Starting June 2024 – one-click unsubscribe is mandatory.

As of June 1, 2024, Google and Yahoo will enforce a new requirement for all bulk email senders: the inclusion of a one-click unsubscribe link in all promotional and marketing emails. This change aims to give users more control over their inbox and reduce the prevalence of spam. Here’s what this means for your organization, explained in layman’s terms and with technical details for those who need to implement these changes.

What Is One-Click Unsubscribe?

In Simple Terms: One-click unsubscribe allows email recipients to opt-out of receiving future emails with just a single click. This link must be easy to find, typically included in the email footer, and must not redirect users to another page or require any additional information.

Why It Matters:

  1. User Empowerment: It simplifies the process for users to unsubscribe, showing respect for their preferences.
  2. Compliance: Ensures your emails comply with laws like CAN-SPAM (in the US) and GDPR (in Europe), which mandate easy opt-out options.
  3. Reduced Spam Complaints: If users can easily unsubscribe, they are less likely to mark your emails as spam, which helps maintain your sender reputation.

Technical Details


  1. List-Unsubscribe Headers:
    • Emails must include headers that support one-click unsubscribe, as per RFC 8058. This means your email headers should have a List-Unsubscribe field with a URL or mailto link that facilitates immediate unsubscribing.
  2. Immediate Processing:
    • Unsubscribed users must be removed from your mailing lists within 48 hours to comply with Google and Yahoo’s guidelines. This ensures that users’ requests to opt-out are honored promptly.
  3. Email Authentication:
    • Your emails must pass authentication checks such as SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. This helps verify that your emails are genuinely from your domain and not from spoofers or spammers.
    • Ensure your DMARC policy is correctly set up and monitored to comply with these requirements.
  4. Spam Rate Management:
    • Google requires bulk senders to maintain a spam complaint rate below 0.3%. Regularly monitor your email deliverability and complaint rates to ensure compliance.

Best Practices for Implementation:

  1. Implement Early:
    • Although the deadline is June 1, 2024, implementing the one-click unsubscribe feature sooner can demonstrate your commitment to user experience and regulatory compliance.
  2. Keep the Traditional Unsubscribe Link:
    • Retain the traditional unsubscribe link in the email footer as a backup. This link can lead to a preference center where users can manage their subscription settings more granularly.
  3. Test Functionality:
    • Regularly test the functionality of your unsubscribe links to ensure they are always operational. An inactive unsubscribe link can lead to email deliverability issues and non-compliance.
  4. Educate Your Team:
    • Ensure that your marketing and IT teams are aware of these new requirements and understand how to implement and maintain them.

Benefits of Compliance

  1. Improved User Trust:
    • By making it easy for users to opt-out, you build trust and demonstrate respect for their preferences. This can lead to higher engagement rates with those who remain subscribed.
  2. Enhanced Deliverability:
    • Complying with these requirements helps maintain a good sender reputation, ensuring that your emails reach the intended recipients’ inboxes.
  3. Reduced Legal Risks:
    • Staying compliant with regulations like CAN-SPAM and GDPR reduces the risk of legal penalties and enhances your organization’s overall compliance posture.

By following these guidelines and implementing the one-click unsubscribe feature, your organization can ensure compliance with the new email regulations set by Google and Yahoo, improve user experience, and maintain a positive sender reputation.

John Campbell
Digital Solutions Engineer