Gmail’s Visual Promotions Tab – What’s in store for marketers?

Earlier, subject was the knight in the shining armour for email campaigns. The reason mails got opened. But, all this is set to change with Gmail’s new innovation that will let users have a visual of deals, promos, offers and other marketing emails in the promotions tab. A visual treat for customers, it makes it easier to see what the message is promoting and also decide whether they really want to open the message.

And it does help you too. All the fancy stuff you’ve packed inside your email gets a sneak peak. But, how should marketers capitalize on this new feature that’s up for testing?

1. Brace up for the battle of promotional emails versus sponsored promotion Google ads

Both these groups would be fighting for visibility and competing against each other, more so than ever as the difference between ads and promotional emails will become very subtle (check image below). Sharing space with ads that have now gained prominence means you need to get over those monotonous batch and blast approach and do something exciting that captivates reader’s attention.

12. Building on the relationship of text and image

Visuals get processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. Just as a badly done up subject line can lose prospect’s interest in a jiffy, an irrelevant image can prompt him/her to delete the mail faster than you can imagine. Text and image should complement each other and be in perfect harmony.  They should synergistically convey to the prospect what you are mailing about.

3. Timing is of essence

The scroll down option does come as a boon, but it’s a fair guess that the attention span dips as we keep scrolling. Also, it might lead to paradox of choice that leaves the prospect feeling overwhelmed and disconnected. So, how does one find his mail in the top slot when the interest and inquisitiveness are at their peak?

Analyse your customer’s behaviour pattern and time your emails, so that they land in the mail box at the time when the prospect actually checks the mail.

4. Create out-of-the-box images

If everyone is sending out great catchy images, how does one stand out in the crowd? Experiment with different approaches in images such as sketchy, typographic, infographic, collage – anything that makes your image intriguing and grabs the prospect’s eyeballs.

5. Up your brand value

A brand having verified Google + company page can now create high impact by prominently featuring its brand logo along with the featured image (see image below for clarity). While this move seems like an indirect attempt to woo brands to make their business Google +, you can make it work to your benefit as well by smartly designing your customer engagement strategies and making your business more social (in case you already haven’t)

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The new look that Gmail plans to roll out does ignite a level of scepticism, but it for sure creates a rich user experience and marketers can well bank on this opportunity to make most of the extra space.

The trial is on and we are closely following the market’s reaction to this glamified boutique of promotion mails. Stay tuned to hear more from us.

Apr, 04, 2014

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