Why Gmail is Making it Easy to Unsubscribe

Gmail has undergone a small tweak that could have a big impact on digital marketing and communication efforts. The inconspicuous “unsubscribe” link, settled in small font at the bottom of every email, is now moved front and center. Situated right at the top of all marketed messages, the link has been updated for any business email that comes through the “Promotions”, “Social” or “Forum” tab.

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It may seem counter-intuitive: This strategic move will undoubtedly lead to an unraveling of communication ties between businesses and potential or first-time consumers, which means a loss of sales. However, the ability to opt out without scrolling through a long message or feed of images in search of an unsubscribe link promises that recipients who typically trash unopened emails will simply unsubscribe from the service, thus positively affecting marketers’ email open rate. More to the point, an unsubscribe link that’s easy to get to will hopefully deter readers from marking e-newsletters and promotional sales as spam, which can be detrimental to marketing and campaign efforts.

Less profitable but perhaps just as valuable, this opportunity may help brands and businesses to save face with those who are turned off by receiving informational or promotional emails regularly. Whereas a barrage of daily emails can grow resentment (looking at you, Overstock and Wayfair), the ability to shut off all that noise with ease is equivalent to slapping a Band Aid over the brand’s damaged reputation – it makes the frustrated consumer slightly more likely to reconsider their actions and offer brands their business in the future.