Tip #10 – Improve Results with Global Suppression Lists

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Keeping people out of your campaigns is just as important as putting people in.

Word cloud for Suppression list

As part of our top tips series, we have released ten marketing automation tips to make you a little more productive. Like presents, some are small, some are big–but enjoy them all.

Tip #10 – Improve Results with Global Suppression Lists

When we think of targeted lists, we tend to think about who the campaign is targeting. For example, a mailing might drop to:

  • Leads with C-level titles
  • Leads located in the US eastern region
  • Leads in the finance industry

Just as important as who is targeted, smart marketers should consider who shouldn’t receive the campaign.

Why Develop a Global Mailing Suppression List?

1) Reduce Risk of Marketing to the Wrong People

Erasing Oops !

Yes, most marketing automation systems automatically pull out unsubscribe and undeliverables. But what about others that your organization wants to avoid? What do you do with customers? with disqualified? with competitors?

2) Get the Count


I frequently see marketers get asked from the executive team before the mailing drops “How many people will receive the mailing?”

Some marketers run the target list but neglect to take out all of the unsubs and undeliverables (I’ve seen as much of a 50% difference). The end result is the precampaign numbers are over inflated, yet they are still discussed among the executive team. That process is obviously not a recipe for success.

3) Get Accurate Insights

Businessman holding diagram cloud

By developing a precise target list and a global suppression list, that brings down the number of eligible people tracked through your system.

So when your organization runs its click-through rates and other metrics, the reports will provide better accuracy.

4) Don’t Rely on Memory

Brain memory

If you look at ten different campaigns, you’ll notice various suppression list versions. Marketers frequently ask themselves, “Should I suppress these people or not?” every time a mailing is created. When an organization goes beyond the standard unsub suppressions, the process can get complex quickly and lead to inconsistencies.

Creating a global suppression list allows organizations to build the list once so the marketing team members do not have to continuously rebuild the logic within the individual campaigns.

Develop the Global Mailing Suppression List


A best practice is to develop a Global Mailing Suppression List and include it as part of every mailing campaign. In addition to obtaining more accurate numbers and metrics, this list reduces the risk of mailing people who shouldn’t receive emails.

If using Marketo, develop this list within the lead database as a Smartlist. You might want consider running a nightly campaign to edit membership in a static list to improve performance (Big complex Smartlists can slow down a mailing).

Here are a few filters to consider for your Global Mailing Suppression List.

Definitely Include in the Suppression List

  • Unsubcribes
  • Undeliverables
  • Blacklist
  • Marketing suspended
  • Leads where the email address is empty

For Discussion

  • Competitors
  • Customers
  • Problem accounts
  • Do not call list
  • Leads in certain stages (Disqualified, Opportunity)
  • Sales generated leads (Leads that reps add manually to the system without an opt-in)

Other Notes

Looking ahead, create the Global Mailing Suppression List separate from a Global Scoring Suppression List. In some cases, organizations may want to score leads as part of the lead lifecycle process but not mail to them. Creating a separate global list provides marketers with that flexibility. I’ll cover the importance of a Global Scoring Suppression List in a future post.

Other Tips from the Series

Read Them All


Josh Verrill

Services: Strategy, Assessment, Ongoing Services

“RevEngine Marketing has helped Dyn reach amazing results. Within 60 days, REM helped Dyn establish repeatable best practices to improve marketing efficiencies over 50%. That enabled our business owners to focus on the business, not on our system.
With REM as our long term partner, we’ve seen marketing’s contribution revenue double over the past year. REM has helped us achieve success with everything from managing the lead lifecycle to gaining visibility into marketing effectiveness.”


Coming soon…

Clavis Insights

Helped find the gaps in Solix marketing process to put on path for 5X improvement.


Created efficiencies reducing webinar setup time and other programs by 50%+.

Reduced reporting time on key video watching program by 10x. Insights now take minutes as opposed to hours.

Clavis Insights

Established best practice program and landing page strategy to streamline ongoing marketing as much as 50%.

Provided vision into marketing influence by creating multi touch attribution model to measure the impact of various touch points.


1. Created marketing efficiencies reducing day-to-day workload for select campaigns by 30%+.

2. Identified approx $1 million+ in bad/old data to cutting Marketo license costs, improving personalization and boosting marketing results.

3.Streamlined Marketo performance 30%+ with in-depth performance audit to disable old campaigns, eliminate unnecessary fields and optimize CRM sync.

4. Improved nurture journey reducing staffing 1/4 resource (or $25K) the time of sending manually.


Created efficiencies reducing webinar setup time and other programs by 50%+.

Reduced reporting time on key video watching program by 10x. Insights now take minutes as opposed to hours.


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Boost engagement by 167% including a 12X single day improvement leveraging a Triple Touch Methodology.


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