There maybe some relief on the horizon for the poor battered email marketer who spends half their life rigorously following opt-in best practices.
We also know about the menace of the “this is spam” button provided by many large ISPs including AOL, Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail. We have also seen the studies and gasped at the amount of subscribers who use the button to “unsubscribe” from a list.
There is a new Internet standard in town that helps good marketers avoid this pitfall.
The “list-Unsubscribe” header can be embedded into the email message and facilitates the automated or semi-automated unsubscribe processes. What will happen is when a subscriber clicks on the “list is spam” button with an email that contains the new header the ISP will send an unsubscribe request to the sender on behalf of the recipient.
MSN/Hotmail has announced their intention to support the new header and I hope more ISPs follow. One thing that bugs me and I need to read the RFC is how it deals with spammers who would love to have more unsubscribe requests sent their way to confirm an email address is valid.