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Don’t Forget about Suppression Lists

I have noticed that when it comes to deploying emails, many financial institutions do not consider ALL of their list options… meaning while it is critical to target your emails by getting the right promotion or message to the right person, it is equally important to identify segments that shouldn’t receive all your deployments and suppress them from future mailings.

Working with financial institutions, I have noticed that many are under utilizing this tactic, which may have negative results on deliverability as well as click-through rates, opens and renders, etc. Here are a few suggestions on the types of list suppressions you should create and implement into your best practices:

 1. Suppressing account holders who are younger than 18 years of age.

Although I am not an attorney, I would suggest reviewing this website for additional information on communicating with children online. And just to be safe, consider suppressing anyone younger than 16 even if they fall within the guidelines of COPPA.

 2. Suppressing account holders who are in default on loans.

It is most definitely not a best practice to send promotional emails to anyone who is in default of paying a loan, consistently misses payments or has declared bankruptcy. The sale that you make can actually cost you more money later on especially if they have a poor financial history.

 3. Suppressing screaming deletes

Screaming deletes are those customers who do not want your email communications no matter what. In fact, when you find a customer that is so disgruntled by your communications, check your file for any additional email addresses that you might have for them. Add ALL of the email addresses to the ‘screaming deletes’ file. This will save you some headaches down the road.

 4. Create a file for long term disengaged account holders

I recommend putting older email addresses with zero activity in at least 12 months or more into their own list. Not only will it be helpful to see the results from customers with current activity versus those without, but also you can identify older email addresses that may have become part of a spam trap. This will help keep your deliverability at its highest standards.

Although sending out emails is less expensive than sending out direct mail pieces, the same rules should still be considered and applied… just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

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Harland Clarke Corp. is a leading provider of best-in-class integrated payment solutions and marketing services, serving multiple industries including financial services, retail, healthcare, insurance, and telecommunications.

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