How to Prevent Automatic Email Unsubscribes in Pardot


As of February 12, 2020 You can enable the two-click unsubscribe functionality in Pardot to require prospects to confirm that they no longer want to receive emails. More details can be found here.

The standard unsubscribe link in Pardot is a one-click unsubscribe link, meaning that once the link in the email is clicked, the prospect is unsubscribed automatically. While this makes it easy for the prospect to opt-out of your emails, it also makes it easy for spam filters to click this link and unsubscribe your prospect unintentionally. Unfortunately, there’s no way to customize the standard unsubscribe page to prevent this from happening, but you can create a preferences page and customize it to act like an unsubscribe page.

Turning a preferences page into an unsubscribe page

The goal is to take a preference page, update the copy and add some styling to turn it into an unsubscribe page where prospects must click the unsubscribe button on the page to be opted-out of email communications. The link to the preferences page can then be added to your emails instead of the standard unsubscribe page link.

Here’s what the completed page will look like.

Already have a preferences page set up? Don’t worry, you can use more than one preferences page link within your emails.

Create a new Layout Template

Create a new layout template to use for your new preferences (unsubscribe) page (Marketing > Landing Page > Layout Templates > New Layout Template) and paste your HTML into the template. Add the tag %%content%% where you want the preference center form to appear.

Here’s the HTML I used for my layout template.

Create a new preferences page

Create a new preference page using your new Layout Template (Marketing > Emails > Preferences Page > Add Email Preferences Page). Since this will be an unsubscribe page and not a preferences page, leave the associated lists section blank.

In the form content section of the preferences page, change the text to indicate that this is an unsubscribe page instead of a preferences page.

Here’s what my preferences page looks like once the text has been updated.

Add some additional customizations

You will want to add some additional customizations to your preferences page to make it function more like an unsubscribe page.

Remove the submit button

The standard submit button you see on the page doesn’t have a purpose unless there are lists on your preferences page. The button can be hidden by adding some CSS to your Layout Template.

Here’s what my page looks like with the submit button removed.

Turn the opt-out link into a button

Since we removed the form submit button from appearing on the page, the opt-out link can be styled, so it looks like a submit button.

Hide the email field

Optionally, you can hide the email field by adding this CSS to your Layout Template.

The final HTML

Here’s my final HTML with all the customizations included.

The final result

Finally, here’s what the preferences (unsubscribe) page looks like for the prospect.

Testing tips

  • Viewing the preferences page link directly will not show the “opt-out” button/link.
  • Test the preferences page link by using the send to test lists option instead of the send to individual emails option.


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