Managing Subscription Status in Marketing Cloud

Zeinab Khreiss – January 11, 2023

For teams using Salesforce Marketing Cloud, there are key considerations to take into account when sending emails and managing the subscription status and lists. Not only does keeping well-maintained subscription lists keep you in good graces with the people on them, but it is also required by CAN-SPAM laws that you acknowledge the unsubscribe option. 

If you’re in the midst of setting up subscription status in Marketing Cloud, the out-of-the-box method for managing subscriber preferences will be Publication Lists. Let’s dive into what they are and the benefits of using them. As always, if you have further questions about managing subscription status in Salesforce Marketing Cloud, reach out to our team at

What are Publication Lists

Publication lists are lists of contacts that are opted-in or opted-out of your messaging. They are used to help you control how your audience receives different types of emails or SMS messages from you. For example, one publication list should receive your newsletter but not information about events you're hosting, and another publication list should receive alerts about company updates but not advertisements for sales.

Publication lists are the most simple method of managing preferences because it can all be done in the User Interface. Once created and made public, they can appear in the default preference center, and you can use code to manage them on a cloud page in a custom preference center. One caveat worth noting is that publication lists are best for people who will have lists containing less than 500,000 records and value simplicity over complexity.

Benefits of Publication Lists

Outside of the fact that publication lists are required by CAN-SPAM laws, these lists can also help you determine the interests of your subscribers. 

Increase Subscriber Rates

Offering multiple topics or publication options will encourage subscribers to select options they are interested in hearing about. This strategy will help keep more people on your opt-in lists because they don’t have to choose between opting out of all marketing content; subscribers can choose to receive messaging on topics they’re interested in, and opt-out of messaging they’re not interested in. 

Increase Email Engagement and Conversion

Naturally, when you give subscribers the choice to opt-in to topics that interest them, the engagement of the emails for that list will organically increase. Another benefit for the subscriber is that they can be confident in your brand and that you are delivering what is stated, which can ultimately improve the odds of conversion.

Hopefully, this helped you better understand what Publication lists are, the benefits when managing the subscription status in Marketing Cloud as well as why it’s significant to keep subscription status’ up to date. 

If you have any specific questions about managing Publication lists in Marketing Cloud, get in contact with our team at Digital Mass here!