What is a suppression list?

A Suppression List is a file of suppressed email addresses used by email senders to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act and other global email regulations. CAN-SPAM requires that senders of commercial emails provide a functioning Opt-Out mechanism, by which email recipients can unsubscribe their email address from future email messages. The “Opt-Out” email addresses are placed into a “Suppression List” which is used to “suppress” (stop) future email messages from being sent to those email addresses.

For a more comprehensive look at suppression lists, read our full blog article; What is a Suppression List?

What is CAN-SPAM?

The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 establishes standards for the sending of commercial email and requires the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to enforce its provisions. The acronym CAN-SPAM derives from the bill’s full name: Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act of 2003. One key provision is that it requires that your email give recipients an opt-out method. To learn more about CAN-SPAM, visit our Email Compliance page.

Why should I worry about suppression list abuse?

A Suppression List (file) contains valid email addresses. Suppression List abuse occurs when a 3rd party takes a Suppression List and emails messages to the email addresses in the list. The original sender of the email messages who provided the Opt-Out mechanism may be held liable for Suppression List abuse. Top reasons to protect your Suppression Lists are to:

  • Maintain brand integrity (avoid negative press coverage undermining consumer trust)
  • Avoid legal liability ($16k fine – per email sent)
  • Protect your valued customers (demonstrate use of best practices and maintain customer trust)

You can learn more about email marketing regulations on our Email Compliance page.

Who would want to steal suppression lists?

There are many unsavory “Emailers” out there that would love to get their hands on your Suppression Files, primarily because those files are validated addresses, with guaranteed deliverability (to a real person).

What better guarantee of reaching an email recipient than one who has specifically requested NOT to receive email to a specific address? Not to mention the tangible “black market” value of a suppressed email address which ranges from $25–$35 per address. Multiply that dollar figure by the enormous amounts of commercial emails sent daily… Let’s just say that’s A LOT of people (internally and externally) that could want to steal Suppression Files.

What do you mean by seamless integration?

Most Advertisers (our clients) use 3rd party Mailers (ESP’s / Affiliate Networks) to send out commercial emails on their behalf. OPTIZMO provides an API (Application Programming Interface) to the 3rd party Mailer that integrates within the system for seamless updates to the Suppression Files in your OPTIZMO Account.

Not sure how this works? Contact an Account Manager today.

Why not do it “in-house”?

Two main reasons: cost and security. Most in-house solutions are glorified FTP servers that house Suppression Files and require manual updates to the lists. They are very unsecure, not to mention labor-intensive with regard to maintenance and regular updates. By the time you add up the infrastructure costs, personnel costs, time constraints, and liability risks, you will find that OPTIZMO is a viable alternative to in-house solutions and a “no brainer”. Simply put, we save you time, money, and resources.

How long does it take to get my account set up?

Set up time depends on the complexity of the install, but in most cases, we can have your OPTIZMO Account set up and ready to go in 48 hours.

Does OPTIZMO charge ancillary fees for cleansing / scrubbing features?

NO! We believe that including cleansing / scrubbing as an automated feature within the system makes for a better customer experience and a more simplified invoice.

Can OPTIZMO help distribute approved email creative?

YES! OPTIZMO allows Advertisers and Affiliate Networks the ability to upload email campaign creative into the OPTIZMO system, prior to sending it out for internal compliance checks, to auto-embed unique Opt-Out links, as well as the ability to receive the post-send creative back from the recipient to identify any changes made by mailers and sub-mailers.  For more information, check out our Creative Distribution page.

Does OPTIZMO provide other tools to help track Mailer compliance?

YES! Sometimes Mailers send non-compliant emails to their email lists – either not honoring a prior Opt-Out request or possibly using unapproved creative. OPTIZMO requests creative from recipients who submit a complaint and make that creative available for Advertisers to evaluate, improving future compliance and protecting your brand image. Added to our Alert Notifications & Analytics, this provides an extra level of compliance monitoring.

Can Mailers have their own OPTIZMO account?

YES! Mailers often use our system as a value-added service to their existing product/service offerings. In most cases, it is important for Mailers to provide the opt-out mechanism on behalf of their Advertiser clients. For more information about the tools we provide for Mailers, check out our Mailer Tools page.

What is the difference between services like Lashback and OPTIZMO?

Lashback is a great service that provides an alert when something has gone wrong, such as suppression file abuse. OPTIZMO is more like a bank vault… that keeps the abuse from happening in the first place. However, using both services together would be an optimum solution!

Do you have a Preference Center solution?

Yes! OPTIZMO’s Preference Center feature provides you with a tool that enables email recipients to manage their Opt-In/Opt-Out status across those email programs at an individual or global level. This feature provides a better user experience for email recipients and may also help reduce your global unsubscribe rate, by empowering recipients to Opt-Out of a particular email program rather than all of them. 

I am new to email marketing, can OPTIZMO help me build my mailing list?

NO! OPTIZMO DOES NOT and WILL NOT send email, share lists, or help build a mailing list. What we will do is help you get started by pointing you in the right direction and providing the contacts/resources needed for you to build and implement email marketing campaigns in 3 steps:

1 – Identify the right lead sources

2 – Develop your campaign approach

3 – Engage OPTIZMO for email compliance and suppression list management

Can I set up automated data transfers?

YES! OPTIZMO has a fully integrated data transfer automation feature within the system, allowing you to transfer an infinite number of Suppression List(s) and/or Customer List(s) on preset days of the week.  Transfers can be sent to and from OPTIZMO behind the scenes, fully automated, and on-demand. Learn more on our Transfers & Automation page.

Does OPTIZMO provide a merge/purge tool?

YES! COMPARE, powered by OPTIZMO, provides a fast, secure, and simple platform for running a merge/purge on multiple email lists and removing duplicate records. 


If you need to run a merge/purge on two or more email files — either house-files or running a merge/purge against various 3rd party data sources? It’s a common challenge, especially for companies that leverage various types of email programs and 3rd party media buys.

For more information, visit our COMPARE page.