Getting Started

Learn through 101 guides and easy solutions.

I Exceeded My Account Engagement Mailable Database Limit. Now What?

I Exceeded My Account Engagement Mailable Database Limit. Now What?

min. reading

Uh-oh. You just received an email from Salesforce saying you have exceeded your Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) mailable database limit. That means if you don’t reduce the amount of mailable prospects in your database quickly, it’s going to cost you. 

Or maybe you were “just checking” one day & noticed that your Mailable Database limit was getting close to that 100% mark, and you need to do something quickly to prevent it from going over.

While the default Account Engagement instance allows for 10,000 mailable contacts, some companies purchase additional contact blocks of 10K prospects each based on their anticipated marketing/subscriber audience size. If you capture more mailable prospects than you’re limited to, Salesforce will allow you to capture those additional prospects in Account Engagement, but they will also invoice you for them.

At the end of the day, we’re all trying to grow our businesses and our audience size. So, hopefully, a time will come when we need to purchase another block of contacts to increase our mailable database limit. But if today isn’t that day, here are ways we can clean up our mailable database quickly and keep it tidy for the long haul.

How to check your mailable database numbers

If you get an email notice from Salesforce, the email will tell you how many mailable prospects are in your Account Engagement database compared to your database limit. Let’s log in to verify those numbers. 

There are two ways to check your mailable database numbers if you haven’t received an email from Salesforce for exceeding your mailable database limit or aren’t sure how many mailable prospects are in your database compared to your limit. 

Check your Prospects Table with the Mailable Prospects list view

In Account Engagement (Lightning) go to your Prospects tab > List View: Mailable Prospect. This represents your total number of mailable prospects, but it doesn’t tell you what your mailable prospect limit is.

Use the Usage and Limits Tab to see your mailable prospect utilization

In Account Engagement (Lightning) go to your Account Settings > Usage and Limits Tab. It’s important to know that there can be up to a 24-hour delay in the total number of mailable prospects represented in this table. 

However, this table shows you your mailable prospect database limit and percent of utilization in addition to the total number of mailable prospects — just check that total number to the prospect table we just noted above.

Also – one VERY important reminder! 📣

Mailable prospect limits are shared across Account Engagement Business Units!

This means that if you have a limit of 10,000 mailable prospects, 9000 are in business unit A and 1941 are business unit B, your total database is actually at 10,941 mailable prospects! You are over your limit. This requires a little math and also an admin who is either monitoring both business units, or two Account Engagement admins who are, at the very least, communicating with one another. 

Wait, who is a mailable prospect again?

Before we can start determining who to keep in our database and who to purge, we need to understand who counts against our database limits. Mailable prospects count against your limit, but non-mailable prospects do not. 

Here are some quick bullet points to help you know which prospects are mailable and which ones aren’t.

Mailable prospects

  • Any prospect who is eligible to receive marketing and operational emails

Non-mailable prospects

  • Any prospect who has opted out
  • Any prospect who is marked as “Do Not Email”
  • Any prospect who has 1 hard bounce or 5 soft bounces
  • Any prospect who has been deleted and now lives in your Recycle Bin
  • Any prospect whose mailable status is “Operational Emails Only”

To reduce our mailable database, we need to turn our attention to mailable prospects.

Quick Wins: How to reduce your total number of mailable prospects quickly

Who should I keep in my mailable database and who is okay to purge? Here are three quick wins you can apply today.

  1. Get rid of “junk” prospects

Their mailability status may say they are mailable, but it’s probably unlikely that [email protected] is a real prospect. Run a dynamic list, or multiple dynamic lists for that matter, that look for junk prospects.

This blog post is FULL of amazing Dynamic List options to run on the four fields most often filled with spam content: First Name, Last Name, Job Title, and Email.

Once you have created your dynamic list(s), select the prospects to delete and use a Table Action to send these prospects off to the Recycle Bin.

  1. Delete old, unengaged prospects

Another quick win option at quickly reducing your mailable database size: delete the mailable prospects who aren’t engaging with your emails and marketing materials, and instead keep your focus on the prospects who are interested in what you are sharing with them.

  • Create a dynamic list that looks at prospects who were created 18 months ago and haven’t engaged in the last 12 months.
  • Tweak this according to your unique business model — how you want to measure age of prospect and how you want to define engagement.
  • Run the list, select the prospects to delete, use a Table Action to delete the prospects.
  • Now, those Prospects live in the Recycle Bin — they do not count against your mailable database. However, Account Engagement will resurrect them out of the Recycle Bin, along with their historical activity information (before deletion), if they fill out a form again in the future.
  • FYI – When you delete a prospect from Account Engagement, it does not delete their Salesforce lead or contact records. 

