Unsubscribed member still displaying as 'subscribed'

I just tried Unsubscribing using the link at the bottom of the last Ghost newsletter I sent out, using a test email (my own).

5 minutes later, and the Unsubscribe still hasn’t been reflected - and my email address is still displaying in the Members section. :confused:

Does this mean this email will still receive newsletters? Or is this merely stored so that any membership benefits (free/paid) are kept?

Unsubscribed members aren’t removed from the list, only their newsletter subscription is toggled off. The Subscribed to newsletter toggle will be disabled/turned off when someone unsubscribes.

You can review this by clicking on the particular user’s email address on the member list, to view the details.

Here’s a screenshot of what I’m talking about:

Ghost definitely needs to improve this experience, it’s not easy to find out who’s subscribed and who’s not :sweat_smile:

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We are having the above issue also. The “subscribed to newsletter” switch does not update at all. I click the unsubscribe link in the email and i get the following message: “has been successfully unsubscribed”. However I am not unsubscribed in the ghost members section.

This raises some serious issues around email spam legislation that means i can’t use this feature until it’s fixed.


yeah, I noticed what @glnarayanan described is the case.

This is what Substack does, too. I think the purpose it serves (having asked Substack Support about this at the time) is that paid members who unsubscribe to emails are still recognised and can still access premium content.

However, from what I remember on Substack someone who is a free subscriber and unsubscribes is removed from the email list automatically (and you can receive an alert of this & said member if you want, just like for a new subscriber who signs up).

So, the above would make sense for Ghost, too. The issue is I think free subscribers who unsubscribe on Ghost are’t removed from the system so I have no idea if they have unsubscribed or not.

However, I think you’re alright legally because I noticed that anyone who unsubscribes does not receive emails thereafter (sent through Ghost). The only issue is that you are thus forced to send emails through Ghost; I have Ghost connected to EmailOctopus via Zapier, and it doesn’t look like unsubscribes are recognised and thus ‘taken away’ from my EmailOctopus list.

Just like with Substack, I believe this is so that free subscribers can still return to the website and access content. (Ghost also have ‘free subscriber-only’ content). However, I think my preference would be to have them removed from the database and have to re-sign up if they wish to. If a free subscriber has unsubscribed, chances are they won’t be returning to my blog and casually reading content again. If so, they can always re-subscribe if they wish. (And I’m not planning on hiding much, if any, content behind a free wall in any case).

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That’s more serious if the switch isn’t updating. Can you try recording a video of it and raise it under Ghost’s Github issues list? We would need their help to investigate. It’s working for me @jsh4 has confirmed it’s working for him too, so if the switch isn’t updating for you, must be something specific or a config issue on your app. Difficult to narrow it down.

This was a bug that appeared in 3.30.0 and was fixed in 3.31.0 that was released yesterday. Please update to the latest version (3.31.2 at time of writing).

The switch is working for me, but I think the ability to remove the user when they unsubscribe or at least an automated tag so we can track them would be really useful.
At the moment there is no way to see how many Free subscribers I really have (export csv, open, read and that), but not from the dahsboard.

I agree entirely…the Unsubscribe experience is COMPLETELY WRONG!

Here are my issues:

  1. When a member unsubscribes, there is NO NOTIFICATION. If you’re lucky you will see it in the activity window, but that is too hit and mostly miss.

  2. The Unsubscriber stays AS A MEMBER. This is crazy…why?

I have no idea when a member doesnt want my newsletter anymore AND they stay in my member numbers (which Ghost charge me for!!!) and I have no way of knowing.

At the moment, I am manually looking at each individual member profile to find out what is going on …this is unbelievable that there is no basic functionality for member management on the Ghost hosted service.

i agree with that approach to managing unsubscribes…if a member unsubscribes and they then want to look at member content, they just need to sign up again

But if Ghost want to keep the system the way it is now, then they have to provide a filter to put these unsubscribed members into a new list and stop counting them for billing purposes.

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yep. I feel like, at best, this is causing confusion and, at worst, this could also be a data/privacy issue if users have opted out and details are still being kept in Ghost’s database.

I’ve reached the decision to quit on Ghost…I had high expectations but the promise of “detailed stats on audience engagement” simply is a false and misleading statement on their homepage. It’s a shame because I like the vibe of Ghost and maybe it’s a better experience self-hosting, but the Ghost hosted platform is no place for a newsletter…IMHO

Yes or have the option to auto delete accounts that have been inactive over a period of time.

Member management still needs a lot of work.

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