Gmail recently introduced a new unsubscribe feature, which automatically places a link in the header and gives users the ability to quickly remove themselves from mailing lists. This is still a new development which is being tested, but further information about it has now surfaced, along with a raft of opinions of its usefulness.
Gmail will only add the unsubscribe link if the email in question contains the ‘list-unsubscribe’ header and if the sender has a good reputation. If that sounds like you, you’d be forgiven for asking when you should make use of the feature.
If you have implemented a one-click unsubscribe process, it would make sense to. After all, giving people easy access to list removal is a huge part of what makes email marketing successful. That said, the number of companies using one-click unsubscription is actually quite low (most likely because of the fear of accidental clicks).
Experts suggest that, if you implement a welcome email (there are few reasons you shouldn’t), Gmail’s unsubscribe link becomes its perfect partner. People may sign up by mistake, and if the have the ability to quickly remove themselves from your list, they will be less inclined to hit the spam button.
Companies using preference centre unsubscribe methods (i.e. giving the user the option to reduce the frequency of emails instead of removing themselves entirely) should also give careful thought to whether or not Gmail’s unsubscribe feature could harm their strategy.
Gmail is the first web client to introduce an easy way of unsubscribing from email lists, but it is likely others will follow suit.