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Remove Patrons using External Email Unsub/Bounce file

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It is possible to remove patrons from a mail list using an external file containing unsubscribes and/or bounces - which is typically created by exporting that data from an external mailing tool like Bronto, Mail Chimp, or the like. This feature has two functions:
  • Remove people from a mail list based on patron number -and/or-
  • Remove email addresses completely from the database

This process will remove people from mail lists and (optionally) email addresses from the database.

Please ensure you have a recent backup in case you delete data you do not want to delete. The only remedy is to restore a backup database, export the data and then use the patron import processes to bring it back in.

 

Preparation of 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 that:

  • has (at minimum) a patron number, email address and status. All other fields are ignored. You do not need to get the field names correct as they are matched later.
  • The status must either be:
    • unsub to indicate that the patron has unsubscribed from the mail list. Theatre Manager only looks at the first 5 characters, so you can use unsubscribe or any other variation.
    • bounce to indicate that the email was not deliverable. Theatre Manager only looks at the first 5 characters, so you can use bounc, bounce, bounced or any variation.
  • It can be in excel format, tab delimited or comma delimited

 

Importing the file to remove patrons from a mail list

To begin the process, open up a mail list window to the Whos In Tab. You can either:

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

 

Match up the following fields:
  • Patron Number - note, 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 will not find them in the database and they cannot be unsubscribed from the mail list.
    • It will also not unsubscribe people who are only in the mail list program database and not in Theatre Manager since they don't have a Theatre Manager Patron Number
  • Email Address - the email address from the mail list program
  • Status - which contains the first 5 letters of either unsub or bounce. Any other status codes are ignored.

 

There are two functions that the unsubscribe process can support which are indicated on this screen. You can:
  • Remove People from a mail list. The patron's email address is retained in Theatre Manager - they are simply 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 - if you get a lot of bounces, you can elect to 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.

 

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.