If you haven’t been living under a rock, you are probably hearing about “one-click unsubscribe” everywhere! Since Google and Yahoo updated their email sender guidelines, one-click subscriptions have been a trending topic. However, it isn’t as simple as having an unsubscribe button in your email. To stay compliant, you must support RFC 8058 one-click functionality for list email headers. Let’s understand this more!
One-Click Unsubscribe Feature Explained
One-Click Unsubscribe is a link inserted at the bottom of the emails and enables easy unsubscription with one click. When clicked, it will automatically remove the recipient from the mailing list. Enabling one-click unsubscription is one of the renewed email requirements announced by Google and Yahoo. This requirement affects only bulk-message senders who send more than 5000 emails per day. The enforcement of this policy will be effective from June 1, 2024.
6 Primary One-Click Unsubscribe Requirements
Google announces the following requirements to stay compliant with their one-click unsubscribe mandate:
1. Enable Unsubscription for Marketing & Promotional Emails
Google suggests that the one-click unsubscribe option is only needed for your marketing and promotional emails. Transactional emails such as shipping and order confirmation emails, account creation emails, password reset, etc. do not require this feature.
While enabling one-click unsubscribe for your emails, you must focus on the user’s intent. This way, you can easily distinguish between emails that require this feature and those that don’t. For example, your messages for marketing your product to a potential customer need easy unsubscription. However, if a customer purchases your product online, they will want to receive an order confirmation email or invoice receipt. This transactional email will not require an unsubscription link.
2. Include Unsubscription Link in Message Body
The body of your email message must have the unsubscribe link. You can include it in the footer, where it is easy to spot. The link cannot be hidden or hard to read and should be clear enough to not mislead receivers.
3. Make Sure Unsubscription is Easy
Unsubscription for your emails should be single-click and easy. If your receivers have to work hard to stop receiving your emails – you are not doing it right! Ideally, when someone clicks on your unsubscribe link, it should work instantly.
You must make sure the one-click unsubscribe link doesn’t redirect users to a landing page or a webpage. No additional information or sign-up is needed from the unsubscriber in this step
4. One-Click Unsubscribe Link Must Meet RFC 8508
Bulk message senders must enable one-click unsubscribe that aligns with RFC 8508. You can do this by adding List-Unsubscribe headers to your emails. The advantage of using RFC 8508- compliant List-Unsubscribe headers is that, unlike mail-to or URL, unsubscription is easy.
If you use email service providers like MailChimp, SendGrid, Constant Contact, etc. you must reach out to them. Your provider will assist you in adding these headers to your outgoing messages.
5. Exclude Unsubscribers Within 48 Hours
Once someone unsubscribes from your email using the one-click unsubscribe button, you must exclude them. Their removal from your mailing list should take place as soon as possible. Preferably, you can remove them within 48 hours. Google recommends acting as fast as possible in this scenario, to respect the wishes of recipients who want to be excluded.
This further demonstrates your commitment to reducing spam for Gmail receivers.
6. One-Click Unsubscribe Link Should Be Functional
Your unsubscription link should be functional at all times. In case of accidental outages, while your messages won’t be marked as spam, you may face email deliverability issues.
One-Click Unsubscribe Requirements At A Glance
- The unsubscribe link must be easy to find and clearly labeled
- It should be enabled for all marketing & promotional emails
- The unsubscribe process should be completed in one click
- One-Click Unsubscribe must meet RFC 8508
- You should not require users to provide any additional information before unsubscribing
- You should remove unsubscribed users from your mailing list promptly
How Can One-Click Unsubscribe Impact Your Email Marketing?
If you heavily rely on marketing emails for your business, it’s not all bad news for you! If you follow RFC 8058, you can exclude your unsubscribers from selective mailing lists. This would only include the ones that they have unsubscribed from.
This means that if your receivers unsubscribe from one of your many mailing lists, they will still continue receiving emails from your domain.
You can also include an additional unsubscribe link in your message body that leads to a confirmation page. However, you must still use List-Unsubscribe headers to meet RFC 8505. Using the former alone will make you non-compliant.
Google informs that mail senders can continue using mail-to and URL unsubscribe links. Google wouldn’t be withdrawing support for these. However, while the messages won’t be marked as spam, your emails won’t comply with Google’s requirements.
If your messages do not meet the one-click unsubscribe requirement, Google won’t be marking them as spam. If you continue to send emails to people who don’t want to receive it, sooner or later they will flag you as spam. Getting flagged or blocklisted by several receivers significantly impacts your domain reputation. This might make your overall email performance and deliverability go down.
It’s a Wrap
Apart from one-click unsubscription, it is important to comply with Google and Yahoo’s other requirements. This includes email authentication implementations like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. While manually implementing them is certainly possible, it’s not recommended.
PowerDMARC can help you comply with Google and Yahoo’s email authentication sender guidelines. Our managed services are tailored to help organizations meet compliance faster. Sign up today to start your free DMARC trial!
49% of the 333 billion emails sent every day are marked as spam. It’s time to join the fight against email spam while improving your email delivery rates!