How to Overcome the Challenges of Gmail’s Passive Opt-out Feature

In May 2019, it has been noted that around 29% of all email clients use Gmail all over the world. Depending on the brand, your email list can be made up with up to 80% of subscribers using this email provider. This is understandable as Gmail is on a continuous strive to better the user’s experience with regular updates.

If we take into consideration the past updates from Gmail, you can notice that the email provider has made it easier for recipients to unsubscribe. For example, in 2014, Gmail has hit the headlines as a feature allowed a user to send the email to spam or to unsubscribe straight from Gmail.

With the other email providers, the unsubscribe button is positioned at the bottom of the email. However, Gmail has taken a step further and incorporated the “unsubscribe” button at the top.

Other than that, it was known that Gmail introduces fresh new updates that make it easier for the user and brands. However, in 2018, the email giant has announced another passive opt-out feature that has angered many.

“Gmail will start suggesting when to unsubscribe from offers or newsletters you no longer care about.”

Yes, this is why you have experienced mass unsubscribe rates. It’s even worse if your open or engagement rates are considerably low.

The new update allowed a user to automatically unsubscribe from emails that they haven’t interacted or engaged within 30 days. Such notification will take away the work of the user to find the unsubscribe link or button. In other words, Gmail will track the consumer’s activity with your campaigns rather than for the users to identify unwanted emails themselves.

We are now in 2019, and no changes have been seen. Gmail still notifies your recipients to unsubscribe from your email list. If you’re up to date with the latest, you already know that this was an unsurprising move from the email provider. This move will help them to optimize the user experience to its full potential. Perhaps, this was one of the main reasons why the number of users that moved to Gmail have doubled in the last three years.

It’s not all sorrow. If you look at the glass half full, it means that this update will help you to keep a clean list. Your campaigns will be sent to those that engage with you, and you can work harder to gain more subscribers. If you want to find out how to reduce email unsubscribe rates, take a look at this article.

Even though the update may sound concerning, you should look at the positives such as:

•    It will remove those that aren’t interested in purchasing

•    The database will be more comfortable and straightforward to analyze

•    Deliverability rate will be improved as engagement, and open rates go up

One of the most significant advantages for you is the fact that you don’t have to spend so much time on personalization and segmentation. This update has cut through the noise. It’s much easier to understand who your loyal customers are.

Nonetheless, it’s essential to understand that such a feature will increase the unsubscribe rates drastically. Thus, a marketer should pay closer attention to those that are loyal to the brand. This includes personalized filled with relevant information for each loyal recipient. You should never send out more discount codes than you can handle before depleting into your profit margins.

Tactics to Prevent Passive Opt-out

Remember, Gmail has given you 30 days to win back a subscriber. So, every month, you have to try extra hard to ensure that the unsubscribe rate is under control at all times. Hence, you have to come up with new strategies and tactics regularly. For ideas, you should take a look below.

Timing is of the essence.

Inevitably, if you send out too many emails, you will end up being ignored. Email marketing doesn’t mean that you should throw information and discounts at the recipients every week. You have to be careful what type of information you send out, how it’s laid out, and at what time the campaigns get sent.

The best advice would be to ensure that your subscribers have mentioned what type of content they prefer to read. If you don’t want to be straight with them, you can ask them about their interests.

Furthermore, as it can be difficult to ask every subscriber or if not all, subscribers have provided you with enough information. Thus, you can use tools to track what day had the highest open rates, at what time, and what email was the most engaged with.

Tip: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the best days to send an email. So, if you want improved open rates, you should consider sending emails during weekdays rather than weekends.

Reach Out on the 28th day

If you believe that you’ve consistent yet you want to go a step further, you should consider sending a reach out on the 28th day. This doesn’t have to be formal or straight to the point. Instead, you should make an email that stands out. An attractive subject line will make the recipient to open the email right before the passive opt-out comes to play.

Personalization is another important factor. However, you shouldn’t just rely on the name game. Entice them with something that they have been interested in before or information according to their preferences.

Triggering Emails

If you send such emails, your click rates will likely increase up to 5 times. The reason for this is because you’re sending a campaign in response to the consumer’s action. For example, if they’ve browsed for a specific book, you should give a discount for books that are written by the same author.

In addition to this, an excellent indicator would be:

•    Abandoned carts

•    Birthdays

•    Purchase confirmation

These emails guarantee higher open rates because the recipients are more interested in the content within the email.

Relevant Content

As mentioned above, you must use the subject lines to let users know that the email has relevant information according to their needs. To provide relevant content, you must analyze data and segment the list. Segmentation will allow you to send out relevant offers and discounts that will meet unique needs.


Even though Gmail and other email giants will continuously update the platform, you don’t have to worry. If you keep up to date with the data, upgrades are not a worry. Therefore, you should get to know your subscribers so you can send campaigns that fit their specific needs. For better engagement rates and higher open rates ensure that your emails stand out from the rest.

How to Overcome the Challenges of Gmail’s Passive Opt-out Feature
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