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Spotlight: Q&A with OPTIZMO about Automating Email Compliance


Performance-based marketing continues to evolve, but one aspect remains constant: email marketing is one of the highest performing channels. According to HubSpot, “email marketing generates $38 for every $1 spent, an astounding 3,800% ROI, making it one of the most effective options available.” To help performance-based marketers understand how to start or expand their email marketing efforts, we recently spoke with OPTIZMO CRO Jake Dearstyne about the risks and rewards of this lucrative channel and the importance of email compliance.

Jake has been with OPTIZMO since 2010 when he joined co-founders Khris Thayer and Grant Fern to expand OPTIZMO’s reach. During his time at OPTIZMO he has focused on new business development, overseeing customer support, developing strategic partnerships with key companies in the email and digital marketing industry, and now overseeing all revenue-generating and client retention initiatives for the company.

We discussed how CAKE and OPTIZMO partner to help performance marketers, pitfalls to avoid, and opportunities to expand your email marketing campaigns.

Here are some highlights from our conversation.



OPTIZMO is a CAKE partner that automates email suppression list management and streamlines subscriber opt-out preferences. The company’s SaaS platform allows users to collect, store, and automate much of the different tasks associated with maintaining compliant email campaigns.

“Compliance is such an important goal and something that has to be done, so we try to keep that a clean, simple, and enjoyable experience,” explained Jake.

That requires transparency into how affiliate partners are handling data on your behalf, such as ensuring an unsubscribe is honored or that opt-out links are functioning properly.

Once you start working with multiple agencies, partners, and publishers, you’re going to be tasked with collecting all of the unsubscribes that those different partners are generating in addition to those that might be resulting from your internal email efforts. OPTIZMO helps scale your program by automating and centralizing all of that data from different feeds and providing opt-out links to any number of publishers you work with.


How do CAKE and OPTIZMO partner to help marketers manage email compliance?

CAKE’s partnership with OPTIZMO began nearly 10 years ago, and is our longest-standing and most heavily used integration within the platform. The integration provides CAKE customers with the ability to seamlessly collect and distribute email suppression files through affiliate partners within the CAKE interface, as well as managing partner email campaign compliance.

Companies that use OPTIZMO with the CAKE platform appreciate the breadth of service we provide. Advertisers can easily manage everything related to their day-to-day campaigns within a single platform.

“Having the reliability, knowing the integration works well, and knowing that you have people who understand all facets of the business is truly invaluable,” Jake said as he described the integration for CAKE and OPTIZMO’s mutual customers.


At what point should marketers leverage suppression list management software? 

“If you’re already doing email marketing at a small scale, maybe with just one partner, managing suppression lists manually is a reasonable way to get started,” said Jake. “But once you start working with multiple agencies, partners, and publishers you’re going to be tasked with not only collecting all of the unsubscribes those partners are generating, but also the unsubscribes that might be resulting from your internal email efforts such as newsletter sends.”

Performance marketing is all about scale. Once you find what’s working, the next step is to increase that effort and do more of what is working well. When your affiliate marketing program is starting to grow and expand, it’s often a good time to look into software solutions to help you automate those manual processes you’ve become accustomed to and find solutions that fit nicely into your existing tech stack.


What advice would you offer to marketers, especially those new in this space?

“No brand wants any of the three-letter agencies, like the FTC, knocking on their door, which can be expensive and deter your business,” explained Jake.

As the digital marketer, you represent the brand, so having the right tools and the right partners in place is key to ensuring compliance and upholding the brand’s reputation.

“No matter what happens out there with your brand and your image, it all comes back to you,” said Jake. “No matter who’s working on your behalf, know your partners, and put vetted solutions in place. If you spend a little extra upfront it can save you so much on the back end.”

For performance-based marketers looking to get into email marketing, Jake advises that you put in the time to thoroughly assess the affiliate partners you’re working with. Find out if the agencies and networks you’re talking to have dedicated teams for email compliance and optimization. And if you’re working with a publisher, find out everything from where they’re based to what their data looks like.

“It’s really about crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s and asking the tough questions,” he said.

To learn more about OPTIZMO and their capabilities for suppression list management, visit their website.

If you’re already using OPTIZMO for suppression list management, be sure to integrate your account within your CAKE system.



CAKE and OPTIZMO recently teamed up to uncover six dangerous pitfalls of affiliate marketing and actionable ways that performance marketers can steer clear of them. Our latest guide covers what happens when marketers attempt to manually track email compliance and how engaging with a third-party, automated suppression list management platform provides a scalable solution to grow your email marketing program.

Download the guide to learn more: Brand Integrity: 6 Affiliate Marketing Pitfalls and How to Steer Clear