In the eyes of publishers, email subscribers are caught in an awkward position. On the one hand, many media outlets work extremely hard to gain new subscribers and keep existing ones happy, to the point where subscriber counts are often one of the top metrics used to determine the success of these initiatives. Publishers want to keep hold of those subscribers as long as possible. Think of it this way – the One Ring is to Gollum as newsletter subscribers are to media outlets.

At the same time, publishers are very well aware of the fact that trying to hold subscribers hostage is a very bad thing. If people no longer want to receive email newsletters, it’s in the best interest of the publisher to let them go. Trying to keep them roped in will only lead to brand resentment and may even encourage false spam reports from angry customers.

Push here to unsubscribe
Because handling subscriptions can be such a complicated issue, many publishers are likely to have mixed feelings about the latest announcement from Google regarding Gmail. The Internet company has begun placing an “unsubscribe” link at the top of Gmail messages that appear in users’ “promotions” and “social” tabs to make it easier than ever before to stop receiving unwanted messages.

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