Gmail Ads, formerly known as Gmail Sponsored Promotions, are a powerful way to target users based on their Gmail account activity. Google uses search queries and clicks, Google Profile, and other Google Account information to show users’ relevant text, images and video ads directly in their Gmail inboxes.
Some of our clients have found Gmail Ads to be an effective way to reach both bottom of the funnel conversions as well as brand awareness. In this article, I'd like to give you an overview of how Gmail Ads work, as well as share a few best practices that should help you make the most out of this advertising opportunity.
In simple terms, here's how Gmail Ads work: customers open Gmail Ads by clicking on a teaser ad at the top of the Promotions tab, located above all messages. The advertiser pays when a user clicks on the teaser and the ad expands. Once the teaser is clicked, the expanded ad owns 100% share of voice.
Advertisers can choose from several customizable Gmail Ads templates for the expanded ad unit:
- Gmail image template
- Gmail single promotion template
- Gmail multi-product template
- Gmail catalog template
In addition, Gmail Ads offer advertisers the opportunity to customize creative around their objectives by using standard HTML.
Gmail Ads' targeting capabilities include Domains and Keywords (target people who have specific domains or keywords in their inboxes), User Interest, Demographics, and recently added, Customer Match, which lets advertisers upload a list of email addresses that are used as targeting.
When using Gmail Ads, keep in mind the following best practices in order to maximize the return on your ad spend.
1) Target Competitors Keywords & Domain Names
Think of all the people who are in the market for the products that you are selling, but are getting emails from your competitors. Thanks to Gmail Ads’ targeting capabilities, you can now reach them at scale by targeting your competitors brand and domain names.
2) Think Email Marketing
According to a survey by Chief Marketer, 87% of companies do some form of email marketing. A great place to start is your email marketing campaign data in order to take advantage of Customer Match. For example, use a segment that includes previous customers who have not converted within the past six months, and show them relevant messaging (don't forget a good offer!) to entice them to come back to your site.
3) Use Data to Optimize Campaigns
Gmail Ads reporting is quite granular, and it will allow you not only to track all the conventional conversions methods already available in the AdWords interface, but also metrics that are specific to this type of advertising, such as Gmail saves, Gmail forwards, and Gmail clicks to website. Review these metrics carefully and use them to optimize the performance of your campaigns.
In conclusion, one fact is sure: people are addicted to their inboxes, spending an incredible amount of time checking their emails, and Gmail Ads represents a huge opportunity for advertisers who want to increase sales and reach more customers.
To learn more about how we can help your online business implement and run effective interactive advertising campaigns, call or email us and one of our Interactive Advertising experts will be available to assist.