Understanding Contactability

Contactability refers to whether a contact can be sent an email or SMS communication.

There are four different statuses that contribute to contactability: subscription, reachable, confirmed, validated.


Also known as marketing opt-in or consent. Marketing subscription can be collected from various sources, such as:

  • a loyalty sign up or membership program,
  • terms and conditions when making a booking,
  • Signing up via a webform

All contacts have a legal right to unsubscribe from marketing communications, and must give their consent to be opted back in for marketing.

You can manually unsubscribe a contact, or trigger a resubscription message (opt back in) from the edit contact page.

Further reading:
– The subscription process
– How to manually unsubscribe a contact
– How to resubscribe a contact


Reachable refers to ongoing, successful delivery of an email or SMS message. An email address or mobile number will be marked as unreachable if they have bounced or failed to be delivered.

Note that an email address will have “hard bounced”, such as the mailbox does not exist, it does not include an address or service that was temporary unavailable.

Further reading: Why contacts are marked as unreachable


Confirmed is a state that relates to when a new contact is created via a TalkBox form, such as a sign-up form on your website.

When a new contact is created this way, they are sent a Confirmation email – also known as a double opt-in. You can resend a confirmation email if required from the edit contact page.

Confirmed status does not apply for contacts created by a Connection or upload


When a new contact is created, or a contact’s email address is updated, TalkBox performs an email validation check using an external email reputation service. If the address fails this validation test, the contact will be marked as invalid, as it will likely cause a negative affect to your sending reputation.

An email address may be invalid for one of several reasons, including:

  • Problems with MX record: recipient’s domain does not exist
  • Domain risk: the domain is known to have a high risk of spam or malicious actors
  • Mailbox does not exist
  • Mailbox is disposable: disposable address are temporary, generally one time use, addresses

If you believe an invalid email address should in fact be valid, you will need to duly verify that the email address is correct before contacting our support team.

Updated on November 27, 2023

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