Affiliate marketing partnerships can help your business get in front of your ideal audience – but without email suppression list management, you may be putting both your business and the affiliate at risk for hefty fines.

Between varying CRMs, encryption, and mutual trust, a lot can get in the way of maintaining clean email suppression lists. When trouble arises, your organization may be held accountable for failing to acknowledge email unsubscribes. Not only can this halt your email marketing campaigns, but amounts to bad publicity for your organization.

Before you enter an affiliate marketing partnership, ensure that your email marketing campaign is CAN-SPAM compliant. How can email suppression list management solutions help cement the relationship between you, your customers, and your partners?

What is an Email Suppression List?

An email suppression list (a.k.a. opt-out list) is, true to its name, a list of emails that have indicated to you that they no longer want to receive emails from your business. If you have done any work with email marketing, one of these lists exists as required under the CAN-SPAM law. Emails can’t be manually removed from this list without express consent – companies should maintain this information on record for auditing purposes.

Cases When Email Suppression Lists Aren’t Shared

A problem that many companies face is distributing an email suppression list across multiple platforms. Two common examples are sharing lists between departments and sharing lists with affiliate marketing groups. As different departments can often get siloed or rely on different CRMs, emails may continue to be sent to customers from other parts of your organization even though they have intended to opt-out of all emails from your organization.

With affiliate marketing partnerships, the stakes are raised a bit higher.

As affiliate marketing partnerships exist outside of your organization, the onus of compliance falls on both your company and theirs. Both organizations must be able to share suppression lists with each other instantaneously.

Under the CAN-SPAM law, email unsubscribes must be acknowledged within ten days – failing to do so can be very expensive, as well as damaging to your reputation. Affiliate marketing partnerships not only depend on your company for business, but in the process of failing to acknowledge unsubscribes, can damage their own relationship as well.

The only answer to this problem is installing a robust email suppression list management solution that is able to communicate between both parties.

Valuable Features in an Email Suppression List Management Tools

Encryption and Scrubbing

Communication between an affiliate marketing agency and your company doesn’t stop at simply sharing lists between parties. Email marketing lists contain sensitive personal information, meaning that this data is needs to be encrypted when sharing with affiliates for the customer and company’s protection.

As cybersecurity becomes an increasingly global threat, encryption has become more advanced over time. MD5 lists are the industry standard for secure suppression file distribution, but more advanced hashing, like SHA-2 and SHA-3, are becoming the new norm.

Scrubbing lists is the act of finding duplicate entries between two systems and collating the two so that they are identical and clean of errors – what is known as “de-duplicating”. The best email suppression list management tools can scrub between hashed and plain-text lists, regardless of their format.

Monitoring

Because mutual compliance between affiliate marketing agencies and your own business is so important, you need every assurance that they are remaining compliant with unsubscribe compliance. Any good email suppression list management campaign depends on monitoring email partners to ensure that they are downloading unsubscribe lists before sending an email campaign on your behalf.

A good tool has alerts to monitor your partners and ensure that they are remaining in compliance with CAN-SPAM compliance metrics. This greatly reduces liability should legal action arise, and can also provide insight into your affiliate marketing campaign’s efficacy.

Automation

De-duplicating entries by email scrubbing and auditing affiliate marketing partnerships are critical to any email marketing campaign. Yet when handled manually, these processes can take hours, wasting valuable time best spent elsewhere.

Thankfully, neither of these tasks needs to take up your time. The best email suppression list management tools can automatically perform these processes for you, ensuring that this important work isn’t ignored.

The Best Email Suppression List Management Leads to Great Affiliate Marketing Relationships

Email marketing delivers one of the highest ROIs of any channel, and partnering with an affiliate email marketing agency can help put your brand in front of new audiences. Yet without the proper compliance, these relationships can dissolve into messy disputes over who sent what email to whom.

Finding a centralized database that monitors, scrubs, and automates these processes ensures mutual success.

At UnsubCentral, we go above and beyond the expectations for what your customers can expect when they unsubscribe for your emails. We don’t see unsubscribes as a loss – we understand that they are an opportunity to prove yourself and earn their business. Contact us today to learn more about our robust software.