Understanding suppressed email profiles

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Learn about suppressed email profiles, including how they differ from active profiles and how you can use these profiles to better understand your audience.

What is a suppressed profile?

When a profile is suppressed for email, they cannot receive marketing messages. A suppressed profile cannot receive marketing messages, even if they have provided consent and indicated they want to receive emails.

A person can become suppressed for the following reasons:

  • The person unsubscribed
    The main way a profile is suppressed is if they unsubscribe from one of your emails. When someone unsubscribes, Klaviyo will suppress them to ensure that they no longer receive emails from you.
  • The person marked an email as spam
    If a recipient struggles to find an unsubscribe button, or is otherwise frustrated by your email communications, they may mark your message as spam. When this happens, Klaviyo will automatically suppress this person to ensure that they no longer receive emails from you.
  • An email hard bounced
    A hard bounce occurs when an email cannot be delivered due to a permanent reason. This can be caused by a variety of reasons, including a misspelled email address or a deliberate block by the email server. A hard bounce signals a permanent email delivery issue, so Klaviyo will automatically suppress these profiles to help ensure your lists stay clean.
  • An email soft bounced more than 7 consecutive times
    A soft bounce occurs when an email cannot be delivered due to a temporary reason. For example, a recipient's inbox may be full or the server may be down. If an email soft bounces more than 7 times in a row, it indicates that this is a consistent issue. To prevent continual soft bounces, Klaviyo will suppress email addresses that soft bounce more than 7 times consecutively.
  • Manually suppressed
    If you have uploaded a file of people to manually suppress them for email, they will appear on your suppression list with the reason manually added; meanwhile, on their profile, it will say user suppressed
  • The person was suppressed in a previous email service provider
    This type of suppression occurred prior to your use of Klaviyo and was synced from a third-party service provider, such as Mailchimp. In this case, the suppression reason will be listed as user suppressed as well.

Global vs. list suppressions

Based on your settings in Klaviyo, a profile can be globally suppressed from all lists on your accounts, or just be suppressed for specific lists.

Global suppressions

If you have Klaviyo's global unsubscribe feature enabled, which is highly recommended, profiles will become globally suppressed in your account after unsubscribing from any email. This means that when someone unsubscribes, they will be suppressed from any further sends. 

You can access a global unsubscribe link by navigating to Account > Settings > Email and scrolling down to the Consent Settings section.

Global unsubscribe page link in Klaviyo

This is a recommended feature that is enabled on accounts by default, because when a customer unsubscribes from one of your emails, they expect to unsubscribe from all of your emails. If a customer continues to receive emails from you after unsubscribing, they will either ignore them, mark them as spam, or take more aggressive action. As a sender, all of these consequences can significantly harm your email deliverability.

Note that the total number of suppressed profiles on your Profiles tab represents all profiles that have been globally suppressed in your account. If you turn off the global suppressions and a customer unsubscribes from a particular list, they will not count as a suppressed profile on the Profiles tab. If someone unsubscribes from a non-list based send, they will be suppressed from all future emails. 

List-specific suppressions

By default when a recipient unsubscribes from an email you send, they will be suppressed for all future emails.

If you have a paid Klaviyo plan, you can adjust this behavior on the account-level or for specific lists. When the global unsubscribe setting is disabled, those who unsubscribe from a list-based send will only be suppressed from the list (or lists) that message was sent to, and may still receive messages sent to other lists they have subscribed to. 

To maintain strong deliverability and avoid recipients marking your emails as spam, Klaviyo highly recommends that you leave global unsubscribes enabled. 

To disable global unsubscribes for a single list:

  1. Select your list from the Lists & Segments tab
  2. Open that list’s settings
  3. Uncheck the option When someone unsubscribes from [LIST NAME], unsubscribe that person from all future emails
  4. Click Update List Settings

Global unsubscribe setting for a list in Klaviyo

To disable this setting for all lists:

  1. Navigate to Account > Settings 
  2. Click Email
  3. Scroll down to Unsubscribe Behavior
  4. Uncheck the option When someone unsubscribes from a list, unsubscribe that person from all lists
  5. Click Update Email Tracking Settings

Checkbox to control global unsubscribe at the account level

Viewing a profile’s suppression status

To see if a profile is suppressed for email, navigate to their profile. 

On the right side, scroll down to the Channel Status section to view their consent status. 

