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Is Auto-Unsubscribe another Google Slap to Marketers?

Google recently announced a new feature to their gMail service known as, ‘Auto-Unsubscribe.’ As the name suggests, it is a quick and easy way for people to unsubscribe to email lists that they’ve found themselves on.  In most cases, unsubscribing would require users to scroll to the bottom of an email and find the unsubscribe link, then confirm that they no longer wanted to be on that particular mailing list.  It was a fairly easy process that only took a few moments.

With the new unsubscribe feature, however, Google is placing a prominent ‘unsubscribe’ link right next to the name of the sender.  This will allow people to remove themselves from the lists of many marketers without even having to scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Coming just months after the tabs update in gMail, which has allowed many people to ignore promotional emails, many people believe that Google is taking one more step against marketers.  Of course, Google claims that they are just trying to provide a better service to their users.

The truth, it seems, may be somewhere in the middle.  While this change will undoubtedly result in more people unsubscribing from a given email list, that isn’t always a bad thing.  Those who unsubscribe aren’t typically going to be good customers anyway, so they are just freeing up a slot in an email list, which could save marketers money in the long run.

Another benefit to marketers is that since those who remain on an email list will actually be reading the message, and clicking on links, there will be a lower overall ‘spam’ rate (people marking a message as spam).  This will help improve the delivery rates and, most likely, the open rates for those who remain on the list.

Finally, the auto-unsubscribe feature doesn’t even show up on all marketing emails.  It is only there for marketers who implement it (for now).  This is an important fact because Google doesn’t want the unsubscribe feature to be used by unethical marketers looking to simply verify that a specific address is valid.

While at first look most marketers will likely think that they don’t want this feature on their marketing messages, it might actually be more helpful in the long run.

You can read more about the feature on Google’s post HERE.

Pesach Lattin
Pesach Lattin
Pesach "Pace" Lattin is one of the top experts in interactive advertising, affiliate marketing. Pesach Lattin is known for his dedication to ethics in marketing, and focus on compliance and fraud in the industry, and has written numerous articles for publications from MediaPost, ClickZ, ADOTAS and his own blogs.

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