When subscribers want to unsubscribe from a mailing list and the unsubscribe process is too complex, subscribers will often use the SPAM button to unsubscribe from the mailing list. And using this SPAM button, will directly negatively impact sender reputation, thus lowering email delivery. That is, unless List-Unsubscribe is used. This feature gives an additional way to unsubscribe and the number of times the SPAM button gets hit will be reduced.
In GMAIL the List-Unsubscribe feature will be visualised for users as:
In the next two paragraphs we will explain the best practice set-up of the List-Unsubscribe header and will share a case study on the situation before and after a List-Unsubscribe header implementation with mailto:link.
The List-Unsubscribe is an additional header inserted by email applications. It provides two mechanisms for ISPs to unsubscribe the recipient from a mailing list:
The List-Unsubscribe header formatting is:
Please note that the unsubscribe link (http:// link ) should not require further input from the user and the request should be processed after receiving a POST request. It should be one-click unsubscribe as described in RFC 8058 below :
Resulting POST request
Also, the local part of mailto:link address should not exceed more than 64 characters.
Hotmail only supports the mailto:link. When a user clicks on the ‘unsubscribe’ option in Hotmail, Hotmail tries to read the mailto:link in the List-Unsubscribe header. If the mailto:link is missing, it moves all the messages to the Junk folder. All further emails from the same sender will be pre-routed to the Junk folder without notifying the sender through a JMRP complaint. For more information, please read Hotmail Email Sender Guidelines.
Gmail supports both the http:// link and the mailto:link. But when a Gmail user reports email as ‘SPAM’, Gmail will try to unsubscribe by sending empty message to the address in List-Unsubscribe (mailto:). Thereafter, it is more likely to put all new emails from that sender in the SPAM folder. For more information, please read Gmail Email Sender Guidelines.
The mailto:link is supported by Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, ATT, Time Warner and Comcast; European ISPs such as GMX, Libero, Ziggo, Orange, BTInternet; Russian ISPs such as mail.ru and Yandex; and the Chinese domains qq.com, naver.com etc. So most ISPs support (and prefer) mailto:link.
CSE built a Webhook programme called ‘unsubmail’ which is spawned by PowerMTA. It receives emails from the PowerMTA pipe queue and converts them into a calling URL by mapping parameters from the local part of mailto:link to http://URL.