Reduce Newsletter Spam by Adding Unsubscribe Link in Gmail at Top

Have you ever seen below unsubscribe link in Gmail at top of the email? It’s right next to the “From” name, so it should be really easy for you to see.

Gmail Unsubscribe Link at Top

Gmail Unsubscribe Link at Top

Have you ever wondered why and when the link is shown? Is it relevant? Why it’s not shown on all emails?

I came across above questions while working with email marketing newsletters using Amazon SES. We already know adding unsubscribe link in the marketing newsletters is recommended by all ESP. It’s one of the best practices. Read : Best Practices to Prevent Newsletters Going into Spam

Emails not having unsubscribe link are more likely to be marked spam. Presence of unsubscribe link improves your newsletter deliverability and spam reputation.

If you are a marketing expert sending bulk marketing newsletters, this article is for you. You can go one step ahead and improve spam reputation by following below steps.

Importance of Gmail Unsubscribe Link at Top

  • Email containing unsubscribe link at top is less likely to go to spam. Users can easily unsubscribe by clicking this link without leaving Gmail.
  • Gmail wants to be transparent with users with an easy way to control what users want to receive. The link might increase your unsubscription count but it’s good in the long run. You will not be called spammer. Google released it to prevent business promotional emails from being marked as spam.
  • It’s one of the best practice recommended by Gmail. Read : Unsubscription in Gmail. When Users don’t find the unsubscribe button, sometimes they mark the message as spam.
  • I use Amazon SES for sending marketing newsletters. It’s one of the best practice recommended by Amazon SES.
  • Instead of users marking the email as spam they can easily unsubscribe from top within Gmail.
Unsubscribe from newsletters within Gmaila

Unsubscribe from newsletters within Gmaila

  • I have mostly seen this link for marketing/promotional newsletter emails. Let me know if you have seen this for transactional emails also.

Why and When Gmail Unsubscribe Link is Shown at Top

Question is when the link is shown? Even you have unsubscribe link in the email it’s not necessary this link will be present at the top. Gmail sometimes parse your email for “unsubscribe” link(usually at bottom)  and automatically adds it at the top. However when you click the link it will take you to the website opt out page. You will not be able to opt out within Gmail.

I posted this question on Hacker news and got really helpful answers.

Read : Hacker News – Why Gmail Doesn’t Show Unsubscribe Link at Top Always

List-Unsubscribe Header

The button is enabled when the mail contains a valid List-Unsubscribe header. It’s not because there’s a link in the e-mail body itself. While sending marketing newsletters you should add “List-Unsubscribe” header. ‘List-Unsubscribe’ header points to an email address or a URL where the user can unsubscribe easily from future mailings. URL can be your website URL through which user can unsubscribe directly within Gmail.

You can verify presence of header by opening header data of email and see presence of “List-Unsubscribe” header.

List-unsubscribe header in marketing newsletters

List-unsubscribe header in marketing newsletters

If you are using Amazon SES for sending your newsletters, You can find all supported header fields including “List-Unsubscribe”. Read : List-Unsubscribe Header field in Amazon SES.

Deliverability is the most important thing ESPs, marketing experts focus on. Most of professional companies adds unsubscribe link in their email. Adding above List-Unsubscribe header will definitely going to improve your deliverability.

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