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Unsubscribe, wait, now more emails coming?

Author:  EmailOnDeck
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That couldn't possibly just happened... could it have? So you just got some random email trying to sell you something that you've never even heard of. So you do what the CAN SPAM Act of 2008 says, you look for the unsubscribe link (or mailing address) at the bottom of the email and click it. Your internet browser pops up and you see a message that says something like: "You have been unsubscribed from our list. We're sorry to see you go. Please let us know why you have chosen to unsubscribe." OK so you should be good to go. You've unsubscribed, and unless that emailer wants to pay up to $7,000 per unsolicited email you won't be receiving any more e-mails from them. But yet, for some reason you do.

Two things can be going on here, and it depends on whether the original email sent to you was itself SPAM or if it was legit email that you had opted to receive. If the original email was SPAM, well I'm not sure why you interacted with it. Let's take a look at the more interesting case where the original email came through a legit website you signed up for.

When signing up or registering for websites, you're usually required to provide your email address. Now, you're also usually required to check a box saying that you agree to the site's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy as well. Inside that site's Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) there may have been a statement saying that you agree to allow the website to sell your email address to other partners and service vendors. So the website you signed up with is legally in the clear, they accepted your email address with your permission and they also got your permission for them to be allowed to sell your email.

For the next part, you need to know about email deliverability. An email is deliverable if the email sent makes it into your inbox or SPAM folder. For an advertiser, an email address is worth more if it deliverable.

The website that you signed up with can sell your email address either before or after they have proven it's deliverable. They can also sell your email address before or after you have interacted with one of their emails they have sent to you. So if you click on a link in one of their emails, they know you have interacted with it. If your email address is deliverable AND your email address is interactive the website can charge more money ($$$ for you Americans) for your email address.

That's the kicker! The original website you signed up with is legally clear. They have sold your email address for top price since it has been delivered AND you have interacted with it (clicked on the unsubscribe link). The companies that they have sold your e-mail address to can continue to sell it through a variety of sources, exchanges, combine it with other email lists and in general sell it on the online market. Fly-by-night companies and other companies that operate out of countries where the CAN SPAM Act would be difficult to enforce can email you SPAM to their heart's delight.

Guess how you avoid all of this? A temporary email address from! It's so simple, go try it out today!

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