Is there a way to recall the email that has been sent out from Salesforce Marketing Cloud?

Let's say the email that we sent out to our customers had some error in the content which got identified only after the email was sent or an email was sent out immediately while it was intended to go out at some other time(scheduled).

The customer base generally consists of the most common domains such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Outlook, etc. Is there a way to recall that email from all these mailboxes or edit the content on the delivered emails? I am aware of editing the URLs on live emails but not sure if we can modify the text too. Any suggestions?

1 Answer 1


There is no way to recall messages sent from SFMC - nor really from any ESP. Even the 'recall' options in Outlook, etc. are very flimsy as they only work depending on many variables with the default being failure of recall.

This is a great quote (It is about Marketo, but is definitely relevant for SFMC as well) for why this is so difficult/not possible:

There are a few reasons why this isn't very feasible. Let's start with stating the obvious, that an email is really just a text file shipped from one ESP to another, routed to your user account and stored there. The emails are received regardless of who they're from - there's no middle-ware gatekeeping the email from shipping from one box to another.

Once it arrives, the ESP chooses what to do with it: deliver, block, or move to a folder (ex: Spam). There's some validation done to see if it's really from that sender (DKIM, DCAR) but in reality most emails are received unless the IP sending it is blocked.

Now you have the email somewhere in your email program, be it an inbox, spam folder, etc. Most email programs then take the step of downloading it to your device so you have it for off-line reading.

This is one MAJOR barrier to recalling. You can recall, but I'm on a plane not connected to internet. I'm going to receive that message.

Another reason is that, as you know, anyone can say that an email is from anyone else. Any one of us here could quite easily send, for example, your mom an email from your email address and she'd be none the wiser. Because there's no REAL credential matching and because Marketo is often used to send emails from different email addresses, there's no way to know that the request to delete the email is real.

For such technology to work, you'd need a way to verify to my email service provider that you delivered the email and that you want to delete it. As stated earlier, an email is nothing more than a text file delivered from one IP address to another and in many cases a person can switch IP addresses at any point in a day so there's no way to certify that you're authorized to delete it.

Now, these two come down to a MAJOR security no-no, which is authorizing a system to remotely delete files from a device without authorization. If technology existed (and I'm not saying it doesn't...) that would allow me to access storage on your phone and choose to delete a file without your consent then what's to stop the Evil Russian Hackersfrom accessing other files and deleting or downloading them?

In reality, it's very much similar to postal mail. If you accidentally send me a blank check for $10,000 that you meant to send to someone else, you don't exactly have permission to break into my house and take it back, nor am I obligated by anything other than my morals and scruples to return it to you upon request.

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