Certification requirements state that every commercial, promotional, or peer-initiated email sent over your IP address includes both a list-unsubscribe header and an unsubscribe link. Refer to the Certification requirements document for all unsubscribe process requirements.
An unsubscribe mechanism is a way for subscribers to opt out of receiving your emails. Different types of unsubscribe mechanisms include unsubscribe requests made through:
Your email content (standard):
- A link to a website
- A list-unsubscribe header
- A response to an email
Your normal business operations (non-standard):
- A phone call
- Postal mail
- Alias email addresses
- Postmaster or abuse email addresses
Senders must include a clear, straightforward, and easy-to-use unsubscribe mechanism in all promotional and commercial email. Typically, when you make it difficult for subscribers to unsubscribe from your email, they complain by marking your email as spam. This negatively impacts your deliverability and reputation as a sender.
For certified senders, all unsubscribe mechanisms need to be:
- Easy to use:
- Make sure unsubscribe mechanisms are clear and conspicuous.
- Make sure your unsubscribe mechanism is easy to find.
- Make sure it is easy for users to understand how to unsubscribe.
- Make sure only an email address is required to unsubscribe. Do not require users to log into their accounts to unsubscribe.
- Respond and resolve unsubscribe requests within 3 days of receiving the request.
- Once users unsubscribe, do not send them commercial or promotional emails.
- Once users unsubscribe, do not sell, share, or lease their addresses or information to any third-party.
- Keep the unsubscribe link active for at least 60 days following the sending of the commercial message.
- Do not contact users or add them back into your email list unless they subscribe to your email program again.
- Allow the recipients of peer-initiated email to globally unsubscribe or opt out of all of your emails.
- Let users unsubscribe through alternative methods such as phone calls, postal mail, alias email addresses, postmaster or abuse addresses, and email accounts that do not usually deal with unsubscribe requests.
In addition to the requirements listed above:
- You must include a valid unsubscribe link in any email survey requesting feedback from recipients. However, you do not need to include an unsubscribe mechanism if you send a recipient a survey related to a previous transaction within 30 days that occurred between your business and the recipient.
- Your email program's unsubscribe process must be compliant with regional email laws.