Gmail Provides Unsubscribe Option for Mailing Lists

Posted by George Bilbrey 

As reported in Lifehacker, Gmail is now providing an unsubscribe option for mailing lists to users. They are doing this using the mailto: type of the List-Unsubscribe header. This means that you can get a complaint message in ARF format when someone unsubscribes from you at Gmail.

How do you take advantage? According to the Gmail postmaster:

1) You authenticate your mail with SPF and DKIM
2) You have a good sender reputation
3) You have a mailto: list-unsubscribe header.

If you do this and a Gmail user chooses the “unsubscribe and report spam” button shown in the Lifehacker post, you should magically get a complaint message to that mailto: link, which you should immediately remove from your mailing list.

Gmail doesn’t have a feedback loop that is open to most mailers, but here is a way to get some idea of what Gmail users are complaining about.

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About George Bilbrey

George Bilbrey is the founder of the industry’s first deliverability service provider, Assurance Systems, which merged with Return Path in 2003. He is a recognized expert on the subjects of email reputation and deliverability and is active in many industry organizations, including the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG) and the Online Trust Alliance (OTA). In his role as president of Return Path George is the driving force behind the ongoing innovation of our products and services. Prior to Return Path, George served as Director of Product Management at Worldprints.com and as a partner in the telecommunications group at Mercer Management Consulting. He holds a B.A. in economics from Duke University, and an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler School of Business, University of North Carolina.

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