In many debates related to ecology and email, the question of message storage often comes up. If this is not the only point to take into account, it is certainly the one that is most obvious to everyone.

Article originaly published in French on Badsender’s blog and in English on LinkedIn

Moreover, some ISPs and webmail are working on reducing email volumes. For example, this is the case with Gmail when the solution suggests that you unsubscribe from certain newsletters that you never open.

Some brands have also understood that there is no point in continuing to solicit their inactive, even if very often they think more about deliverability and their performance than the planet.

Today, time is no longer the debate in order to know how many tons of CO² could be saved if fasait better. No, it’s time to DO better!

The idea: define an expiration date for marketing emails

On the storage (and cleaning) of emails, here is a concrete proposal, which can be implemented today.

When an advertiser starts an email campaign, we generally consider that after 48 hours to 72 hours, we will have reached more than 99% of opens and clicks on the message. Also, most of the time, the promotion, the message and the products presented will be obsolete after a few days.

The proposition is therefore simple. When sending an email, the sender can define the expiration date of his campaign. Date after which the ISP or the webmail will have the right to completely delete this email in order to clean its servers and the mailboxes of its users.

The recipient of the message does not want their emails to disappear on their own? The webmail will be able to offer him the option of activating this feature or not, offering the option of keeping a specific email even beyond the date.

The technical proposal (to be discussed)

This date must be stored directly in the email. This allows information to be transported without the need to create cumbersome new technologies. Without simplicity, there is a risk that there will be no adoption.

The idea is to have the possibility of storing the date at two levels in the email:

In the SMTP header

This if the ESP has integrated this technique into its interface. This could for example take the appearance of an “X-Expiration-Date: Tue, 23 March 2021 10:00:00 +0000”

In HTML code

Adding the expiration date in the HTML is within the reach of all (or almost) and does not require that the technique be implemented by the ESPs. This allows senders to move forward without having to wait for the rest of the industry.

I’m not a specialist of micro-data and, but it seemed the most obvious technique to implement our expiration date. And these are techniques already used for example in Gmail annotations, so, many email integrators are already using them.

If I was wrong, do not hesitate to fuel the debate and propose a correct solution.

Code to insert in the HTML header:<script type=”application/ld+json”>
  “@context”:              “”,
  “@type”:                 “EmailMessage”,
  “expires”:        “2011-03-23T10:00:00+00:00”,


Or as an alternative, code to insert into the HTML body:<div itemscope itemtype=””>
 <meta itemprop=”expires” content=”2011-03-23T10:00:00+00:00″ />

It is not impossible that this idea has already been mentioned elsewhere. Do not hesitate to tell us, and we will try to unite our forces! This is a proposal.

Let’s get together!

Obviously, at the beginning, no one will indicate this date. Obviously, at the beginning, no ISP or webmail will take this into account. But the advantage of this technique is that from tomorrow, you can add this date to your emails at no extra cost. From tomorrow, you can mark your commitment. Starting tomorrow, you can encourage your peers, your suppliers, your customers, your contacts to do so.

In any case, the side of Badsender we will contact our customers to check if they join and integrate this practice in all emails that we deliver to our customers or we send for them.

Contact the different players in the chain: ISP, webmails, ESP and advertisers

So now let’s take action. In addition to validating the technical principle (which shouldn’t be too complicated), the most important thing is to gather support! So don’t hesitate to share the information as widely as possible.

What makes this kind of initiative grow is the snowball effect. If you move and say it publicly, then you will move other people!

Do not hesitate to send an email to if you wish to show your support for the initiative and / or declare that you are getting started! Please let us know if you are willing to let us publicize your support.

And please, give your opinion in the comments and tag other people !