List-Unsubscribe Header Makes Unsubscribing Easier and More Trustworthy

Some people don’t trust unsubscribe links, even from legitimate email senders.

Others don’t want to be bothered locating the unsubscribe link in your email.

In both cases, recipients may click the “spam” button in order to unsubscribe – raising your spam complaint rates and possibly reducing deliverability.

Wouldn’t it be nice if ISPs made unsubscribing easier and more trustworthy for users (at the same time reducing your complaint rate)?

One major ISP is already doing so.

List-Unsubscribe Header Allows ISPs to Add an Unsubscribe Button or Link

By adding a “list-unsubscribe” header to your outgoing email marketing campaigns, you enable ISPs to add an unsubscribe link or button into their user interface.

That way, readers who want to unsubscribe, but who don’t want to be bothered with locating the unsubscribe link in your email, can do so without clicking the “Spam” button in their email clients.

How Hotmail Uses the List-Unsubscribe Header

Windows Live Hotmail (for simplicity’s sake, I’m shortening it to “Hotmail”) is the first major ISP to implement support for the List-Unsubscribe header.

Here’s what happens.

When a Hotmail subscriber first gets a message from you (like this welcome message from our Test Drive), since s/he hasn’t added you to the Safe Senders list yet, images and links are disabled.

The top of your email looks like this in Hotmail:

What Hotmail Does When You're Not on the Safe Senders List
(Click the image above to see what the full email looks like.)

When someone clicks the “mark as safe” link, images are turned on and the top of the email changes to include an unsubscribe link:

Hotmail Message with List-Unsubscribe Header

If someone clicks the unsubscribe link, they see an alert box:

Confirm Unsubscribe

When they click “OK” they’re taken to the unsubscribe page:

Unsubscribe Page

What Do I Need To Do To Use The List-Unsubscribe Header In My Emails?

If you’re an AWeber user, nothing at all – we automatically add this header to your campaigns.

We’ll keep you updated on any other major ISPs adopting the list-unsubscribe header (if you haven’t already done so, follow this blog by email or RSS and be the first to know!).