Mobile should be top-of-mind when designing even paid Gmail ads, but there’s more for marketers to consider. Believe it or not, they need to start by thinking about Google AdWords and the Google Display Network, says Ballantine in its post “Best Practices For Using Gmail Advertising.”
Pulling in more Google knowledge from recent Target Marketing articles helps round out a how-to cheat sheet for marketers using Gmail:
Have a Mobile Mindset
Constant Contact would know. The email marketing software provider says email recipients open more than half of their messages on smartphones. So knowing that, as well as Google’s overall mobile-first strategy, helps marketers understand how to strategize regarding their paid Gmail programs.
Here’s why: Google recently rid its search results of the right rail, is updating its algorithm in May to return even more mobile-friendly results and is penalizing marketers within Gmail and in search results if their sites and email messages aren’t considered safe.
So what happens on the Web and in search has an impact on Gmail and vice versa. Google, overall, is paying attention to what its users want, and they want convenience on mobile devices, the company is finding.
Also, paid ads in Gmail show up at the top of the inbox real estate, as do the paid ads in search results — and that’s because smartphone users can see them.
Speaking of which, make the ads relevant, because marketers have to pay for the clicks. It may be better to have fewer unintentional clicks from distracted mobile inboxers. More on that in the cost-per-click note.
Start With Google AdWords and the Google Display Network
“[AdWords] ads are shown on the Google Display Network,” Ballantine notes in its March 29 post, “which is a collection of Web and mobile sites and apps that include Google Finance, Blogger, Youtube and Gmail, with a reach of more than 2 million publisher sites and are viewed by more than 90 percent of worldwide Internet users.” [Emphasis added]
2 Design Elements to Paid Gmail Ads
Ballantine says within AdWords, marketers will have “collapsed” and “expanded” view options for their ads.
The “collapsed” view makes the ad look like an email, other than its “ad” icon.
The “expanded” view brings inboxers to something akin to a landing page, Ballantine shows.
Pick an Audience That Actually Wants the Ad
[Author’s note: This is where the caution comes in about being clickbaity. It’s better not to trick inboxers into opening the ad, because marketers pay per click. However, paid Gmail ads may be more appealing to marketers lately, because of the difficulty of getting in and staying in the main inbox due to the promotions tab, penalties, etc.]
“As with other Adwords programs, you only pay when someone clicks on your collapsed ad in the Gmail inbox tabs,” according to Ballantine’s post. “Once the ad is expanded, clicks on content clicks to save and clicks to forward the ad are free.”
Next, marketers pick the “contextual targeting,” in which they select topics and keywords.
“The automated system analyzes the text, language, links and pages of each Display Network page or URL, and compares the keywords or ads of your Web page to those of a Display Network page,” reads the post. “If there is a match, your ad is placed.”
After that, marketers choose demographics.
Design the ‘Landing Page’ Layout and Placement
Gmail has a ton of “landing page” templates, so try out all of the options, Ballantine advises.
“They also permit a custom HTML option, which allows you to include videos, forms and multiple links,” the post reads.
As for placement, Ballantine says most tests show the top center placement works best to gain new customers.
Test the Paid Gmail Ad
Try out all of the ad styles, Ballantine says.
“As you do that, you’ll develop a better understanding of which ads are preferred by specific demographics or products, and will better improve your click-through rate for future advertising,” the post says.
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
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