the data management tool (step 1)? You have to be in the data management tool to get the delete option. If you just try and make a segment in the main audience screen, you won’t get a delete option. (The data management tool and the main audience screen look virtually identical, by the way!)
I don’t get a delete option, but nor do i have a data management tool…
Hmm – that is strange. When you clicked on ‘manage contacts’ did you scroll down? The Data Management Tool is right at the bottom and you have to scroll to see it. You won’t see the delete option unless you are in the data management tool.
Maybe these steps are only available in the paid version of MailChimp and not the “free version? I don’t have this option to delete either, even after previewing the segment in Data Management
Hmm – I guess that’s possible. Unfortunately, I don’t have a free account to check. Just a couple of things to double check on your end, though… firstly, have you selected any contacts, by putting a tick / check mark in the box next to their email address? The Permanently Delete option only appears after you have selected at least one contact. And the second thing to check is are you looking in the right place? The Permanently Delete option appears in the top right hand corner. Hope that helps. Eb 🙂
This article helped me out alot! Thanks so much for sharing!
Yay – I am so glad to hear this post has helped you! Eb 🙂
Thank you for sharing this article, it is very helpful!
But I still have a little problem….
I accidentally imported 30 e-mailadresses with the status ‘cleaned’.
These are people that the company where I work for has a collaboration with. I don’t want to send the regular campaigns to these contacts, so that is the reason I didn’t import them as ‘subscribers’. Unfortunately, I can not undo the import, because I can not click on the ‘undo’ button.
I still want to send e-mails to these contacts, but that is not possible at this moment. Could you please help me with this?
I suggest you delete these contacts and then re-import them as subscribers. You can use tags to exclude them from regular campaigns. Hope that helps! Eb 🙂
If I delete cleaned contacts I will be able to import them again??? I’ve tried to undo the imports and that didn’t work.
Yes, that should work fine, so long as you still have the list of contacts you tried to import. Eb 🙂
I mistakenly marked two of my import lists as Cleaned (I misunderstood what this meant) If i delete these lists can I add them back into my audience?
So long as you still have the lists somewhere else (e.g. spreadsheet / wherever they were before), you can simply delete the cleaned email addresses and then just start the import process again. Eb 🙂
Thank you, After clicking like a madman trying to Archive, Unsubscribe and everything else I could think to do to get rid of cleaned contacts. This post helped me remove cleaned contacts in less than a minute.
Yay! I am so happy to hear that 😀
Hi there, thank you for this trick of removing cleaned contacts. I also really struggle with removing tags. I remove them and it looks like they are gone and the next minute they are back again. So frustrating!! Any tips for this? Thank you.
Glad you found my tips helpful! But sorry, I’m not sure what’s going on with your tags… maybe contact Mailchimp support and ask if they can help? Eb 🙂
This has been SO incredibly helpful! Thank you! I have been wondering how to get rid of these cleaned contacts for so long!
You are welcome! I am so pleased this helped you 😀
This was very helpful! Thank you!
Yay – that’s good to hear! Eb 🙂
I don’t get a PERMANENTLY DELETE option appear as per your Step 3 instructions – please help this is driving me crazy!
Hi Tina, I am sorry to hear you are having trouble with this. Are you sure you are in the Data Management Tool? (As per step 1) It looks very similar to the regular audience view, but it gives you the additional option of being able to permanently delete. Hopefully that should solve the problem! Eb 🙂
Hi. Thanks for this. I deleted all of my ‘cleaned’ contacts (I accidentally cleaned them!) but I was unable to resubscribe them as I received a message saying the contacts already existed! It seems the only way I can re-ad them is by way of a sign up form!
OK so if you delete cleaned contacts, as far as I understand, they are permanently deleted from the system and the only way you can get them back is by getting them to re-subscribe via a sign-up form. That is why Mailchimp gives you that popup box to check if you are sure and gets you to type PERMANENTLY DELETE so you can’t permanently delete contacts by accident. Though, to be honest, even if you accidentally clean a contact, I am not sure if there’s a way of getting them back as you are essentially marking that contact as invalid.
Super helpful, thanks so much.
You are very welcome – I am so pleased you found it helpful!
AHA! FINALLY! This was driving me crazy (and I didn’t even get it right the first time I followed your process) but it’s finally done. Thank you. 🙂
Yay! So good to hear that my article helped you figure it out. 😀
Thanks for this article. Mailchimp does a really poor job with their data management UI and their support articles are even worse. This short article told me how to do it in a few minutes.
Thanks! So glad you found my article so useful 😀
Brilliant! Thank you!