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Gmail’s Unsubscribe Link: Bad News for Marketers?

It’s now easier than ever for Gmail users to get unwanted emails out of their inboxes with the provider’s unsubscribe feature. The new link, which appears in the header of some marketing emails, automatically fires off a message to the sender asking them to remove the recipient from their mailing list. All it takes is a simple click for users to unsubscribe from messages without even reading them.

This is great news for consumers, but does it spell disaster for email marketers? Surprisingly, no.

In fact, the unsubscribe link could be a positive change for businesses using email marketing. The prominence of the link may encourage customers who want out to unsubscribe rather than mark an unwanted email as spam.

It also encourages good marketing practice, forcing senders to be more aware of how their messages are being received and ensure that they are engaging with customers right from the start.

So, how can you be sure your emails make the cut? Here are a few tips:

Create quality content.

The best way to keep subscribers on your contact list is to keep them engaged. Send your customers valuable, interesting content and they won’t want to unsubscribe no matter how easy it is.

Target your messages.

Great content only goes so far – it also needs to be relevant to the person receiving it. Even if you write a quality email about the latest in women’s fashion, your male customers probably aren’t interested. Target your email content to specific groups within your mailing list and you’ll be less likely to drive customers to that handy unsubscribe link.

Provide options.

Make it easy for people to change their preferences about the type of content they receive. For example, you may have customers who like to receive special offers, but don’t want to read your newsletter every month. If it takes too much time or effort to edit these preferences, Gmail’s handy unsubscribe link may seem like a better option. But if opting out of the unwanted messages is simple, customers will be less likely to cut off communication entirely.

Ultimately, the marketers who will really suffer from this are those who are sending mass email campaigns to people who aren’t really interested.

If you’re already sending targeted, relevant content that engages your subscribers, you should see little impact. In fact, less-cluttered inboxes could help your messages stand out rather than getting lost in the noise.

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