Written by Greg Elliott on March 31, 2014
in Email Marketing, Technology

Last week Gmail introduced yet another change to their Promotions tab inbox. The newly released grid view is very reminiscent of the image heavy grid view made popular by Pinterest and other social sites.  The new view definitely makes it easier for users to find the emails that are most interesting to them, and allows users to select which emails to read on more than just a subject line. Personally, I love it; any opportunity an email sender can get to display more engaging content within in an inbox should be relished. We have included some tips on how to make sure you are set up to use this feature to its full capability.

Promotions Tab(Image Courtesy Techcrunch)


How does it look?

The new grid view provides 4 key elements to the recipient, each of these elements are also controllable by the sender:


1. Featured Image

Gmail is helping out marketers here. They are providing a relatively large (500px x 400px) piece of inbox real estate for you to capture your recipients eye. By default Gmail grabs an image from your email content, and resizes to fit. However, they are also providing marketers the opportunity to control which image will appear. This is a perfect opportunity to bring your most important visual call to action to the forefront. You should use something eye catching, easy to read, and which features a prominent CTA.

2. Sender Image

This is the small icon overlaid over the content. Icons are only pulled in if you happen to have a verified Google+ page for your company. Otherwise Gmail appears to be currently pulling in a letter monogram as the icon. If you need help getting verified on Google+, let us know.

3. Sender Name

The sender name is simply your “friendly-from” name. So as always, ensure your emails are being sent from a recognizable and consistent name that your recipients are familiar with. One thing to note, it appears that the sender name field is currently being limited to 20 characters.

4. Subject Line

Self-explanatory here, Gmail is pulling your actual subject line from the message. As always ensure you are using an engaging subject line that entices recipients to open your communication. However, now knowing that your subject line will be displayed directly beside a featured image, it might be a great opportunity to get creative and have the featured image and subject line relate closely to each other. One thing to note, Gmail appears to be imposing a maximum subject line length of 75 characters, so make sure not to exceed.

Overall, we are excited about this Gmail development. Time will tell how it affects overall open and engagement rates, however the continued investment and improvement measures taken by Google speaks to the importance and value of email marketing. Users are asking for an easier and less cumbersome way of consuming their marketing communications, and Gmail continues to deliver.

The grid view feature is currently in testing phase, and should roll out to Gmail users slowly over the next few months. As always, the team at Ariad is constantly monitoring these developments, if you have any questions on how to prepare or get ready for these changes please let us know.

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