My Guilty Conscience with LogUnsubEvent.

Streamline unsubscribe management in Marketing Cloud for a robust and data-rich user experience.

My Guilty Conscience with LogUnsubEvent.
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Outline:

Nearly 6 years ago, when I coded my first custom preference centre, my main objective was to update a subscriber’s status in SFMC Org and predominantly I used the standard unsubscribe AMPScript function. Although this approach passed the UAT and practically fulfilled the project user stories, I noticed the implementation enabled technical debt in other areas like integration, tracking/reporting and scalability.

In the last several years, LogUnsubEvent has become a gold standard in my custom preference centre designs, therefore, I think it deserves technical and business analysis.

1. What exactly is a LogUnsubEvent?

LogUnsubEvent call allows you to unsubscribe a subscriber and log an unsubscribe event against a specific job ID or globally against the email channel in your SFMC Org. The call accepts several parameters and they can be deconstructed into three segments namely

  • Subscriber context - used to define subscriber properties.
  • Job context - used to specify which Job the UnsubEvent is tracked against.
  • Unsub reason - the reason the subscriber is being unsubscribed from the system.

2. Where exactly can I implement LogUnsubEvent?

Generally, LogUnsubEvent calls are implemented within the custom preference centre utilising CloudPages or within Script Activity in SFMC Org, however, the call can also be executed externally using SOAP API request.

3. When should I make the LogUnsubEvent call?

Simply when your subscribers want to unsubscribe from your commercial email messages and unsubscribe event is to be logged respectively in your SFMC Org.

4. Why should I consider LogUnsubEvent?

In most cases, the LogUnsubEvent call should be your default approach due to its nature of interoperabilityaccessibility and traceability over a standard unsubscribe.

If you’ve configured Marketing Cloud Connect managed package then the LogUnsubEvent call will update the Lead/Contact default HasOptedOutOfEmail field along with the Individual Email Results for the corresponding email send. Hence, the LogUnsubEvent call provides the interoperability to trigger unsubscribe events in SFMC and SF CRM Orgs.

Another outlook of the LogUnsubEvent call is its accessibility to link a JobID/ListID/BatchID against the subscriber which means the standard reports/tracking and data view (_Unsubscribe) will reflect the right unsubscribe events against a particular email send or List

Lastly, the ability to trace the unsubscribe events via the Reason parameter becomes important when your unsubscribe events can originate from several reasons like Unsubscribed via Custom Preference Center, Online Account, Support Agent, etc.

5. How do I make the LogUnsubEvent call?

Currently, there are dozens of articles explaining the technical implementation of the call using AMPScript, SSJS, WSProxy and SOAP requests, however, I have found WSProxy to be the most sophisticated method. Here are some references outlining the technical implementation:

ProTip:

Whilst the LogUnsubEvent call is a preferred method to unsubscribe a subscriber and log an unsubscribe event, it certainly has a unique set of qualities and quirks one should be aware of - I have listed a few key ones:

  • If you make this call from the parent unit of an Enterprise 2.0 account, ensure that you include the ClientID of the child business account to return information specific to that business unit.
  • If the reason is not supplied, a default value of ‘Unsubscribed via Log Unsub Event Execute Call’ will be used.
  • If the job context cannot be established because you did not supply any of the parameters like JobID and ListID or only supplied the BatchID, the UnsubEvent is not created. 
  • If job context is missing then the subscriber is Master Unsubscribed from the system of being unsubscribed from a particular list. Remove the ListID to address the All Subscribers list in an account.
  • If a subscriber has a master unsubscribe request such as “Unsubscribe from all”, you can save additional requests to update all publication lists by invoking an unsubscribe request only on the All Subscribers list.