Google has rocked the marketing world once again by adding a more prominent “unsubscribe” feature to Gmail. The button will appear at the top of the email, directly beside the sender’s email address, in order to help email recipients remove themselves from unwanted promotional lists.

This modification will make it easier for users to find the unsubscribe link, and more conveniently opt-out of emails they do not wish to receive. Prior to this addition, users were faced with the “needle in a haystack” option of searching tediously for the unsubscribe link at the bottom of a promotional email, or failing that they were able to unsubscribe using the details dropdown. Not the easiest option, however with many recipients finding the link difficult to recognise, more and more end up reporting the email as spam. Not an ideal outcome for a legitimate sender.

While at first glance this change may seem like a sure-fire way to lose list subscribers, Google believes that by making the link more prominent, they are actually helping businesses to become more transparent, further helping prevent their promotional emails being marked as spam.

Gmail have recently rolled out various modifications to improve overall user experience, and even more specifically increased user control. Similar to the tabbed interface, the prominent unsubscribe button has been designed to help users customise and control their email experience, and it is these tools that have potentially positive implications for email marketing campaigns.

It is important to remember that any promotional email is at risk of receiving opt-outs, and as a marketer it is your job to add enough value to your email campaigns to limit this number as best you can. That being said, the harsh reality is that not every person will always care about your product/service offering, and if you do get the occasional opt-out, just thank your lucky stars, or Gmail, that you’re not being reported as spam.