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[Prefer to listen to the audio blogcast? Listen on Apple, Spotify, Google or Anchor or say "Alexa play the Everything Email Marketing podcast"]

Here’s something that often comes up in discussions with email senders. You really really need to remove the email addresses of people who want to opt-out – that is, to unsubscribe – from your mailings lists as soon as humanly possible. Even though CAN-SPAM gives you ten days to do it.

Unfortunately, many email senders seem to view email addresses as nothing more than a commodity. They forget that the email address is linked to a real live person – and that real live person has just asked you to stop sending them email.

“But CAN-SPAM gives us 10 days,” those email senders counter. “Why should we lose that precious commodity – that email address – right away when we can instead attempt to wring every last drop of email sending goodness out of it for another 9 days?”

Indeed. Why should you?

Well, to start with, that person has already told you that they do not want your email.

So, are they actually going to buy something from you, or take whatever action you are hoping that they will take, given that they have already told you to stop communicating with them?

As we in the biz say, “not bloody likely.”

Instead, will they be really annoyed because they have asked to be removed from your mailing list, but you are still sending them email? (Very likely.)

Will they care that CAN-SPAM allows you a leisurely ten days to actually remove their email address from your mailing list? (NBL.)

Will they report you as a spammer because you are still sending email to them after they asked you to stop? (Most likely.)

And will this affect your email deliverability?

You betcha.

So, when someone asks to be removed from your mailing list, are you going to do the smart thing, and remove them as soon as possible? Or, are you going to wait, on principle, as many as 10 days because, by golly, CAN-SPAM allows it?

Think of that 10 day limit (and that’s what it is, a limitnot a reprieve) as “must not go past”, not “may continue until.”

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