Erase a Contact

  • Updated

When you need to permanently delete a contact's data in Act-On, use the Erase Contact feature to quickly and easily remove all data associated with your contact’s email address. This will delete all of your contact's list and segment data, their subscription and opt-in preferences, and their behavior history.

When should I use the Erase Contact feature?

Deleting a contact from a marketing list may still leave some of their data in other areas of Act-On, especially if they appear on more than one list. Use the Erase Contact tool to ensure that all of your contact's data has been removed across Act-On.

In some cases, erasing a contact’s data can be a legal requirement, including under the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the included Right to be Forgotten provision. When using Erase Contact, you'll receive an email receipt of the processed request to use as proof of erasure.

What happens after I erase a contact?

After you submit a request to erase a contact, Act-On will search all lists and segments and erase the contact from each. We will also search for all behavioral data, opt-in and subscription preferences, and other data associated with the contact in your Act-On account. We will remove or anonymize each individual behavior.

You may notice minor changes to report data that rely on behavioral data, including but not limited to email click-through rates, form submission counts, or total message sends.

Be careful! Erased data cannot be recovered by you or by Act-On. However, the Erase Contact tool won't prevent you from re-entering any erased contacts into Act-On via database sync, manual entry, list upload, or any other means.


Erasing a contact


  • Only Admin users have access to the Erase Contact tool – if you are an Admin and cannot see Erase Contact, contact Act-On Support to turn on this feature
  • If your account syncs with a CRM or other database, erase the contact there first – otherwise, the contact could re-enter Act-On during a sync
  • All your lists must have the contact email address column/field name properly mapped to Contact's E-mail Address under System Usage

When you're ready to erase a contact, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Other Settings > Erase Contact
  2. Enter the email address for the contact you'd like to erase
    • If this contact is associated with multiple email addresses in Act-On, each must be submitted separately to ensure complete erasure
  3. Under Send proof of deletion, provide an internal email address to receive proof that your contact has been deleted
    • This address will be saved in your account for future use
    • Use an email address that can be accessed by multiple individuals in your organization
  4. Click Erase
  5. Read the warning – when you're ready, type ERASE in the provided field to confirm
  6. Click Erase to submit your request


Receiving a confirmation email

Once your contact has been erased, you'll receive a confirmation email with receipt of erasure at the internal email address you provided. This email contains both the email address submitted for erasure and the date and time we completed the erasure.

If erasing your contact requires an above-average processing time, you'll receive an initial email as a receipt of the request. We'll send a final confirmation to your internal email address once the contact is officially erased.

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