What Gmail’s New Auto-unsubscribe Means for You

Lately, Google has been spoiling its email service users with a never-ending series of new features, such as inbox tabs and contextual ads in your email. As if this weren’t enough, Gmail introduced yet another feature last week — an automatic unsubscribe button for newsletter lists. 

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How does it work?

Gmail engineers wanted to make it easier to distinguish between actual spam and the promotional newsletters we’ve signed up for but may have lost interest in.

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Auto-unsubscribe enables email service users to withdraw their permission to send promotional newsletters from a particular company with just a single click. This link shows up next to the sender’s From name and makes use of the list-unsubscribe mechanism that has been supported by GetResponse for many years.

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Gmail Auto-unsubscribe tab

Img. 1 – Gmail’s new Auto-unsubscribe button

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Gmail's new Auto-unsubscribe button

Img. 2 – Gmail’s new Auto-unsubscribe button

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Gmail's new Auto-unsubscribe button

Img. 3 – Gmail’s new Auto-unsubscribe button

 

Opting-out from a newsletter subscription is now safer and easier than ever. Up until now, Gmail users who didn’t know how to unsubscribe from promotional emails marked them as spam. Others didn’t trust unsubscribe links in emails and thought clicking those links might backfire and result in even more unwanted emails.

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The new Gmail feature solves that problem with full transparency of the unsubscribe process.

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Good or bad? And for whom?

On Google’s help website is the following statement:

“For your protection, Gmail won’t display Unsubscribe for lists that are known to be owned by spammers.”

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Based on this information we can foresee that if Gmail users abide this change (and it seems they might even fall in love with it) companies that refuse to support the List-Unsubscribe header and disallow an auto-unsubscribe will be treated as spammers.

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Who will lose?

It’s a sure bet that marketers who don’t play fair with subscribers, or hide unsubscribe links in inaccessible parts of the newsletter, or type them with the same font color as the email background, will be the ones to lose. Their audience will be more than delighted to click the auto-unsubscribe button and say farewell to their emails once and for all.

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Who will benefit?

But if you play fair with subscribers, you can benefit from this change. Here’s why:

  • The number of people who mistakenly mark your message spam will drop. From now on, they’ll just click unsubscribe.
  • People will leave if they no longer want your emails and show no business potential. You have to accept that you weren’t going profit from them anyway, and they were adding to your monthly costs
  • By implementing auto-unsubscribe in your emails, Gmail shows users that your newsletters are valuable and trustworthy and therefore shouldn’t be mistaken for spam.

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Do I have to make any changes to my newsletters?

No. GetResponse customers need not worry about adding this functionality in their messages as it’s automatically in their email headers. On top of that, the standard unsubscribe link used by other email service providers will be added to your messages by default.

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That’s not all

Industry blogs are all buzzing about the idea that Google is planning to implement a feedback loop mechanism that automatically informs the sender whenever his messages are marked as spam. Unfortunately, it’s still uncertain exactly what this feature will look like and when will it be added.

Similar mechanisms have long been used by such popular providers as Yahoo, AOL, Outlook.com and Comcast, which are all supported by GetResponse.

What do you think about the news from the Mountain View giant? As we’ve said before, Google — you are never boring!

 

  • Jack Price

    Hi Mac, good info. I wonder. If you accidentally hit the auto-unsubscribe button, then try to subscribe again, does Gmail allow that? Or is that sender prevented from ever using your email address again? Jack

  • Michal Leszczynski

    Hi Jack! It’s treated exactly the same as if you unsubscribed through the regular unsubscribe button. You’ll be able to join the list if you opt-in through e.g. a web form :)

    ML