Data Retention

Configuration

The Maxemail Data Retention Controls provide the ability to set the amount of time before Recipients stored in Maxemail are automatically deleted from Maxemail’s servers.

The Administrator of an account in Maxemail, as the Data Controller, can choose to adjust the Retention Period by contacting our Support Team on

The Data Retention Controls are disabled by default.

Data Deletion Process

When data reaches the end of the Retention Period, it is deleted automatically on a daily basis.

The Retention Period is checked by looking at Recipient activity:

  • Recipient has not been imported into Maxemail within the Retention Period

  • Recipient has not been sent an email by Maxemail within the Retention Period

  • Recipient has not opened a Maxemail email within the Retention Period

  • Recipient has not clicked a Maxemail email within the Retention Period

When a Recipient does not meet any of the above activities within the Retention Period, they become eligible for deletion.

When the Recipient is deleted, all their associated Profile data and List assignments are deleted, and the email address is permanently anonymised. This removes all personally identifiable information (PII).

The Maxemail Recipient record is left in place, so that standard aggregated Maxemail reporting is not affected. The number of Recipients deleted each day is shown in the Recipient Overview.

If the same email address is imported into Maxemail at a future date, there would be no way to associate the data with the previously deleted Recipient, and a new Recipient record would be created.

(The criteria above include Campaign, Triggered and Transactional emails)

To delete a single Recipient, for example in response to a request under Right to Erasure, see Delete a Recipient.

To download all Recipient data, for example in response to a Subject Access Request, use the Export button in the Recipient tab, see Search for a Recipient.

Handling previous bounces and unsubscribes

As described above, Recipients that fall outside the Retention Period will be removed from all Lists, and this includes the System Lists such as the Master Bounce List and Master Unsubscribe List.

This should not be a concern, as the Recipient can only be deleted if all the above criteria are met, including no imports within the Retention Period.

Although it's clear that the Recipient won't have been sent, opened or clicked any emails since they were added to the Master Bounce List or Master Unsubscribe List, the worry is often that removing them from these lists will expose the sender to an issue should they start sending to them again. This is not the case due to one of the following scenarios:

  1. If bounce and unsubscribe data is being exported from Maxemail (eg. using the API or getting real-time Webhook events) to update the contact records in the primary CRM, then the email address will no longer be imported into Maxemail. There is no need to maintain a record on the Master Bounce List or Master Unsubscribe List.
  2. If bounce and unsubscribe data is not exported from Maxemail to update the primary CRM, the email address will continue to be imported with data updates from the CRM. The Recipient will fail the test for no imports within the Retention Period, and cannot be deleted
  3. If bounce and unsubscribe data is not exported from Maxemail, and Maxemail is being used as the primary data store, a Recipient who has been deleted by satisfying all the Retention Period requirements will no longer have any data in the system.

In all three cases, if the Recipient re-subscribes or interacts with your company to re-activate their data, they will be imported a new Recipient with a new subscription and will be legitimately eligible to receive messages.

Keeping data on the Master Bounce List or Master Unsubscribe List means that PII is being retained for individuals who are no longer active subscribers and have a reasonable expectation for their data to be deleted.

One-off deletion by List

Although possible, this is not recommended. It is usually sufficient to enable the Data Retention Controls so that inactive Recipients will be automatically deleted when the Retention Period elapses.

It is possible for the Support Team to run a process which will delete Recipients on a specific List. If you have a set of Recipients you wish to be immediately permanently deleted, please follow these steps:

  1. Consider the need to run this process. In most cases it's preferable to simply enable the Data Retention Controls and allow inactive Recipients to be automatically deleted.
  2. Create a new List in Maxemail, and import the Recipients that should be deleted.
  3. Check the Recipients on the List to be sure of any errors. This process cannot be reversed.
  4. Check that you are not still importing these Recipients through other sources. The Recipients will be re-added if you're still importing them from your CRM. This is a reason why it is better to rely on the built-in Data Retention Controls.
  5. Contact the Support Team with the details of the List containing the Recipients to be permanently deleted.
  6. The result will be the same effect as pressing the Delete a Recipient button for each Recipient on the List. No other criteria will be used, so it's important for you to check the Recipients yourself.