Dear EmailRules Community,
The ability to easily unsubscribe from email lists is a key need. Almost all of us can remember a frustrating unsubscribe experience and appreciate being able to leave a list quickly, when we would like to.
The typical placement for the unsubscribe link is at the bottom of each email. To include a sign-off function is not only an email best practice but a legal requirement. Having an easy-to-find unsubscribe link benefits everyone because your subscribers can easily leave a list when their preferences change, and we, as senders, can ensure that our email lists are up-to-date and include people who truly want to receive our messages.
Google announced a new Gmail function, the unsubscribe tool, earlier this year. However, the function itself is not new. For example, Microsoft Outlook webmail already had such an unsubscribe link in the footer of email messages. What's new in Gmail is that the link appears right at the top, on the email header itself. On promotional messages, this gray unsubscribe link is placed directly after the sender. This is a positive step that makes it easy for a subscriber to leave a list when desired. Naturally, it's better for a subscriber to leave a list than click "report as spam", when the sender is reputable and follows email best practices. Gmail's unsubscribe link appears only for senders who have a good reputation and use the "email list-unsubscribe" header settings.
The unsubscribe – or opt-out – function simply needs to be seen and work, whether our subscribers choose to click the link embedded in the header or footer of a web-based email service or to click a prominent unsubscribe link in the message itself. Unsubscribes give us an opportunity to communicate – for example you can customize a nice sign-off confirmation message. The unsubscribe function may look small, but it's an important part of the overall email experience, so it needs care, attention and testing to work successfully. First and last impressions count.
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