Email Marketing gets more visual with Gmail

Gmail recently announced ‘A new, more visual way to view your Promotions tab‘. A new grid view banks on images and help readers decide which promotional email messages to look at and which to ignore. Gmail has presently kept this as a trial and whether it makes it to main stream completely depends on its success. I was lucky enough to get on their trial. Noting down my observations and learnings. 

There are 4 properties to this grid view.

1) Featured Image
2) Sender Name
3) Sender Image
4) Subject Line




Lets try to understand how to make the most of these 4 properties. I am referring to the screen shot of grid view from my personal promotions tab below.


Featured Image: Featured Image is what makes this new grid look attractive. The promotion emails that I have received we can see the images of all the emails expect that from Ellen. Did you notice the images from Juvlon, Articulate and Ranjib are more clear as compared with the others? These are the unread and important marked email messages.
The minimum size for the featured image is 580 pixels by 400 pixels. Again let’s go back and check the above image – we can see the logo for the email from Juvlon is displayed on the right top corner for the grid. We are not able to see the logos of other email messages. These were very small logos or were not inserted in the email. FoodPanda’s logo was only 75×55 pixels only. In such cases Gmail pulls in a headline instead — FoodPanda “Celebrate live with Rs.143 OFF on food!”. If you include the link to the featured image, Gmail will show what you want to display.’Featured Image’ could be used to showcase your promotions and offers, product features and information that might keep your readers engaged. You also have a large opportunity of creating an image that explains or talks your subject line. Juvlon’s service team will always be happy to assist you to get the best email creative designed for your messages.

Sender Name: This is as same as the traditional view displays. The limit for sender name is 20 characters. That’s why ‘Articulate – Word of Mouth’ got truncated.

Sender Image: This is the small icon or image at the bottom right of the featured image. If the sender is a verified G+ user Gmail will pull sender’s photo from G+ account. Or else it will show monograms like ‘J’ for Juvlon and ‘A’ for Articulate.

Subject Line: This also remains same as the sender name. Grid view will display the subject line that you have inserted for the email. Subject line too has the limitation of 75 characters.

With this announcement, we all need to put on our ‘Creative’ hat. This will now also challenge our graphic designers to put their best foot forward. The open rate of the emails in this grid completely depends on the creative that you have used and not only the subject line. Attractive and informative creative will deliver better open rate. This change also makes it easy to integrate your campaign and advertisement with G+ and Pinterest.

We also need to note that the grid view displays only 6 or 9 emails at a time.

Gmail gives a actual meaning to – ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’!

Just a thought before I take your leave — does this also give us a new thought of ‘image split testing’ like ‘A/B testing’? What do you say?

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