Remove Patrons from a Mail List Via an Unsubscribe File

Remove Patrons from a Mail List Via an Unsubscribe File (How To)

It is possible to remove patrons from a Mail List using an external file containing unsubscribes and/or bounces. This kind of file is typically created by exporting data from an external mailing tool like Bronto, Mail Chimp, etc. This feature removes people from a Mail List based on patron number and/or completely removes email addresses from the database. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Prepare the Data

Most email services external to Theatre Manager have a feature to export patrons who unsubscribed from the emailer, or whose emails bounced. You will need to create a file (Excel, tab delimited, or comma delimited) that includes:

  • Patron Number
  • Email Address
  • Status, which much contain one of two values (all others will be ignored):
    • unsub
      • This value indicates that the patron has unsubscribed from the mail list.
      • Theatre Manager only looks at the first 5 characters, so you can use unsubscribe or another variation.
    • bounce
      • This value indicates that the email was not deliverable.
      • Theatre Manager only looks at the first 5 characters, so you can use bounc, bounce, bounced or another variation.

All other fields/columns in the file will be ignored. You do not need to get the field names correct as they will be matched later.

Step 2: Import the File

Open the appropriate Mail List window to the Who's In Tab. To start the import process, you can either:

  • Click the Unsub Email button which will ask you for the file you prepared above.
  • Drag the file you prepared above on top of the list of patrons.

Either option will open an import window.

Step 3: Match Fields

On the import window, drag your column name from the left next to the corresponding field on the right to match all of the following:

  • Patron Number
    • Any row with no patron number, or a patron number not found in the database, will be ignored. This means:
      • If you merged people together and then they unsubscribed, TM cannot not find them in the database and they cannot be unsubscribed from the mail list.
      • It will not unsubscribe people who are only in the Mail List program (e.g. Mail Chimp, Mail Gun, etc) and not in Theatre Manager, since they don't have a Theatre Manager patron number.
  • Email Address
  • Status

Step 4: Select Removal Choice

Select one of the two functions that the unsubscribe process supports:

  • Remove People from a mail list.
    • The patron's email address is retained in Theatre Manager.
    • The patron is deleted from the Mail List based on patron number matching.
    • Since there are two status codes in the import file, you can elect to remove based on:
    • unsub
      • The patron has indicated that they don't want emails from you by actively unsubscribing from an eblast you sent out. This option reflects the patron's intent.
    • bounce
      • The external email package does not know if the patron got the email from you. A bounce could mean many things such as an invalid email address, the patron's email sever is not currently working, or their email server is rejecting your email as spam.
      • A bounce does not necessarily mean bad email.
      • Multiple bounces from many emails increases the likely hood of the email address being bad, so you may need to track the bounces for a while before using this option.
  • Completely delete the email address from the database.
    • This option should be used sparingly because it will DELETE the email address from the database and disassociate it from ALL PATRONS IN A HOUSEHOLD that are sharing the email address.

Step 5: Confirm

The final step is to confirm what you want to do. It suggests a backup be made since the process cannot be undone without going to a backup.