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Important: Use a Suppression for Every Email

It is extremely important you use at least one suppression when sending ANY Targeted Email through EveryAction. If you don’t, you are putting the reputation of the entire organization at risk.

If you do send an email without using a suppression, it will result in the temporary suspension of your ability to send email, which you can regain by demonstrating an understanding of the importance and proper use of suppression

Every Audubon email sent using EveryAction's Targeted Email tool should have two audiences; one is the audience that receives the email, the other is an audience that should be excluded from that audience. We call the second kind of audience a suppression list or suppression search (or often just "suppression"). Moving forward, you should always be using one of these suppressions, even if you haven't in the past.

How To Use A Suppression

Each suppression is a collection of reasons why you wouldn't want to send someone a particular kind of email. There are five:

  • 2018 Targeted Suppression: BASE
  • 2018 Targeted Suppression: ENGAGEMENT
  • 2018 Targeted Suppression: FUNDRAISING
  • 2018 Targeted Suppression: ADVOCACY

In the "Select Recipients" step of setting up a Targeted Email in EveryAction, here's how you set up the suppression properly.

  1. Go to the second box in this step, "Exclude from Audience".
  2. Click the button next to "Saved Search and Lists
  3. Click on the search field under "Dynamic Saved Search", and a list of searches will appear.
  4. The suppressions should be near the top, but you can also search for them by typing part of their names.
  5. When you've found the one you want to use, click on it, and it will then be selected.

The full process of using "Select Recipients" is described in slides 6 through 12 of the guide to setting up a Targeted Email in EveryAction.

Each Suppression, Defined

Here is what those all-caps terms mean:



Use BASE only if you're sending to a relatively small and specific audience, such as attendees of an event, people who have taken a specific action (like an advocacy form), or people affiliated with a particular Audubon program, like Climate Watch.

In other words, use this in situations where you otherwise don't want to suppress anyone. It's is a safety precaution against bots and malicious actors, and is meticulously maintained by the digital platforms team.

If you are confident in the reality of each member of your audience, and this suppression removes someone, then probably you haven't properly flagged your people in the database. If this is the case, please don't avoid using the suppression; instead, contact and someone will take a look at your audience and let you know where you might be going astray.


Newsletters, event invites, and general announcements all are what we'll call "engagement" emails. This suppression is the BASE plus some folks from a few groups:

  • People who have requested to receive ONLY emails about community science
  • People who have requested to receive ONLY updates about chapter leadership
  • People who have requested to receive ONLY emails about working lands programs
  • People who have requested to not be emailed by Audubon about just whatever
  • People you or your colleagues have flagged to not receive general emails for whatever reason

As you can imagine, there won't be many of these people.In addition to these categories, this suppression will remove anyone who's already gotten an email today, just in case, but they tend to be high value audubon supporters, so it's important to keep them happy.


This is of course asking people to give money for your programs. This also applies to gift adoption stuff, for those of you who do that. Many people in our database have requested we not ask them for money. It's important that we respect that.

In addition to everything mentioned in the ENGAGEMENT suppression above, this suppression also includes:

  • Anyone who has already made an online contribution in the last 30 days (modified to 8 days during year-end fundraising)
  • Anyone marked "DO NOT SOLICIT"
  • Anyone with a "Relationship Manager" — this is a proxy for board members and major donors, normally people who are removed from general base fundraising emails because they demand special handling and cultivation.


Action alerts, council meeting invites, legislative stuff. Since excessively government-y stuff can turn many people off, our wonkiest legislative communications should be restricted to just the people who have already expressed an interest in such things.


This is just like FUNDRAISING, except it explicitly does NOT remove major donors, board members, and your VIP people. If you've been using the standard suppressions for a while, and you start using this, expect an angry note or two from a disgruntled board member. Use at your own risk.