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List-Unsubscribe header

An essential element in email marketing

A “List-Unsubscribe Header” is a standard email header that allows recipients to request removal from a mailing list.

This process should be easily done so that the subscriber stops receiving new emails without having to flag the message as spam.

It is inserted into the email code and offers a direct link or an email address to which users can send a message and cancel the subscription.

This feature not only improves the user experience, but also helps to improve delivery rates and reduce the chances that the newsletter will be flagged as spam.

Relevant historical data

The concept of “List-Unsubscribe Header” is not new.

Its origin dates back to the beginning of email marketing, when spam rates began to increase and Email service providers (ESP) sought ways to protect their users.

In response, several recommended standards and practices were introduced, including “List-Unsubscribe”.

Adoption of this pattern was driven by the need to balance effective email delivery with the user’s right not to receive unwanted messages.

Over the years, it has become a standard practice in the sector, supported by many ESPs and regulatory organizations.

Key considerations

Before implementing a “List-Unsubscribe Header” in your email marketing campaigns, there are several important aspects you should take into consideration.

First, the link must be clearly identified.

Ensuring that this link is easy to find and use is essential for a positive user experience.

Second, the opt-out process should be simple and fast, preferably automated to avoid frustrations.

Third, it is essential to observe and analyze unsubscribe rates to better understand your audience preferences and adjust your content and frequency strategies.

List-Unsubscribe vs unsubscribe link

Although the “List-Unsubscribe Header” and the unsubscribe link included in the email body are related, they are not exactly the same thing.

Although both serve to facilitate the request for removal from the email list.

Now we are going to explain the main difference between them:

→ List-Unsubscribe Header:

It is an email header included in the source code of sent emails.

It is not directly visible to the user when reading the email.

On the other hand, email clients and email service providers can interpret this header and usually provide an automated option to request removal.

As a button or link shown at the email client interface, outside the message content.

This process allows users to opt-out without having to look for a link within the email body.

→ Unsubscribe link inserted in the email body

It is a visible link added to the email content, usually placed at the end of the message.

Where users can click to start the opt-out process.

This link takes users to a page where they can confirm they no longer wish to receive emails from this sender.

It is a recommended practice and a requirement in many countries to ensure that users can easily stop receiving unwanted messages.

Why it is important, advantages

List Unsubscribe Header plays a crucial role in email marketing for various reasons.

First, it improves the user experience, offering an easy and direct way to choose not to receive more emails.

This can increase your brand’s positive perception and reduce the chances that your emails will be considered as spam, which is vital to maintaining a good sender score reputation.

Secondly, by allowing users to easily unsubscribe, you can ensure that your email list will only have subscribers genuinely interested in your content.

This can significantly improve open rates, clicks and conversion.

In addition, this can lead to more effective segmentation and more targeted and personalized marketing campaigns.

Finally, the use of “List Unsubscribe Header” helps to comply with global privacy and data protection regulations such as GDPR in Europe and the Can-Spam Act in the United States.

Which is crucial to avoid sanctions and build confidence with your audience.


The “List-Unsubscribe Header” is more than a mere technical requirement.

It is an essential tool in email marketing that benefits senders and recipients.

Its implementation reflects the commitment of a brand with transparency, respect for the privacy of its subscribers and the delivery of value through their email marketing strategy.

By prioritizing a positive user experience and adhering to best practices, companies can strengthen their relationships with customers.

Improve your performance metrics and ensure regulatory compliance.