When someone adds themselves to a group that is configured as a mailing list they get sent an email with a confirmation link. The email includes the token: {subscribe.url}

We now have something like 2500 people in our database that have joined a mailing list but not confirmed, so they are in a 'pending by email' status. We want to run a campaign to encourage them to confirm their subscription, but the {subscribe.url} token doesn't appear to work in a standard CiviMail mailing.

We can't be the first to have come across this issue. How can we effectively encourage all of these people to confirm their subscription?

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    What version of CiviCRM are you in? You noted {subscribe.url} but have you tried using {action.subscribeUrl.gid} where gid is your group e.g. {action.subscribeUrl.5}? That appears to work for me but I don't know your setup ... Jul 7, 2017 at 19:41
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    Sounds great. Many thanks for this tip, I'll check it out. Is there a definitive list of available tokens somewhere? I've not come across this one before.
    – Graham
    Jul 8, 2017 at 8:47
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    When I need to remember the fancy mailing action tokens and/or checksum reference ... this is where I go: wiki.civicrm.org/confluence/display/CRMDOC/Tokens. I don't think there is a "full" list of all available tokens anywhere, unfortunately. Jul 8, 2017 at 17:48
  • OK. Done some testing with the token {action.subscribeUrl.gid}. This takes the user to a sign-up page for the group specified, enabling the user to enter an email address. Civi then sends out a confirmation email. In my use case people have already taken this first step, but have not clicked the link in the confirmation email. What I want to do is emulate the confirmation email.
    – Graham
    Jul 9, 2017 at 13:46
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    An alternative could be something like "faux-turn-off-double-opt-in" for these contacts only e.g. send them a "subscription reminder" email with a link that just goes to a "thank-you" page ... track clickthroughs for that email ... and add people who clicked it to your subscribed group from the tracked click-report. It's not automated, but I have a feeling it would be a heck of a lot less work :) Jul 9, 2017 at 15:37

1 Answer 1


Taking answer from comment from @eli lisseck... Try using {action.subscribeUrl.gid} where gid is your group e.g. {action.subscribeUrl.5}. More generally, however, beware of assuming that these people have indeed chosen to signup rather than had their emails added by a bot/spammer. Trying to work around the double opt-in will make your site non-compliant with anti-spam legislation in the US and elsewhere, and will make your site more likely to get blacklisted as a spammer.

  • The {action.subscribeUrl.gid} token does not act as a confirmation token in the tests I've done so far. It takes the user to a sign-up page. When the user subscribes to the group on that page, Civi then sends out a confirmation email, so we're back to square one. The workaround I'm looking at seeks to secure a clear 'double opt-in action', i.e. two recorded actions by the user that confirm their interest in subscribing. In the use case I'm looking at I think it is rather unlikely that initial sign-ups are spam, but I will review that.
    – Graham
    Jul 13, 2017 at 11:52
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    What I'm quite surprised about, is that Civi appears to provide no means to chase up those addresses that have not confirmed, when experience tells me that significant percentages of the confirmation get caught by spam filters, or simply ignored.
    – Graham
    Jul 13, 2017 at 11:55

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