As an email marketer, you'll be, well, interested in a new development at Gmail. "Some of you already use the 'Report Spam' button on all kinds of unwanted email," Brad Taylor tells users in a post at the Gmail blog, "and for that we're very thankful: The more spam you mark, the better our system gets at weeding out junk mail."

Now Gmail will go one better: not only can users flag a message as spam, they can ask Gmail to submit an unsubscribe request to the sender. When someone reports, say, a newsletter as spam, they'll see a dialog with these options:

  • Unsubscribe and report spam
  • Report spam
  • Cancel

Ironically, the service targets only legitimate senders who would likely oblige an unsubscribe request initiated by the usual link at the bottom of their message.

Explains Taylor, "We won't provide the unsubscribe option on messages from spammers: We can't trust that they'll actually unsubscribe you, and they might even send you more spam. So you'll only see the unsubscribe option for senders that we're pretty sure are not spammers and will actually honor your unsubscribe request."

The Po!nt: Know who your friends are. Now that Gmail is involved in the unsubscribe process, permission and relevance have become more important than ever before.

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