According to the SFMC knowledge base, the main difference between Transactional and Commercial emails in SFMC: " For commercial messages, we check for the presence of an unsubscribe link. [...] For transactional messages, we do not check for the presence of an unsubscribe." Which Unsubscribe link is checked by SFMC for defining a Transactional/Commercial email ? Is it the "standard" Unsubscribe link from SFMC : %%unsub_center_url%% ?

If we use a custom Cloud Page as Unsubscribe page/link, can you confirm that SFMC won't be able to check if the message is OK with Transactional or Commercial rules ? If yes, in that case, is the Transactional/Commercial classification finally irrelevant and useless?


The transactional classification will still make sense. It will allow you to bypass any Unsubscribed status in All Subscribers list, which would have prevented a commercial email from being sent out:

If you select a Transactional classification, a checkbox labeled Honor source and publication list level opt outs appears. Transactional sends do not check these lists for subscription status during a send by default. However, choosing this box excludes all subscribers who opted out of sends, and clicked Spam or unsubscribe in email clients.

As described in this help article.

  • OK, but if the Unsubscribe link is a Custom link (that doesn't update All Subscribers with the Unsubscribe status, but that updates an Optin field on a Data Extension) then I guess that the Transactional classification won't make a lot of sense ?
    – Ludivine L
    Aug 14 '19 at 9:42
  • If this indeed is the case, and you don't trigger an Unsubscribe event on SFMC, the status in All Subscribers will remain active, however they still might have provided spam complaints - which would also prevent Commercial classifications from reaching them. Aug 14 '19 at 9:47

You should be able to get the unsub center brand tag changed by contacting support. If you use a custom page, then you can get the checks to still work with the %%unsub_center_url%% by letting them know the custom url to add when you use the personalisation string.

  • Instead of setting the custom url in unsub center brand tag (which will be a nightmare to maintain), it is possible to request support to disable CAN-SPAM verification of emails, allowing you to customise the footer entirely- along with custom preference centre url Aug 13 '19 at 17:15
  • Yeah, this what we asked for, so the presence of the SFMC standard Unsubscribe link %%unsub_center_url%% is no more verified. I just wanted to understand if the CAN SPAM classification would still make sense in that case.
    – Ludivine L
    Aug 14 '19 at 10:04

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