Published by Sita Kalluri on April 3, 2014

Gmail providing FBL’s – Is it true? & adding a New Unsubscribe option

Google recently announced 2 new things they would bring in, at the M3AAWG conducted in San Francisco, wherein they would now start providing Feed Back Loops (FBL) to ESP and also include their own unsubscribe link in the email.

“Feedback Loops that too from Gmail – doesn’t seem believable! Why are they doing it? Why this sudden change? Hope it’s not a joke.”

“Unsubscribe option by Gmail, why? We already have one in all our emails.”

These were the reactions of all marketers at the recent event in San Francisco, where Google announced the launch of these two new functionalities.

Note – These are two separate sets of features, lot of people end up getting confused.

Gmail FBL’s (Abuse complaints)

It’s not that great as it sounds, though it isn’t a bad start. Gmail would now start providing details to the ESP about the number of users marking emails as “Report Spam”.

To start receiving these reports an ESP has to register itself with Gmail (Link) and Gmail would provide a daily report which would include the Network – IP, count of users who reported emails from that Network as spam and code which would be a unique identifier number given to the ESP. No user data are being provided and nothing specific to any brand, just broad level data for the ESP’s network.

What netCORE thinks?

We take it as a good start which will help ESP’s understand Gmail user’s complaint data, which would give more clarity on the kind of email traffic being sent through their respective networks and to some extent by the brands. Also, gives a scope of calculating the spam ratio based on traffic sent from every network.

What would be more interesting is, when Gmail also starts sharing user data tagged with brands and that’s what we call as being Optimistic. J

Gmail New Unsubscribe

As an attempt to deal with soft spam, which has been Gmail’s biggest challenge till date – they have introduced their own unsubscribe option which would be displayed at the top right next to the sender domain.

11The good part is that the data of users opting out using Gmail’s unsubscribe link, would be shared with ESP/brands which would help them to block those email addresses from future communications.

netCORE sees this having a positive impact on for the marketers since a user who used to get tired of searching the tiny un-subscribe link at the bottom and then end up marking the email as spam, would now prefer opting out using a clear and evident link provided at the top by Gmail.

We see this change helping reduce the count of “Spam” complaints from subscribers, thus helping brands improve/maintain their domain reputation. Overall, it’s good to see that Gmail opens itself up towards marketers and providing some level of information about subscribers.