The Verizon Media brand announced that Yahoo! Mail, AOL, and Verizon now support one-click unsubscribe, also known as RFC8058. Previously only available in AOL Mail, the one-click unsubscribe standard is now supported by all email clients that are part of the Verizon Media brand umbrella.
“It’s our job to help consumers get the emails they want—and help them get rid of the messages they don’t want to receive any more,” says Marcel Becker, Director of Product Management at Verizon Media.
What is One-Click Unsubscribe?
Inbox providers offering native unsubscribe functionality in their user interface—rather than just relying on an unsubscribe link in the email body itself—is nothing new. Many inbox providers already utilize list-unsubscribe headers to power native unsubscribe functionality, either powered by a mailto link or a link-based unsubscribe.
One-click unsubscribe according to RFC8058 is an iteration of the link-based list-unsubscribe. Why another standard, you ask?
Link-based list-unsubscribe has its challenges. Anti-spam software often follows every link in an email to check for malicious content—and that includes list-unsubscribe links in the email header. This means your subscribers’ anti-spam tools might accidentally trigger an unsubscribe—even though your subscriber never wanted to get off your mailing list. That’s why, rather than triggering an unsubscribe immediately after subscribers click the link, many brands link to a subscription center or another type of landing page that asks the user to confirm the unsubscribe. While this works, it’s an additional step a subscriber has to take to get off a mailing list.
On the other hand, one-click unsubscribe allows users to easily unsubscribe with a single click, while at the same time ensuring that anti-spam doesn’t trigger accidental unsubscribes. This is possible through the combination of an unsubscribe URL with a POST request.
How to implement one-click unsubscribe
To add support for one-click unsubscribe to your campaigns, you must add a list-unsubscribe field to your email header that indicates you’re leveraging the one-click unsubscribe URL.
List-Unsubscribe-Post: List-Unsubscribe=One-Click List-Unsubscribe: <https://example.com/unsubscribe/opaquepart>
A simple visit to this URL—for example by an anti-spam tool—won’t trigger an unsubscribe. But when a user unsubscribes, the sender will get a POST request, which looks like this and triggers the unsubscribe:
POST /unsubscribe/opaquepart HTTP/1.1 Host: example.com Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded Content-Length: 26 List-Unsubscribe=One-Click
How easy unsubscribe opportunities benefit subscribers—and senders
“We know when subscribers can’t easily find a way to unsubscribe, they tend to hit the spam button instead—and that hurts sender reputation,” explains Marcel Becker. “Making unsubscribing easy puts subscribers in control of their inbox while helping marketers keep their list healthy, protecting sender reputation.”
Brands that implement one-click unsubscribe show that they put their subscribers’ needs before their brand’s goals—and that’s a behavior that inbox providers are rewarding. Not implementing easy unsubscribe options, on the other hand, will hurt your reputation. In other words: implementing one-click unsubscribe makes it more likely that your emails make it to the inbox, not the spam folder, and your send list remains healthy.
Learn more with these resources
Looking for more information on the topic? Check out Verizon Media’s postmaster page or read the full documentation for the one-click unsubscribe standard RFC8058.