List suppression is a time-honored tradition in direct mail. From names on the anti-pandering file to unwanted segments and zips, mailers often cut portions of their file so everyone doesn’t get everything.
Email marketers should do the same thing both to comply with the law and tighten up their mailings, according A Guide to Email Suppression List Management, a paper from OPTIZMO Technologies.
Are you new to this business? Here are the email addresses you may have to suppress. and why.
Email Opt-Outs — The U.S Can-Spam act requires that you allow people to opt out when they no longer want your emails. That means you must “provide a mechanism that allows a recipient to ask you not to send future email messages to that email address, and you must honor the requests,” the study states. You have 10 days.
How is this done? Typically, there will be an unsubscribe link in the email: The opt-out addresses will be added to a suppression file. Make sure that affiliate marketers and other third parties also honor these requests, for the law demands it. (If you’re subject to the GDPR, be prepared to suppress anyone who hasn’t consented). Can-Spam also bans false or misleading header information and deceptive subject lines.
Current customers — Brands often suppress current customers to prevent them from getting introductory offers, extreme discounts and other deals intended for prospects. But it has to be done well so that existing customers aren’t offended. “While it’s largely impossible to ensure that a current customer won’t ever see an acquisition offer, efforts can be taken to reduce the likelihood that they receive and email about it from the company or any affiliate mailing on the company’ s behalf, the paper continues.
How? By using your current customer list as a suppression file for acquisition campaigns. And make sure any affiliates also squelch these email addresses.
High-frequency non-responders — These include people who have never opened or responded to your emails. It pays to suppress them because they can hurt your overall deliverability and sender reputation. And “at some point — typically some number of contacts or a time period with no response — analyzing campaign data may determine that it is no longer cost-effective to continue mailing a recipient, since they are highly unlikely to respond to future email campaigns.”
Past recipients — You may want to avoid sending acquisition emails to people who have already received them. This requires creating a suppression file that “includes every email address that has been included in prior campaigns over a certain time period, or every address that has received a particular offer, but has yet to receive another (like a sequential campaign),” the paper states.