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Manage multiple email lists with granular Subscriptions
Manage multiple email lists with granular Subscriptions

Give customers the freedom to customize their email preferences, and reach the right people with the right content.

Beth-Ann Sher avatar
Written by Beth-Ann Sher
Updated over a week ago

You likely send your customers a few different types of emails: newsletters, feature announcements, urgent notifications etc. Granular Subscriptions let customers easily opt out of non-essential communications without missing what’s important to them.

So you can respect their inbox, but still reach them when it really counts.

How Subscriptions work

You can create as many Subscriptions as you need. For example:

  • Announcements

  • Onboarding messages

  • Newsletter

  • Tips and tricks

If your customers unsubscribe from an email, they’ll see all of these Subscriptions, and can easily choose the ones that are most interesting to them, so they don’t miss out on what’s important.

How to set up a new Subscription

Go to Proactive Support > Settings > Subscriptions, and you’ll see your current Subscriptions. You can edit these and put them live, archive them or leave them as drafts:

Note: It’s not possible to permanently delete a Subscription.

To create a new Subscription, click “New Subscription”:

Then select Email or SMS depending on the type of outbound message you'll send with this Subscription:

Note: SMS is only available when you use Intercom's true 2-way SMS.

Now give your Subscription a name and description which tells customers what they've opted in to and what kinds of messages they can expect. For example, you could create a "Marketing" Subscription for latest news and offers.

Important: Once the Subscription is live, this is visible to customers, so make sure it’s clear and accurate. 👌

Choose a "Consent Type" for your Subscription based on whether customer consent is required or implied. It's best practice to choose "Opt-In" and allow customers to opt themselves in to any Subscriptions.

However, you can automatically opt customers in to this Subscription if you already have their consent and need to send them operational or critical updates. By choosing "Opt-Out" customers will need to take action to stop receiving these messages.

Important: For all marketing and promotional communication, not choosing opt-in will result in compliance breach and potential fines.

Then click "Save and close" to add this as a new Subscription.

You'll need to select "Put Live" to start sending outbound messages with this Subscription and for customers to be able to opt-in/out.

If you support additional languages in your workspace, you can add them under “Localize your Subscriptions”:

Then, add a translated name and description for each Subscription. This will be displayed based on a customer’s browser language when they visit your unsubscribe page:


  • If you choose to leave the additional languages blank, customers will be shown your default language when they manage their subscription preferences.

Pro tip: You can preview your unsubscribe page by using the preview function and selecting "Email":

This preview also provides a direct link you can share with your customers to allow them to edit their preferences.

Note: This doesn’t make any changes to your existing email messages. Read on to learn how to apply Subscriptions to your messages.👇

Choose a Subscription for each message

With at least one live Subscription, they can be assigned to new and existing email messages. When composing a message, select the Subscription here:

Important: For a good customer experience, the name and description of each Subscription should accurately represent the messages associated with it.

If a message doesn’t fit one of your Subscriptions, it’s best to create a new one. This ensures your customers don’t unsubscribe for the wrong reasons, and maintains good deliverability overall.

Now if a customer clicks your unsubscribe link, they’ll be automatically removed from this Subscription, and see a page where they can opt back in or manage the rest of their Subscriptions:

Important: If you don’t choose a Subscription for a message, when a customer unsubscribes from it, they will be unsubscribed from all lists. The same behavior applies if they unsubscribe with a link automatically provided by their email client.

Ask customers to opt-in to your email Subscriptions

While messaging customers via the Help Desk or via bots in the Messenger, you can insert the Subscription Type Opt-In Form app to quickly collect messaging consent and build up your subscribers.

Note: this feature is not available on EU/AU hosted workspaces.

Insert the app into messages

When creating a new outbound message, simply insert the app into the content composer. For example, we can add the app to a chat:

Choose the Subscription

Now select the Subscription Type you’d like them to opt into. You’ll be shown a list of all your active Subscriptions. If an email subscription type is selected, the customer will be asked to provide an email address.

Note: If the customer already has a valid email address, it will be shown as a ‘saved’ email address which they can opt-in. They won’t be able to edit this address in the form.

Configure the form title

The form title should explain what you’re asking the customer to do and can be customized to suit your specific use case. For example, “Sign up to our newsletter for 10% off”.

Configure the opt-in button text

Personalize the opt-in form experience with a custom call-to-action button. If this field is left empty, the app will default to “Sign Up Now”.

Configure optional legal text

You can also provide any legal information or other text along with the opt-in form. This is ideal for marketing email opt-ins where it’s best practice to provide links to a privacy policy or explain the frequency at which a customer will receive marketing emails.

Once the fields are completed, click “Insert Form” and the app will be ready to be delivered as part of the message.

Updating and archiving Subscriptions

To edit the name or description and make it more relevant to the types of email messages you send, or archive a Subscription you no longer use, simply hover over it and click the edit or archive button:

You can't edit the Subscription Type (SMS/email) or Consent Type (Opt-In/Opt-Out) once a Subscription has been created and saved.

Updating your customers’ Subscription preferences

To see all your contacts who have unsubscribed from a particular type, you can filter for “Subscription opt-outs”. This example shows all customer who have opted out of “Announcements”:

To monitor opt-outs on a regular basis, you can save this filter as a segment.

You can also see an individual’s Subscription preferences and any email issues they’ve had (like bounces) from their profile:

You can edit these preferences manually, in compliance with applicable data, privacy, and email marketing laws.

You must have permission from a person to send them marketing emails. If you don’t, your emails may legally be deemed as spam. You should ensure that your email activities comply with these laws.

You can also bulk opt-in or opt-out users from Contacts > All users.

Select the checkbox next to each contact then use the More dropdown to select Unsubscribe users or Subscribe users.

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Then choose the list you want to subscribe/unsubscribe them from.

If you're subscribing users, you'll need to confirm you have collected consent from the users to send content through SMS or email.

Subscriptions and the API

We support webhooks for opt-in and opt-out. You can listen to the granular.subscribe or granular.unsubscribe topic. This is available on the unstable API version and on the API version 2.6.

Via the API we support:

  • Listing opt-out Subscriptions for a specific contact.

  • Listing opt-in Subscriptions for a specific contact.

  • Attaching and detaching an opt-out Subscription for a given contact.

  • Attaching and detaching an opt-in Subscription for a given contact.

  • And listing all Subscriptions for the workspace.


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