List-unsubscribe and your reputation
List-unsubscribe is an optional email header supported by popular inbox providers like iOS Mail, Gmail, and Outlook.com. Inbox providers look for this header in emails and display an unsubscribe option to users, allowing for a simple and consistent unsubscribe action.
Beginning in February 2024, Gmail and Yahoo email services have increased their anti-spam efforts and now require one-click list-unsubscribe with those unsubscribes to be honored within two days, in addition to other authentication requirements.
Our research has shown that 50% of consumers have marked an email as spam because they couldn’t easily figure out how to unsubscribe. The list-unsubscribe header can help keep your reputation sparkling!
NOTE: Some ESPs will not include a list-unsubscribe header in test or preview sends so your QA results will show that it's not included.
To confirm your final send will have the List-Unsubscribe header, send your email from your ESP to your Litmus test address.
Litmus validates the List-Unsubscribe header record in your email, and checks it meets the right specifications. We will tell you whether a List-Unsubscribe header is set up for your email, show if you’re set up to support both the mailto and the URL version of List-Unsubscribe, and flag any issues it spots in your List-Unsubscribe header.
Keep these tips in mind when creating opt-out processes for your email campaigns:
- Implement the List-Unsubscribe header in all of your marketing emails. If you're unsure how, check with your Email Service Provider, or review The Internet Society List-Unsubscribe specification.
- Include a prominent unsubscribe link in every promotional email. This is a great best practice, but it's also required for any email sender to comply with international spam regulations.
- Use an unsubscribe process that requires no more than one step. Aim for a single click from the email, and one additional click in the unsubscribe page or your preference center.
- Ensure that unsubscribe pages and preference centers are accessible without requiring a login.
- Learn more in our Email Marketers Guide to Using List-Unsubscribe