Almost all marketing emails (legit ones, anyway), come with a clear unsubscribe link in the footer. But Google says that’s not good enough. They’ve taken it upon themselves to save Gmail users from the rigorous action of having to scroll all the way to the bottom of an email by adding an unsubscribe link in the email header.
Here’s one from my Gmail box.
There it is, right after the return address for the sender – a simple, underlined Unsubscribe. But that’s not all.
When you click a traditional unsub button, you’re transported to another page where you might have to confirm your email address or which services you want to stop. Many will also ask you why you’re unsubscribing (I dislike those) and some actual get angry with you for leaving. (Seriously, if you have one of those screens, it’s not funny. Stop it.)
When you click this new Unsubscribe button, all you get is a pop-up asking you to confirm your decision. Then Gmail takes care of the rest.
We don’t think you should be burdened with managing messages you don’t want to receive. We do our best to put messages in Spam when we’re pretty sure you won’t want or need them. But everyone has different preferences about the mail they want to see. You may not want to read any messages sent by a certain company or mailing list, while another Gmail user finds these same messages to be valuable.
To help solve this problem, we’re providing you with an unsubscribe tool for some messages. You’ll see the unsubscribe tool when you mark a message from particular types of mailing lists as spam. If the particular message is a misuse of a mailing list you like to receive, you can Report spam as usual. But if you never want to receive another message or newsletter from that list again, click Unsubscribe instead. We’ll send a request to the sender that your email address be removed from the list. It’s that simple!
What bothers me about this paragraph is the negative tone. They reference misuse and spam and “if you never want to receive another message from that list again!” Wow, harsh. 90% of the time, I unsubscribe because I was interested and now I’m not. The brand didn’t spam me or do anything to make me angry, I’m just in a different place and this brand isn’t a good fit any more.
It always seems like Google is siding with consumers against businesses when it’s businesses who pay the bills.
Big picture, it’s probably not going to cause a huge increase in unsubscribes. If it does, it’s because that person wasn’t interested anyway, so no great loss. But still, I’m getting tired of online tools and networks rearranging my content for for my own good.
Note to Gmail and Facebook – I’m perfectly capable of deciding what I want to see and not see without any help from you.
What do you think? Will Gmail’s easy unsub button be a problem for email marketers or not so much?