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Gmail’s New ‘Block,’ ‘Unsubscribe’ Buttons

November 27th, 2015 Posted in Email, Marketing, Social Media

Email marketers trying to reach the coveted Gmail inbox are going to have to work a little harder and a lot smarter. On Tuesday, Gmail debuted “block” buttons and this week Android users will see the “unsubscribe” option available in their apps for unwanted email.

“Sometimes you get mail from someone who’s really disruptive,” writes Sri Harsha Somanchi, product manager, in a Tuesday post on the Official Gmail Blog. “Hopefully it doesn’t happen often — but when it does, you should be able to say, ‘Never see messages from this person again.’ That’s why you can now block specific email addresses in Gmail — starting today on the Web, and over the next week on Android. Future mail will go to the spam folder (and you can always unblock in Settings).”

By Thursday, Jess Nelson published five tips on MediaPost for marketers who need to become more Gmail-friendly. “Marketing Tips: Avoiding Gmail’s New Block Button” says marketers can:

  • Provide Relevant Content. Marketing thought leaders have been beating this drum for awhile, but now it’s — ahem — more relevant to them to be clear and concise for recipients.
  • Communicate Only to Recipients Who Have Requested It. Opt-in lists sound good, no?
  • Make the Unsubscribe Process Easy. Make this button easy to find—not buried at the bottom of the message. [Editor’s note: In a seemingly useless metric to many direct marketers, Nelson’s piece says an unsubscribe in a marketer’s message also counts as a click. Well, yes, but … perhaps it’s better to think of it as not being reported as spam. A deliverability and reputation enhancement, rather than a click.]
  • Reputation Matters. This is where Nelson says spam complaints can ruin a sender’s reputation.
  • Study, Learn and Grow. Studying “block” and “unsubscribe” statistics can also help marketers understand which content resonates with recipients and which content ends up being what Somanchi terms “disruptive.”
By Heather Fletcher

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