This area will contain the person’s email address, and phone number if they’ve opted in to SMS. Next to each piece of contact information, you’ll see one of the following: 

  • A green checkmark
    This symbol indicates that the profile is able to receive marketing because they have subscribed for the corresponding channel and are not suppressed.
    Green check indicating profile is subscribed to channel
  • A red indicator
    This symbol indicates that the profile is unable to receive marketing through the channel. This may be because they opted out of marketing, or they are suppressed for another reason.
    Red indicator showing profile is suppressed from channel
  • A yellow checkmark
    If there is a yellow checkmark next to a person’s email information, it means the profile has neither subscribed nor opted out email marketing. They are able to receive emails (e.g., an abandoned cart flow email), but you should exercise
    Yellow check indicating profile is able to receive marketing but never subscribed

By expanding a channel, you can see information about when and how someone became subscribed and the reason the profile is suppressed. If the profile is suppressed for more than one reason (e.g., manually suppressed and also unsubscribed), only the highest-priority suppression reason will appear. Suppressions are prioritized as follows: 

  1. Deliverability (i.e., hard bounce or invalid email) 
  2. Manual (i.e., the profile was manually suppressed)

Unsubscribed and spam complaints are not displayed as a suppression reason in the Channel Status section. If these suppressions exist, the profile will always have an unsubscribed consent status.

Unsubscribed profile

Navigating to your email suppression list

Global suppressions 

To see the total number of profiles that are active versus suppressed for email, visit your Profiles tab and look at the values in the top left corner of the page. 

Click Suppressed Profiles to view a list of all email suppressions. 

Count of active and suppressed profiles

Once you navigate to your email suppression list, you can: 

  • Filter by reason
  • Export this list to a CSV
  • Add an email address manually
  • Upload a file of people you'd like to suppress

Options to filter and add emails on suppression list

List suppressions

To see the profiles that are suppressed for a specific list, first navigate to your desired list. Under the Manage List menu in the top-right corner, you’ll see the List Suppressions option that will take you to the list’s suppressed users. 

List suppressions option on a list

How to suppress profiles

To suppress a single profile for email, navigate to Profiles > Suppressed Profiles and click Add Email Address

Additionally, you can suppress a profile directly from the Channel Status section on a profile. By clicking on the menu next to the consent indicator, you can Suppress or Unsubscribe the profile.

Option to suppress or unsubscribe profile in channels box

Suppressing a profile through the Channel Section box will apply a User Suppressed suppression reason. Since manually suppressing a profile does not change their consent status, the profile’s consent status will remain Subscribed but they are now unable to receive email marketing.

To learn how to suppress multiple profiles at once, head to our article How to Bulk Delete or Suppress Contacts in Klaviyo

Updating subscriptions and suppressions 

To manually unsuppress a profile, navigate to their profile and click the menu next to their consent indicator. 

Option to unsuppress profile in channels box

Profiles that unsubscribed or marked an email as spam will not display an Unsubscribe option. Instead, you are able to use the Resubscribe option. If you received explicit consent from a recipient, you can resubscribe them. 

Option to resubscribe profile in channels box

When a profile resubscribes (e.g., via a list uploaded with consent or by filling out a signup form), all non-deliverability suppressions will be lifted. Deliverability suppressions (e.g., those due to hard bounces) are not removed by subscribe actions in order to protect your sender reputation. 

How Klaviyo treats suppressed email profiles

Suppressed profiles and pricing

Klaviyo's pricing tiers are based on the total number of active profiles in your account. An active profile is any profile that isn't suppressed for email.

Klaviyo does not charge for suppressed profiles. If you navigate to Account > Overview, you will only see active profiles counting towards your email plan limit. 

Meanwhile, on the Profiles tab of your account, you can see the counts for total Active Profiles and Suppressed Profiles separately, as shown above.

Exclusion from email sends

Klaviyo will automatically exclude all suppressed profiles from email sends. This means that, even if you try to send an email to suppressed profiles, Klaviyo will automatically ensure that these intended recipients are skipped.

For flow emails, under Recipient Activity > Other you will find a Skipped: Person Suppressed count that signals how many people didn't receive the email because they are suppressed in your account.

Suspicious emails

Suspicious emails are email addresses that have hard bounced at least once across the Klaviyo infrastructure. This means that even if they have never hard bounced in your account, they have previously hard bounced in another Klaviyo user's account.

Suspicious emails will automatically be skipped from receiving emails. This is in an effort to preserve your sending reputation, as well as the sending reputation of other Klaviyo customers. You can see a count of the number of suspicious email addresses skipped, along with emails skipped for other reasons, in the Campaign Overview. You can also see this count in the Recipient Activity section for a given campaign. 

Keeping vs. deleting suppressed profiles

There are several reasons why Klaviyo recommends keeping suppressed profiles in your account instead of deleting them:

  • Klaviyo will never charge you for suppressed profiles
    Klaviyo's pricing tiers are based on the total number of active profiles; you will never be prompted to upgrade to pay for suppressed contacts, so there is no cost associated with keeping them in your account. If you list clean and qualify for a lower pricing tier, make sure to select that lower tier under Account > Billing > Email Billing
  • Suppressed users still matter for business insights
    Klaviyo's segmentation tools can help you gain important business insights. If you plan on creating segments to analyze customer behavior, website activity, etc., deleting profiles (even those you can't ultimately email) will skew these segments and make it impossible to get accurate insights.

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