Dynamic List Criteria Example

This type of list criteria could look something like this:

  1. Filter out your competitors

If you are prioritizing your marketing spend on prospects who are most likely to purchase at some point in the future, competitors might not be on that list. 

Create a dynamic list and then utilize an automation rule to mark these prospects as ‘Do Not Email.’

  • Step 1 – Write a list of all of your competitors email sending domains (or what follows the @ in their email address). 
  • Step 2 – Create a dynamic list that looks at the Prospect Default Field Email Contains, and then insert your list of competitor email domains separated by a semi-colon (;). This allows you to use one line of criteria instead of each email domain requiring separate criteria entries.
    • Example:;;
    • Note: If your list is long and you run up against character limits, utilize this sweet tool called Creuz Your Data to split your list of values into appropriate data chunk sizes with semi-colons already in place.
      • And then I recommend to bookmark that tool – you’ll thank me later 🙂
  • Step 3 – Create a repeatable automation rule to check if a prospect is a member of your Competitor List to update the prospect’s field ‘Do Not Email’ to True.
    • By setting the rule as repeatable you ensure that if the ‘Do Not Email’ field is ever cleared, it will re-update to True.

Long-Term Success: Maintain a tidy mailable database

Okay, so now you have taken quick actions to weed out clutter from your mailable database and are within your utilization limits again. Phew! Now let’s consider how we maintain this clean and tidy house. 

Use the confirmed opt-in approach

Start on the right foot when your prospects opt-in to marketing emails. Let them know what they can expect to receive from you by signing up for your mailing list and have them confirm their email address and subscription preferences from the start. This helps eliminate invalid email addresses and uninterested prospects before they fill up your mailable database. 

Want to know more about confirmed opt-in? Check out this blog post.

Set up a regular timeblock to check your lists so you can delete junk and unengaged prospects

Remember that the lists you created to weed out “junk” prospects and older, unengaged prospects are just lists. You still need to go in to delete prospects and send them to the Recycle Bin. Depending on the size of your lists, you may want to monitor this weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Create a repeating calendar event, and you’ll never have to remember not to forget about it. Easy peasy.

Create an Engagement Studio program to re-engage prospects before they make it to the unengaged list

How do you get prospects to engage with your marketing materials? Email them! 

Give prospects a chance to re-engage before they make it onto the unengaged prospect list. Create an Engagement Studio program that encourages your prospects to engage with compelling content and calls to action. Warm them up by reminding them of how great your product or service is.

Run a Permission Pass

A Permission Pass is an opportunity to reach out to your unengaged prospects and ask if they still want to give you permission to keep emailing them. Simply put, ask them if they still want to hear from you. This can be done at any time, or even better, at the end of a re-engagement program after you have tried to reconnect with them. If they do not respond to the email within the given timeframe communicated in the email, it’s time to let them go and send them to your Recycle Bin. 

It can be scary letting “real prospects” go, but remember — in the long run it is better for your bottom line and for your reputation. Spend marketing dollars and invest time and effort in prospects who are interested in your product. Also, you are less likely to have spam complaints from prospects who are just annoyed with what they perceive to be junk in their inbox.

Plan for growth

I love this part. If you are still pretty close to your mailable database limit after all these tips and tricks, start budgeting conversations now with leadership. 

Show them numbers before and after tidying up the mailable database. That way, they’ll understand the need to start planning to market to more mailable prospects and budgeting in the next 10K or 20K prospects. 

Even better, back up your numbers with reporting data on how your marketing efforts are producing great leads and increased revenue!

Bring in the experts to reach radical impact

Have you checked your Pardot mailable database usage and limits? Have you tried the suggested quick wins, but still need more help? Or do all of these tips and tricks sound good, but you need some help with the execution? Sercante is here for you! We have a great team of experts who can help audit your system and provide you with personalized recommendations.

Or… This might have just started with a need to reduce your mailable database to stay within limits, but now you’re excited about the opportunity of setting a laser focus on your mailable prospects and how you can serve them in greater ways!

Let us help you. ♥️

We have the best of the best when it comes to planning amazing nurture programs to re-engage unengaged prospects. We also have the best of the best when it comes to using analytics to support your marketing campaign ROI

Reach out to Sercante as you plan for growth by radically impacting your business with your mailable prospects today!

Subscribe to The Spot

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Salesforce Training Courses


Top 5 Recent Posts

  • Stacy Schuler is a CRM & Marketing Automation Strategist at Sercante. After 12 years at home with her kids (including 9 years of homeschooling!), she entered the world of Salesforce consulting in 2021. She now has 10 Salesforce certifications, including Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) Consultant, Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) Business Units and Reporting & Analytics Accredited Professional certs & Sales Cloud Consultant, to name a few. Her daily goal is to be a blessing to her clients, Sercante, her family, and her friends by providing value and a positive attitude in all she does.

Leave Your Comment

Related Articles

Bot Single Post