Pardot Knowledge Base

What is the difference between “Do Not Email” and “Prospect Opted Out”?

Last Updated: Feb 04, 2016 | Print this Article
There are two fields in a prospect record that indicate a prospect is suppressed from receiving emails in Pardot: Do Not Email and Opted Out.

Do not Email

Do Not Email means the prospect is suppressed from receiving any future emails through Pardot, even if they are still on active email lists. Do Not Email is marked in prospect's record when there has a hard bounce or 5 soft bounces, if prospects are imported in a CSV and globally opted out, if they are opted out in Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics CRM, or if a user checks this field manually in their record (see Manually Opting-out Prospects for more information).

Note for Salesforce users: This field does not map to a Salesforce field by default. For more information on default field mappings, see How do Pardot default fields map to Salesforce Fields?

Prospect Opted Out

Opted Out (listed as Opted Out if the data is exported) indicates the prospect opted out by clicking the unsubscribe link in an email sent through Pardot (or on an email preference page), submitted a spam complaint for a Pardot email by clicking the "report spam" button in their email client, they were manually opted out by a user checking the Opted Out field on their prospect record, or they were globally opted out through a CSV import.

In any of these cases, the Do Not Email field would also be checked and the prospect would be suppressed from receiving future emails in Pardot.
Note that prospects marked Opted Out will not be suppressed from receiving autoresponders, since form and form handler submissions indicate intent.

Do Not Email versus Opted Out Scenarios

This table shows which prospect record fields will be marked in different scenarios.
Scenario Do Not Email Opted Out
Hard Bounce √  
5 Soft Bounces √  
Import and globally opt out √ √
Clicking Unsubscribe in an email or the "opt out from all email communications" link on an email preference page √ √
Spam Complaint submission*   √
Microsoft Dynamics record marked as "Do Not Allow Bulk E-Mails" √  
Salesforce record marked as "Email Opt Out" √ √
* Spam complaints will register as "opted out" only, until the prospect record syncs with your CRM (Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce). Once synced, the spam complaint will be noted as "opted out" and "do not email".

What kinds of emails will prospects get if they are opted out or marked as Do Not Email?

Email Type Do Not Email Only Opted Out & Do Not Email*
Operational   √
Autoresponder   √
Drip Email    
List Email    

*When a prospect opts out of email communications, both the Do not Email and Opted Out fields are marked. Prospects who have opted out or were marked as opted out in Salesforce will still receive autoresponder and operational emails. 

Not what you're looking for? Check out these other articles:
Manually Opting-out Prospects
Do I need to remove opt-outs or hard bounces from my lists?
Bounce Management Overview

Need more? Start a conversation with other Pardot users in our Success Community