I have a data extract activity which is pulling tracking extracts for unsubs. The ListID return by unsub tracking extract is different from the ListID return by the _ListSubscriber data view. In documentation, listId is the id of the list which is used for sending email. This is strange that the same subscriber has two different listID from tracking data extract for unsub and _listSubscriber data view.

  • When sending emails - what Subscription List do you select? The default "All Subscribers" - or do you have your own Subscriber Lists? – Cameron Robert Oct 16 '19 at 0:59
  • I have publication list configured. I have a publication list 1 and publication list 2 and while sending the email i have used publication list 1. When i extracted the tracking extract for Unsub, the listid i got is of Publication list 1 where as when i queried the _ListSubscriber data view, i got the listId of publication list 2. – Rashmi Budakoti Oct 16 '19 at 1:11
  • Is there any activity being sent from Publication List 2 - such as triggered/auto-respond emails - or is Publication List 2 configured differently? Can you confirm if the customer record you're looking at has unsubscribed from the correct List/Publication List? Have they unsubscribed from ALL lists? – Cameron Robert Oct 16 '19 at 1:23
  • The subscribe is part of publication list 2 as well. There might be some send activity from Publication list 2. I am fetching the unsubscribe from yesterday and we haven't used publication list 2 for yesterday send. The weird thing is the subscribe has unsubscribe from the email which has used publication list 1 for sending but in All subscriber, its showing the subscriber has unsubscribed from both the publication list – Rashmi Budakoti Oct 16 '19 at 2:44
  • Thanks Rashmi, I have enough information to give you an answer. – Cameron Robert Oct 16 '19 at 3:00

From the information you provided in your comments, it sounds like the Subscriber has unsubscribed from all list.
This can occur when they click the "Unsubscribe from List" link at the head of your email in email clients like iOS Mail and Gmail; example here. These links send a technical message to SFMC, resulting in the record becoming unsubscribed from all relevant lists.

You can double check this by viewing the Subscriber Properties in ALL SUBSCRIBERS, and checking if the unsubscribe date for all Lists/Publication Lists is the same.

Also remember that your email customers can open emails from many months ago and click Unsubscribe - we often find unsubscribe requests come in from emails that we sent many months ago.

You also have access to the Publication Subscriber and Unsubscribe Data Views if you need to check the Subscriber's activities across your other lists. These additional views will give you more complete view of what has happened to your subscriber.

  • Hi Cameron, thanks for the reply. Its really helpful. Is there any workaround for this. How can we leverage the publication list subscription in this case. As per the above the article, this type of unsubscribe will be treated as Account level unsubscribe and will by-pass all the list level unsubscribe. – Rashmi Budakoti Oct 16 '19 at 4:45
  • What is your goal? To prevent a subscriber from "unsubscribing from everything" if they click the Unsubscribe link? – Cameron Robert Oct 16 '19 at 4:46
  • Yes, I just want the subscriber to get unsubscribe from the publication list only. Not from the Account. – Rashmi Budakoti Oct 16 '19 at 4:48
  • I've never tried to do this - however I'm reviewing the documentation on Unsubscribe events: help.salesforce.com/… and help.salesforce.com/… – Cameron Robert Oct 16 '19 at 4:55
  • Cameron do you have any idea what could be the possible reason of getting different ListID from Tracking extract and _ListSubscriber data view. – Rashmi Budakoti Oct 16 '19 at 4:57

It may not be the case here, but there is a largely unknown feature where if more than one Data Extension is targeted in a single send and a publication list is used, the system will assign each Data Extension their own associated 'List ID'. Even though each data extension may be referencing the exact same publication list, one Data Extension will get the actual publication list ID, and the others are assigned a temporary ID, which Salesforce Support called a 'virtual' publication list id.

As a result you may be seeing the virtual ID in your unsubscribe table, while the _ListSubscribers table maintains the actual ID of the publication list.

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