Google is rolling out a way for Gmail users to unsubscribe from marketing emails quickly and easily — by including an “unsubscribe” link right in the header information of an email. The link will only appear if the sender has included an unsubscribe mechanism – recipients won’t have to do anything to turn the feature on. This functionality has always existed at Gmail, however it was not always obvious to the user.
Putting the link in the header will do two things: provide users with easy access to unsubscribe; and reduce the number of recipients reporting legitimate marketing emails as spam when they can’t locate the unsubscribe options. According to Google, this is a common complaint from their users.
Google announced the interface change at the Messaging, Malware and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group (M3AAWG) conference in San Francisco last week. The Listrak Deliverability Team was in attendance during the event.
“One of the biggest problems with the Gmail spam filter is identifying unwanted mail or soft spam,” Google’s Vijay Eranti, head of anti-abuse at Gmail, said during the conference. “We want to empower users with an easy way to control what they want to receive.”
This is another step in Google’s attempt to keep their users happy without alienating email marketers. “We want our users to not have spam, and we also want you to reach the user,” said Elie Bursztein, head of Google’s anti-abuse research.
Internal testing at Listrak has shown that the new interface change has been rolled out and is working.
In addition to this change, Google announced they are creating a feedback loop. The new Gmail FBL is currently available to email service providers who are members of M3AAWG only. The new FBL is still in the pilot phase and is designed to only give ESPs feedback so that they can prevent abuse. The purpose of the feedback is not so that complainers can be removed from marketing lists and recipients will not be identified.