A suppression list is used to omit a selected group of prospects from list emails or drip programs (lead nurturing). Suppression lists are valuable when prospects may be on more than one list and you want to make sure one of those lists does not receive the email.
Any Pardot list can be used as a suppression list. Just select which of your Pardot lists you'd like to suppress for that particular drip program or list email in the Recipients step of your email or drip program wizard. For help with creating lists, see this article.
The selected list will only be used as a suppression list for that particular drip program or email. You could, for example, use a list as a suppression list for one list email and then use it as a recipient list for another email. You would simply select the list as "Recipients" rather than "Suppression Lists."
Why would you want to suppress someone from an list email or a drip program?Possible reasons include:
They have already received the email on a previous occasion.
Example: You are sending out a webinar invite but don't want to include prospects who have already registered. Send to "Webinar Invite" list and suppress "Webinar Registrants" list.
The content or message isn't relevant to that particular group of people on the list.
Example: You have a new feature add-on for your product and want to alert your customers. You've already unveiled the feature to your partners (who also may be current clients). Send to "Clients" list and suppress your "Partners" list.
They are already being contacted by sales person.
Example: You have created a drip program for prospects that have downloaded White Paper A, but if they have already been assigned to a sales rep, you want to omit them from the drip program. Send to "White Paper A download" list and suppress an "Assigned to Sales Rep" list.
They are part of another higher-priority campaign, list email, or drip program.
Example: You have two nurturing programs going on -- a 30-day drip program and a 90-day drip program. The 30-day drip is the priority drip. You want to send the 30-day drip to the "30 day drip" list and then the 90 day drip goes to the "90 day drip" list with "30 day drip" list as a suppression list. This way any prospects on both the 30-day and 90-day lists will only get the 30-day drip program communication.
They have been emailed frequently or very recently
Example: You have prospects who have been receiving emails very frequently, or have recently received an email, and you want to avoid marketing fatigue. You can use the Recency and Frequency rule type to generate a dynamic list of prospects who have been emailed recently. Knowing the recency and frequency of your latest email sends at the prospect level allows you to space your email sends appropriately. See Recency and Frequency Rule Type for instructions on setting up this kind of suppression list.
- List emails and drip programs automatically deduplicate recipient lists. If you select two or more lists as your recipients for a specific list email or drip program, and if there is a prospect or multiple prospects with the same email address on both lists, they will only get the email (or series of emails) once for that specific list email/program. You do not need to worry about suppression lists in this scenario.
- However, if you send the same email template on two different occasions or create a new drip program with similar content, this will not automatically deduplicate from the previous sending. This is a prime example of when you might want to use a suppression list.
- Drip programs do have some built-in ways to prevent repeat sending within the drip functionality. Learn more under Drip Programs.
- If someone is opted out, you do not need to put them on a suppression list to prevent them from getting emails. All opted-out prospects are automatically omitted from any further emailing. They will remain on any lists they were on and you can send more emails to those lists without worrying about opted-out prospects receiving emails. Opted-out prospects do not need to be omitted via suppression lists or removed from mailing lists.
- When in doubt, it never hurts to suppress. If you have more than one administrative user or have made recent changes in your set-up or content, there's a slight chance that your lists or automation rules aren’t exactly how you thought they were. While you may be 99% sure that your list is accurate and up-to-date, it never hurts to include a suppression list. Well-timed, relevant materials are critical to a successful marketing campaign — too many emails or irrelevant material hurts more than a single unsent communication.
Prioritizng Drip Programs Using Suppression Lists
Drip Programs Overview
Dynamic Lists Overview