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Help! My email failed with "Not delivering to unsubscribed address"

You send a lot of email because you sell a lot of goods and services.  However, you notice that one of your best customers, Imma Buysalotofstuff, is no longer purchasing anything during your sales promotions.  Being a certified email-beast, you look inside your Mailgun Logs or check your Bounced and Dropped webhooks - and maybe even your Mailgun Suppressions tab - and you notice Imma's email failed with the message "Not delivering to unsubscribed address". 

So, what does this error mean, and can Imma still receive emails from you?  Don't worry: we'll explain everything you need to know below! 

TL;DR Overview
If the recipient unsubscribed, the rule is that you need to honor their decision of unsubscribing from your emails.  The exception, however, is either if the recipient specifically reaches out to you stating the unsubscribe was made in error or if the recipient later opts-in to receive emails once again; in such exceptional cases, the recipient should opt-in once again to your emails and you may then remove their address from the Suppressions tab.  Removing the email address from the Suppressions tab of the Mailgun Control Panel will allow delivery of new messages to said address.


The Cause
This error indicates that the email address is currently suppressed by our system from further delivery attempts. Why?  Because sometime after receiving one of your emails, the recipient decided that she or he no longer wished to receive those emails, and as such, unsubscribed from your mailing list.  As such, we suppress the address to protect both your and our sending reputation as well as to comply with international laws and regulations. Sending to recipients who no longer wish to receive emails from you increasingly risks spam complaints, possibly violates numerous laws and regulations, and negatively impacts sending reputation, which in turn lessens your chances of optimal deliverability.

The Solution
The solution depends upon the reason behind the cause: did the recipient intentionally or unintentionally unsubscribe?  In the overwhelming majority of cases (i.e. virtually always), the recipient's unsubscribe is intentional; as such, you cannot remove their address from the Suppressions, and you must desist from emailing them any further. (An important point: if the recipient opts-in to receive your emails once again at a later date, their address can be removed from the Suppressions list).  In the overwhelming minority of cases (i.e. virtually never), the recipient's unsubscribe is unintentional; as such, if they reach out to you explicitly stating the unsubscribe was unintentional, the recipient should opt-in once again to your emails while you remove that recipient from the Suppressions.

In the case that removing the address is warranted, you can remove the address from the Suppressions tab (or via the Unsubscribes API using an HTTP DELETE request).  Simply mark the checkbox next to the recipient and use the delete button to remove the suppression.  Once removed, new messages that you send to the recipient will attempt delivery rather than being suppressed.

Finally, to read more about Suppressions, please see this related help article!  If you have any questions, please open a support ticket (cool tutorial .gif below) within your Control Panel, and our team will be happy to assist!  


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