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Email: Why Making it Easier to Unsubscribe is a Good Thing

Did you notice that Google implemented a new feature for Gmail subscribers that brings the “unsubscribe” option right up to the top header on some messages, rather than its typical placement at the bottom of the email body? Was your initial reaction something like this?

Make it EASIER for my subscribers to unsubscribe? But then my list will shrink and people won’t get my messages!

Hold on just a second. This is a GOOD thing for marketers. Why? It’s a change that supports what should be your primary tactical goal as a marketer: To deliver targeted, relevant messages that return response. You want your list to be clean, to avoid the perception of spam, and boost response. Email lists demand nurturing – think quality, not quantity.

A sample of Google's Unsubscribe link, placed at the top of the recipient's email.

A sample of Google’s Unsubscribe link, placed at the top of the recipient’s email.[/caption]See an example of where this appears in the image here. This is not yet in place for all messages delivered on Google, and in fact is more likely seen on emails from established, reputable senders.

So how exactly does this HELP you? For one, it makes it easy for subscribers who truly don’t want your message to unsubscribe. If they already perceive your message as noise, they’re unlikely to respond in the first place. An easy-to-use unsubscribe option may also reduce spam reports as subscribers have an alternative easy button to push. Over time, every refinement to your list makes it that much more effective.

Don’t forget to look into the other big news for email marketers: Canada’s new anti-spam legislation, taking effect July 1, 2014.