To celebrate the renaming of Gmail Sponsored Promotions to Gmail Ads and their tweaked appearance, it’s time to share some tips to help you get more from your campaigns!

Before we begin though, here is a before and after of how Gmail Ads now appear in your Inbox:


The key points are:

  • No more logos displayed
  • Less real estate given to Ads
  • Little yellow “Ad” logo to the left of the subject line
  • White background in place of the previously used yellow background

Gmail Ad Campaigns Top Tips

Know Your Metrics

While the open rates for your Gmail Ads are important, you need to know what users do when they open the Gmail Ad.

Gmail - Metrics

By default it doesn’t look as though Adwords provides this information, but never fear the data can be found! Simply go to columns and choose the Gmail-specific campaign metrics (forwards, saves & clicks to website).

Use Exclusions

Like the Display campaign, Gmail Ads allow you to eliminate wasted ad spend, take advantage to prevent irrelevant or unqualified traffic from ever seeing your Ads.

Focus On Your Quality Score

The percentage of users that open your Gmail Ads work in the same way as other campaigns such as Search and improve your Quality Score. A better CTR will result in a better quality score meaning a lower cost per click. A low CTR will help contribute to a lower quality score, meaning a higher cost per click.
Experiment with different e-mail subject lines in order to identify what works and what does not. If you have been using E-mail marketing, take a look through your historic data and base your subject lines on those which benefited from the higher open rates.

Use Emojis In Your Subject Line

This tip is not a joke! Emojis are widely associated with a higher open rate as they help draw attention to the e-mal, which can be especially impactful now that company logo’s have been removed from the Ads so take advantage and use them!
Use relevant emoji’s where it makes sense – for example if you are advertising a coffee shop use a coffee cup emoji. However if your business works in a sensitive industry (i.e funeral services) it is most likely advisable to disregard this tip!

Keyword Targeting – Your Brand

Unfortunately the most effective Display campaign option – remarketing isn’t available in Gmail Ads, however it is possible to target users by using keywords.
For example if you have sent an e-mail to a Gmail user and the e-mail contains your brand name (which should be the case!), then you will be able to target that user by including your brand name as a keyword.

Keyword Targeting – Competitor Terms

As well as including your brand name in your keyword list, you can also target your competitors terms. If your target audience is interested in your competitors products or services then by using their keyword terms you can attract those customers to your brand.

Use Customer Match

Launched in 2015, Google Customer Match is still a very underutilised weapon the arsenal of Online Marketers. If you have a list of e-mail subscribers (if you have not, why not?!) you can upload that list into your Adwords account.
You can then devise a campaign specifically to show to those users in their Gmail inbox.

Take Advantage Of Creative Freedom

Gmail Ads allow you to essentially create a mini custom landing page much like your standard e-mail marketing does. However many advertisers are opting to use a single image, meaning that they miss out on the creativity and cross promotion opportunities that Gmail Ads can provide.
Invest more time during the design phase of your Gmail Ad campaign – to track what parts of your e-mails are being clicked, use a tool such as the Google URL Builder.

Try Different Formats

In addition to this, Gmail Ads offer different format options:

  • Gmail image template
  • Gmail single promotion template
  • Gmail multi-product template
  • Gmail catalog template

Experiment with them all in order to discover what formats work best for your brand. If you are selling, Multi-product and catalog template options could work very well for you.

Include an embedded YouTube video

If your company has a YouTube channel, include one of your (relevant!) videos to increase the engagement with your Ad. As a bonus, any video views that occur are included in YouTube analytics.

One thought

  • Chupacabra

    In addition to targeting your own brand terms, you can also be keyword targeting your competitors’ brand terms with Gmail Ads. People who are in the market for your competitor’s products are getting emails from your competitors that mention their brand terms right now.

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