The goal of Gmail’s new “block” button is to keep user inboxes free from spam content. But Google has left it up to each Gmail user to decide which emails are spam and which are legitimate. This makes navigating the block button a tricky task for marketers with legitimate messages to send. In this post, learn the best tips and tricks we recommend for how to avoid getting caught by Gmail’s new block button.
Tip #1: Make it super-easy for contacts to unsubscribe.
If you have to choose between an “unsubscribe” and a “block,” we highly recommend an unsubscribe. An unsubscribe simply says “I don’t want to receive this anymore,” while a block says, “You just sent me spam.” Your email list manager won’t mind the former but it will consider the latter a black mark against your sender record. Get enough blocks and your URL could be blacklisted as a spammer.
How to fix this: Make the “unsubscribe” button up front and prominent so your recipient isn’t tempted to reach for the “block” button instead.
Tip #2: Send your emails frequently enough so subscribers don’t forget who you are.
Have you ever gotten a phone call from someone you only met once or twice? Chances are good you struggled to place their name with a face – awkward!! This is what it can feel like to a subscriber who only hears from you occasionally. They might even forget that they know you and then….BLOCK.
How to fix this: Send at least once per month but preferably at least once every two weeks to keep your subscribers’ memories fresh.
Tip #3: Deliver awesome content.
No matter who you are (or whether recipients remember subscribing to your list or not), if you deliver truly awesome, amazing, jaw-dropping content, there is a better than average chance it will get read and you won’t get blocked.
How to fix this: Send out viral-worthy content that is so good, your subscribers will want to keep it all to themselves!
Tip #4: Watch and monitor your “blocks” rate.
Anything new – Gmail’s block button included – has novelty value. The good news is, this novelty value tends to diminish over time…and not very much time, either. So if you notice a temporary hike in your blocks after your first post-block button send, just take a deep breathe and start doing a bit of research. Tweak your campaigns, take time to clean up your list and trust that the novelty value will wear off over time.
How to fix this: You might even add a “Talk Don’t Block” survey on your emails to encourage subscribers to tell you why they are choosing “block” rather than “unsubscribe” – this can reinforce your reputation in email marketing as a legitimate sender and promote positive recipient engagement rather than another click of the block button.
Tip #5: Don’t send too frequently!
Finally, this last tip should be obvious, but the need for a block button makes it clear that the reminder is valid. Unfortunately, what is “too frequently” for one subscriber may not be frequently enough for another subscriber, so your goal here is to strike a balance.
How to fix this: As with everything that relates to subscriber preferences, if you are not sure where that “just enough email” line falls, ask your subscribers! Use a poll or survey with closed-end options (once per week, twice per month, et al) to find out how frequently recipients would like to hear from you.