Unsubscribe to be Displayed Without Opening an Email for Gmail Users

Association of Strategic Marketing
February 27, 2014 — 1,468 views  
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Gmail users frustrated with unsolicited marketing emails will now see the “unsubscribe” link even before they open the message. At present, the link is buried at the bottom of promotional emails.

Google will start the new feature quickly, with a prominently marked “unsubscribe” link at the top of the header field in the emails sent out by marketers. This feature, while available only to a small section of users before, will be extended to all Gmail subscribers. Every marketing email will carry this unsubscribe option, and recipients of the emails will not be required to take any kind of action for the links to be displayed.

What it Means for Business

The new tool could be very useful to consumers, but a potential business killer for companies who wish to increase their customer base through email marketing. According to Google, the step will actually make businesses more transparent and will prevent promotional emails from being marked as spam.

According to Vijay Eranti, head of Gmail Anti-Abuse Efforts, one of the persistent problems with the Gmail filter is the identification of soft spam or unwanted mail. The problem stems from the fact that a customer may voluntarily select to be in a company's email list, but later decide that they do not want the emails.  In this case, if they cannot locate the unsubscribe button, they simply mark the message as spam.

When a message is marked as spam, Google gets a signal. If an adequate number of Gmail subscribers mark the message as spam, Google's algorithms classify the sender as a spammer.

According to Eranti, Google wanted to help users with an easier way to control what they receive. Google is striving to keep the optimum balance of keeping ordinary Gmail subscribers happy without antagonizing the business users.  As Elie Bursztein, Head of Anti-Abuse Research at Google said, the company wants its subscribers not to receive spam, but also wants companies to reach their subscribers.

Association of Strategic Marketing