At Quadra we are always looking for new ways to get our clients' marketing messages out to new and existing customers. As a Google Partner, we are lucky enough to get early updates and access to new advertising features from Google.
Gmail reportedly has over 1 billion monthly active users; it was therefore unsurprising when Google integrated Gmail into its advertising toolset. With full access to Gmail marketing through the Google AdWords interface, digital marketers can use some very advanced techniques to target potential customers in the right place, at the right time.
Setting up a Gmail campaign
Targeting Gmail inboxes is a relatively new AdWords tactic and still takes many of our clients by surprise!
For those familiar with AdWords and the Google Display Network (GDN), it's quite a quick process. The first step is to add mail.google.com as a managed placement in your display campaign. Once set, you have a host of targeting options - many of which you will recognise from other display campaigns, such as keyword targeting. In this instance, keyword targeting will place adverts in front of people whose previous 300 emails contain your selected keywords or phrases.
A huge win from this campaign type is the ability to add competitor domains and effectively target your competitor's email subscribers or customers with a specific, well thought-out message.
After setting campaign and ad group levels, it's time to create ad copy and artwork (as with any other display campaign). The Gmail ad options in the AdWords Ad Gallery are a good place to start:
A quick look at the advert in your inbox
At first, adverts appear like new emails in a user's inbox, with a yellow Ad label:
The intro has a 25 character headline and a 100 character main body limit. Once this intro is clicked, an expanded state with up to four different ad types will open. In the example below, LinkedIn has chosen a ‘single Gmail template’, which is one of four ad templates you can find in the Ad Gallery.
The advert itself is very well targeted to me as an online advertiser, with the bonus of $50 free advertising and a [questionable] stat about the social network's lead-building capabilities. The call-to-action to ‘Learn More’ takes me to a free download of ‘The sophisticated advertiser's guide to B2B marketing on LinkedIn’ and the free $50 ad credit which can be applied to your account - a very seamless journey.
Other than directly clicking on the advert or on the call-to-action, there are a couple of other Gmail-specific actions that can be taken:
- Forward: this option allows you to very usefully forward the ad on to another email address.
- Gmail Save: this option then saves the ad to your inbox for you to access at another time - again, useful.
Although these last two interaction types aren’t your typical conversions, they do give us some insights into how people are interacting with our adverts.
Where does Gmail fit into your marketing plan?
Advertisers who want to grow their business and raise brand awareness need to be thinking about the very top of the funnel, at the informational intent stage. Google provide some good options within their advertising networks to reach new audiences across websites, apps and YouTube, with Gmail marketing providing a very wide reach at the initial brand-building stages of the advertising process. The goal is to provide the right information to the right person at the right time and even on the right device.
At Quadra, we are aiming for our clients' customers to move through the stages of the funnel and, eventually, all the way down to localised search where we can begin to display very targeted messaging and really drive conversions.
image: Stat Search Analytics
The Google display network (GDN) has a much wider reach than the search network and as such allows advertisers to reach many more new customers. This is where we see Gmail targeting offering increasing value to our clients' campaigns.
I constantly experiment with our own digital marketing efforts and feed our results back into client campaigns to consistently grow and improve our efforts over time. If you want to do the same then please get in touch, we would be happy to talk through any upcoming digital projects with you.