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AdWeek published an article by Ed Lamb last week claiming that the addition of a Gmail unsubscribe link in the header of incoming emails will contribute to the death of email marketing as we know it. I beg to differ. Here’s why you shouldn’t worry.

Google announced on the 6th of August that it will now include a native Gmail unsubscribe link next to the sender’s name.

Gmail Unsubscribe Link

Following its ‘do no evil’ mantra, Google argued that this move benefits both senders and receivers:

“Making the unsubscribe option easy to find is a win for everyone. For email senders, their mail is less likely to be marked as spam and for you, you can now say goodbye to sifting through an entire message for that one pesky link.”

However, Lamb and AdWeek decided to stay on the dark side for this one, stating:

“Direct marketers everywhere, though, are probably having their week darkened by the announcement because […] the churn rates for their lists are about to jump.”

Reasons why Gmail’s unsubscribe link shouldn’t affect you:

  1. For promotional emails sent in the EU, USA and Canada, senders need to provide an unsubscribe link in order to comply with local legislation. So the link is already there, placing it at the top will not be reinventing the wheel.
  2. As Google itself declared, this will help the reputation of the IP address used to send email, because it reduces the chances of being marked as spam.
  3. If your subscribers want to leave or get rid of your emails, they will do it no matter how long the journey to the link/button is.
  4. If indeed your numbers go down, you should be looking at the causes behind it:

If your goal is to have as many people on your list as possible – regardless of how relevant they are to your business – then sure, Lamb is right. The new Gmail unsubscribe link is then ‘a potential nightmare for email marketers, who work diligently to keep their list numbers as high as possible’.

But any email marketer abiding best practice knows better than that.