How do I manage cancellations (opt-outs) from my mobile number database?

If you have an opt-in list with mobile phone numbers, you should manage any cancellations or so-called opt-outs by removing them from your list of contacts. Below we describe how to manually remove contacts from your MessageBird Account and a couple of tips to optimize the process.

Manually remove mobile numbers from your contacts

To remove any mobile phone numbers from your list of contacts, just follow the steps below. Attention: think twice before deleting a phone number from your contacts in its entirety, you might just want to delete it from a certain group.

Step 1: downloading an export of your (sent) messages

Browse to the Messages section within your MessageBird Account and go for the Export tab. Select the month you want to check for opt-outs and hit the Export button. An export of your sent and received messages is downloaded as a CSV file.

Step 2: filtering mobile numbers from the exported CSV file

Open the CSV file in your favourite spreadsheet software, and start off by setting a filter on the top row. First you have to select row number 1. Then hit the filter button that looks like a funnel, as visualised in the image below.


After the filters are set, move your mouse cursor over the drop-down button on the Inbox cell and select yes. This way, only incoming messages are visualized. Then set a filter for the Messages cell and search for words like stop, opt-out, cancel and other variations, to only show relevant messages (we all want to save time, right?).

Tip: tell your recipients to reply just the word "STOP" to any of your messages if they would like to opt out. This will speed up the process of filtering your received messages by sorting them in ascending order and browse to the messages that start with "STOP". Note: if the message is sent from a shared short code, your recipient should always start the message with your keyword.

Step 3: removing cancellations from your contacts

Once all relevant messages are visualized in the CSV file, select the phone numbers within the ReceiverGsmNumber column and copy them.

Now head back to your MessageBird Account and browse to the Import text tab within the Contacts section. Then paste the copied mobile numbers in the Text field, select the remove contacts radio button and choose whether you want to delete the contacts as a whole or from a certain group.

Finally, just follow the steps and you're done! To learn more about adding, deleting and managing contacts, read this Knowledge Base article.

More info

We highly recommend you to offer your customers a clear and easy way of opting out from your service, such as given in the tip to tell your customers to reply the word "STOP".

Another way is to provide an email- or web address in your SMS messages that your customers can use to opt-out from your service by entering their mobile number. Remove the number from your database as soon as you receive their notification.