Well, you’ve always been able to unsubscribe from advertising emails but Google is making it easier: if the email has a wee little unsubscribe link hidden at the bottom, Gmail will pop an unsubscribe link right up at the top where you can see it.
Two things to note. First, this is rolling out across Gmail but Gmail is big so this will take time and you may not see it just yet. But hold on, it’s coming.
Second – and trickier – think twice about unsubscribing. You know how you don’t always remember when you signed up to receive something? Occasionally you didn’t and it’s spam. In which case, hitting Unsubscribe sends a message – literally – to the spammer telling them that this is a real email account with a real human being reading it. No chance they’ll go “oh, okay, let’s take ’em off the spam list”.
Previously if I’ve had any doubt I’ve marked the emails as junk and let Mail (I use Apple’s Mail) deal with it. There is a wee problem with that: if the email is not junk, the fact that you junked it gets reported back to whichever company is delivering the emails. If enough people junk the emails, the sender is blocked. You can bet that spammers have ways around that so the only ones who suffer are legitimate companies that you really did sign up to receive emails from.
If you’re struggling with a huge amount of email newsletters and the like, take a look at Unroll.me. When you let it, Unroll.me scans your emails and gives you a list of everything that you can unsubscribe from – and lets you do that with a click. I’ve not used it myself but it comes recommended.