Include or exclude recipients from an email campaign

Current version: 10.4

Email marketing is only successful if you send the right message to the right audience. This is why building targeted recipient lists is an important step in the process and to help you with this the Email Experience Manager (EXM) integrates closely with the List Manager (LM). This enables you to use the lists of contacts that you create in LM as the recipient lists for your email campaigns in EXM. When you make a change to a list in the List Manager, the corresponding recipient list in EXM is updated.

To streamline your work process, you can also create contact lists or segmented lists directly from EXM.

There are two types of recipient lists and you must include at least one of them before you can send the message:

  • Include recipient lists – contains all the recipients to whom you want to send the email campaign. At least one of the include lists must contain at least one recipient.

  • Exclude recipient lists – contains a list of recipients who are not part of the email campaign and who will not receive email messages.

You can include as many lists as you want. Even if the same recipient appears multiple times in the include lists, EXM makes sure that the recipient (if the contact identifier is the same) only receives your email campaign once. If you include a contact list in the email campaign, a contact can subscribe to the campaign. Contacts cannot subscribe to a segmented list because a segmented list is generated in real-time according to the defined rules.

When a contact subscribes to an email campaign, they are added to the first contact list that is included in the email campaign.


If a developer wants to override this behavior, they must patch in their own SubscriptionManager with their own implementation of the GetSubscriptionListFromMessage method.

When a contact unsubscribes from an email campaign, they are removed from all include lists for the email campaign. If the unsubscribe is not successful or if the contact is a member of an included segmented list, the contact is added to the global opt-out list instead. This ensures that the contact does not receive any more email messages.

To include or exclude a list of recipients from your email campaign:

  1. Create or open the regular email campaign for which you want to include or exclude recipients.

  2. On the Recipients tab add the relevant lists:

    • To include or exclude an existing list, in the Include lists section or in the Exclude lists section, click the Actions drop-down menu and select the relevant lists.

      To search for an existing list, click the drop-down menu and start typing the name of the list. The lists with matching names are displayed accordingly.

      To browse for an existing list, click the Actions, then select Add existing list. In the Select list dialog box, browse to or search for the relevant list.

      Email Experience Manager Recipients tab showing how to add relevant lists.

      To send the email campaign, you are not required to add an exclude list.

    • To create a new list from a CSV file and then include it in your email campaign, click Actions, then select Add list from file. In the Import contacts wizard, follow the steps to import the contacts in your CSV file.

      Email Experience Manager Recipients tab showing how to add list from file.

      When the import has completed, the list is included to your email campaign and available in the List Manager as well.

In the Email campaign info panel, you can see an overview of the number of recipients that you have included in the email.

  • Included recipients – the number of unique recipients in all included lists that EXM attempts to send emails to. This number does not include contacts who have revoked consent or for whom an email bounced.

  • Excluded recipients – the number of unique recipients who appear in one of the excluded lists and also in one of the included lists.

  • Globally excluded – the number of unique recipients who are in one of the included lists and in the global opt-out list, but not in any of the excluded lists.

  • Total recipients – the number of recipients to whom the current email campaign will be sent to.

Email campaign info window.

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