Why Gmail’s New Unsubscribe Option is GOOD For Marketers

by on February 27, 2014 in Best Practices | Email Marketing
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When the customer wins, the marketer wins.

If it is good for your customers, long term it is good for your brand.

gmail unsubscribe buttonThis week Google announced a new feature that is causing email marketers a lot of consternation and stress (much like when Gmail Tabs was released). The feature is a very prominent “unsubscribe” option for promotional emails. This means that your subscribers can now unsubscribe from your email list without leaving Gmail.

Excerpt from PCWorld article:

Starting this week, a new, clearly marked “unsubscribe” link will appear at the top of the header field in marketers’ emails. Previously only appearing for a small percentage of users, the feature will now be made available for most promotional messages with unsubscribe options, Google said on Thursday. Email recipients do not need to take action for the links to appear. The change simply makes it easier to find the “unsubscribe” link. So what used to be like searching for a needle in a haystack will, for some, become more like an open invitation to say good-bye. By clicking the link, users can opt out of a company’s emails without leaving Gmail.


Example of the unsubscribe link in a gmail window:

gmails new unsubscribe option

The dialogue box that gmail pops up when you click the unsubscribe link: (without leaving gmail inbox)

gmail unsubscribe button

This new Gmail unsubscribe button feature makes it far easier to unsubscribe.

So why is this a good thing for marketers?

  1. Users who unsubscribe have decided they don’t want your stuff any more.
  2. If they can’t find the unsubscribe link, or they know it’s a pain to deal with, they may just click the spam button.
  3. If they click the spam button, your email may not be delivered to those that actually want it.

With Gmail’s unsubscribe link, they will no longer be clicking that spam button. This is a very good thing for your deliverability to those that actually do want your emails. This is good for the customer, good for the marketer and good for the brand.

Google’s Vijay Eranti, who heads anti-abuse efforts at Gmail spoke about the new feature:

One of the biggest problems with the Gmail spam filter is identifying unwanted mail or soft spam. The issue, is that sometimes customers opt into a company’s send-to list but later decide they don’t want the emails. And if they can’t find the unsubscribe button, sometimes they mark the message as spam.


Engagement > List Size


This new feature is one way that Google is helping marketers stop delivering to disengaged users (whether marketers want the help or not).  You can take control yourself, and further mitigate these problems by limiting the frequency that you send to inactive users.  You can do this with Intelligent Targeting, or other segmentation tools, that will help you send different messages to users with different types of engagement.  This will also increase your deliverability and/or reduce the chance that a user will click the spam button.


And maybe, if you’re good at it, keep them from unsubscribing at all…regardless of where the link is.


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