Contact statuses

Learn how Reply assigns statuses to contacts participating in sequences and how you can manage them

Reply Team avatar
Written by Reply Team
Updated over a week ago

Contact statuses represent the current state of processing the contacts within a particular step of a sequence. Based on the state of interaction with the contact, Reply automatically assigns contact statuses.

You can also manually manage contact statuses.

Important: Only the sequence owner can change the contact status if Team Edition in public mode is enabled in your Reply account. Other team members do not have the ability to update the status of contacts that are not assigned to them. However, any team member can assign the "Opted Out" status to a contact.

Contact statuses include such labels as New, Active, Paused, Out of office, Finished, Opted out, Replied, Bounced, Called, To call, and Meeting booked. All of these labels refer to the sequences in which the contacts are being processed.

Please note. Contact statuses are not the same as contact stages which represent the level of interaction and engagement with your contacts throughout the entire outreach process, not just within a specific sequence.

How to change contact statuses

To change the contact's status manually, follow these steps:

  1. Open the People page from the header menu and navigate to the Contacts tab.

  2. Select the needed contact(s) by checking the radio button in the first column of the grid.

  3. Click on the Change status icon at the top.

  4. Click on the "+" and "-" buttons to assign or remove the necessary statuses correspondingly.

  5. Click on the "Set status" button.

Contact statuses

In Reply's system, each contact that is part of a sequence will have a designated status. Not all statuses are compatible with each other, and there are some restrictions on their assignment to contacts.

Understanding these statuses will help you navigate the system efficiently and manage your contacts more effectively. Here, we break down each status, explaining when and why a contact might have a particular status, and what actions can be taken for contacts with that status:

1. New

When a contact is first uploaded to the system but hasn't been added to a sequence (meaning no messages have been sent to this contact), they are assigned the 'New' status. This status is also assigned if a contact is added to a sequence but hasn't been changed to the 'Active' status yet. It indicates the preliminary phase where the contact is freshly onboarded but not yet fully integrated into a sequence.

2. Active

A contact that is added to an active sequence will have the 'Active' status. During this phase, the contact can receive emails, and if they have received at least one email, their responses can be tracked.

This status provides a lot of flexibility, as it allows you to manually update the contact to several different statuses including: 'Paused', 'Finished', 'Out Of Office', and 'Opted Out'. It's worth noting that you can also change this status to 'Bounced' or 'Replied' but only after the contact has received at least one email in the current sequence.

3. Paused

At times, you may need to temporarily halt communications with a contact. The Paused status allows you to do this by stopping email sends and reply tracking for the contact. This status is not permanent; you can manually revert the contact back to Active status whenever you wish to resume communications.


  • The Paused status can only be assigned to contacts that are included in sequences.

  • If a contact is not assigned to any sequence, you cannot set their status to Paused. Attempting to do so will result in an error message.

4. Missing Data

Sometimes, there might be inconsistencies between the variables in your email template and the information available in a contact's profile. In such cases, the system assigns a 'Missing Data' status to the contact.

To resolve this, you can either update the contact's profile with the missing variable (indicated as {VariableName} under Sequence > Preview) or remove the variable from the template. It's important to note that this status needs to be removed manually and that contacts with this status will not receive emails. Learn more about addressing the 'Missing Data' status here.

5. Bounced Status

The "Bounced" status is automatically assigned by the system when an email sent to a prospect is returned undelivered, which could be due to an invalid email address or other reasons. If an email bounces, you have the option to update the email address to a valid one in the contact's profile. You can then uncheck the 'Bounced' option, switch the status back to 'Active', and resend the email within the same sequence.

You can also manually assign the 'Bounced' status to a contact, provided at least one email has been sent to them. The procedure to detect a bounce is similar to detecting replies within the system.

It’s important to note that sometimes a contact with a 'Bounced' status may also have an 'Opened' status. This could be a result of the email checker at the recipient's provider checking the email (indicating the email address might not be valid, but the domain exists), or it might be reflecting your view of the bounce-back message, which contains details of your original message.

Please be aware that in Reply's current system logic, the platform doesn't hold onto the "Bounced" status when prospects are shifted to a different sequence.

6. Out of office

The system assigns this status when it detects an auto-reply with the out of office key words. This status stops sending further steps to the prospect until you manually delete it. Also, you can manually change this status to Active or configure the automatic processing of out-of-office replies.

Please note that as soon as an Out of office contact responds to your email, Reply detects such responses and changes the contact's status based on your sequence settings for handling replies - Mark person as finished or Continue sending emails.

7. Finished

The system assigns the Finished status when the prospect replies to your email sent within the sequence or when all steps have been sent. You can manually change this status to Active and continue sending emails to them only if the prospect did not complete all steps of the sequence or when you added extra steps to the already finished sequence. Replies detection is not performed for the contacts that have Finished status. Emails are not sent to contacts with this status as well.

8. Contacted

The Contacted status means that a contact received at least one email sent from the current Reply sequence. You cannot change this status manually. 

9. Opted Out

The system assigns the Opted Out status after a prospect clicks on your opt-out link to unsubscribe from further emails. It's also assigned automatically if you have a text Opt-Out functionality when the prospect responds with the 'unsubscribe' request and sorted into the Do Not Contact Inbox category by our AI. Sometimes you may need to change the inbox category for your emails manually as AI might be not 100% accurate.

Our AI can understand the English language only. So if the reply from the contact is in a different language - you will have to set the Inbox category on your own. The Opted Out status can be set and removed manually as well. Opted-out status is the only status that is retained for a contact, even if the contact is not in the sequence. A contact with this status also cannot be moved to a different sequence.

10. Replied

The system assigns the Replied status in the following cases:

  • after a prospect responds to your email from the same email address you have sent them the email + forwarded from a thread

  • after a prospect responds by SMS to a manually or automatically sent SMS related to a Reply sequence

You can find out whether the prospect replied by email or by sms in the Activity log. You can filter prospects by the Replied (email or sms), Replied by sms, and Replied by email statuses in a sequence.

Once the contact received the Replied status, the sequence stops for them by default unless you've selected Continue processing steps in Sequence > Settings > Replies handling.

The Replied status usually comes together with the Finished status. The system stops replies tracking for the contacts that have the Replied status in Reply independent of whether it was set automatically or manually. To make sure all your replies are detected please check this article.

11. Opened

The system assigns the Opened status to the prospect when they open your email. You can not change this status manually. Opens tracking can be disabled on Sequence level in Sequence > Settings > General Settings:

12. Clicked

The system assigns the Clicked status to the contact when links tracking is enabled in Sequence > Settings > General Settings and a contact clicks on a link in your email. You cannot change this status manually. 

13. Auto-replied

The system assigns the Auto-replied status to the contact when it detects an automatic reply. It comes along with the Finished status, which stops sending out further steps to a prospect until you manually change the Finished status to Active.

You cannot assign the Auto-Replied status manually. You cannot remove the Auto-Replied status.

14. To call

The system assigns the To call status to a contact when they are moved to the Call step in a sequence. You can set this status manually as well from the Contact sidebar. 

15. Called

The system assigns the Called status to a contact when you perform any action related to calls:

- Complete a task with the Call type.
- Make a call using the Cloud Calls feature.
- Log a call via the Contact sidebar.

The Called status is permanent and can only be removed manually via the Contact sidebar.

Status transitions

  • If no combination in table = failed (failed means no resulting transition occur)

  • If TE enabled and sequence does not belong to the user that is changing the status > failed

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