Gmail unsubscribe option rocks the Email Marketing world once again

Once again Gmail comes to rock the world of Email Marketing, and Email will not be the same after this.

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Gmail announced it now makes it even easier for subscribers to unsubscribe from legitimate Email Newsletters, that they have opted-in to receive, putting the “unsubscribe” option right next to the name and address of the sender. They announced the rollout at theMessaging, Malware and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group conference in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago.

Here’s what it looks like:

unsubscribe link in mail

Quite shocking for many Email senders, as well as for us, Email Service Providers.The first ones used to spend time and extra effort thinking about the length of the Email newsletter, in order to better hide the unsubscribe option, and make it difficult for the recipient to scroll and find the link. The latter, ourselves included, used to consult their customers on how to manage the unsubscribes, on how to understand the recipients who chose to unsubscribe from their newsletter, to avoid any mistakes in the future.And now, as far as Gmail users are concerned, there is no actual reasons of unsbscribing to think about. Users just see the unsubscribe option right in front of their faces; right next to the name of the sender. And it is shown in the header regardless of which Gmail tab the email landed in. Unsubscribing now is easier than ever.

Econsultancy takes this step as a good move that helps marketers improve their email marketing programs, and ensures that recipients receive only emails they want to receive.

Business Insider says that when “unsubscribe” links are hidden at the bottom of emails in super-tiny text, some frustrated users decide to mark the messages as spam, causing serious deliverability problems.

Vijay Eranti, head of Google’s anti-abuse team is quoted saying “One of the biggest problems with the Gmail spam filter is identifying unwanted mail or soft spam”. So for Gmail, it seems that there is “soft spam” and “hard spam”. “Soft spam” seems to be the fact of receiving unwanted emails. Even if users have opted-in. And “hard” is what we all know as spammy emails. So, providing an easy way and method of unsubscribing, will encourage users to simply unsubscribe from emails they are no longer interested in and keep the spam button for true spam. Simple? Necessary? Well, didn’t the unsubscribe option, obligatory for all emails, do the same thing after all? Distinguish between what you no longer wish to receive, and what you never subscribed to receive?

It is our strong opinion is that it is not the job of technology to punish a weak emailing effort, but it is the job of email marketers to optimize their campaigns to better address the issues of their recipients, with relevant products, offers, news or services, thus reducing the number of those who unsubscribe.

Either way, choosing this option leaves it unclear to the recipient whether he is to expect no more emails from the sender, or just no more of that particular type of email.

Moreover, many sites- especially ecommerce sites, use a separate SMTP to send things like order confirmations, dispatch information etc. If someone uses the unsubscribe option for those emails, then they’ll never get their order confirmation, dispatch, delivery etc. So there are some issues to be addressed as well.

Gmail is also piloting a feedback loop for certain email senders, which will be using a different process to hand back complaints. This feedback loop lets senders get information on how many subscribers are classifying their email as spam.

Once again, Gmail came to surprise the Email Marketing industry. Let us see what’s next…

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