Unsubscribe vs Suppress


When someone sends a complaint to your compliance desk there are a range of things you want to do, but one thing you always want to do is ensure that the recipient doesn’t receive any more unwanted email from your customer. Or, at least, not from your network.

There are usually several different ways you can make sure that happens. There are big hammers a compliance desk can use in egregious cases – if the customer is immediately terminated, or has their ability to send mail suspended then there won’t be any more unwanted email to anyone, including the person who has reported unwanted mail.

More normally, though, you’ll want to stop all mail from your customer to just the person reporting them immediately, at least while you look at the customers statistics and investigate further.

If the report includes a copy of the offending email then there’ll be an unsubscription link to click in the mail, so why not just click that to unsubscribe the recipient, rather than adding them to the customers suppression list?

One reason is that an unsubscription often sends a goodbye email.

We’re sorry to see you go.

Was this a mistake? Did you forward one of our emails to a friend, and they clicked the unsubscribe link not realizing they were in fact unsubscribing you from this list? If this was a mistake, you can re-subscribe at: <link>

In response to a recipient unsubscribing that’s entirely reasonable, friendly even.

But to send that in response to a report of unsolicited email is bad in several ways.

Firstly, it’s sending further unwanted email from your customer to the person who has just complained about receiving unwanted email.

And secondly, it sends the message that your compliance desk isn’t doing anything more than unsubscribe people who complain about unwanted email from your customers. It doesn’t matter whether that’s true or not – maybe you’ll do all the right things after clicking unsubscribe – but that’s the message it sends.

Triggering the unsubscribe trigger programatically, or just forwarding the report to your customer so they can trigger the unsubscribe isn’t any better.

Suppress recipients who report unwanted email, don’t use a recipient-visible unsubscribe process.

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By steve

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