Gmail recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary. As one of the top email providers, addressing them in terms of email marketing seemed like a good idea. Gmail has taken long strides since its first launch. Not only has it created fiercely accurate spam filers and made the word “unsubscribe” practically pop off of user’s screens but it has continued to mold its format to every day users, NOT to businesses trying to make sure their messages are read.
With features like automatic image loading and its newest trick, the categorized inbox tabs, Gmail gives users everything it can. So how do you as a business still get your emails read in a Gmail driven environment? Here are a few good tips:
- Gmail’s new tab structure separates emails into “Primary”, “Social” and “Promotions.” You know this, or at least you do now, so use it. Market to your customers ahead of sending them emails by saying something along the lines of, “Check your promotions tab.” A lot of companies already give out an email address for parties interested to add to their address books so the messages won’t be filtered as spam, this concept is right along those same lines.
Size images –
Gmail also now uses a concept called gridview for messages filtered into the promotions tab. This shows users the messages as images rather than script. They can quickly glance for brands they trust and offers that appeal to them. It looks more like a social media page rather than an inbox. To appeal to your users, make sure your images stand out and symbolize your message. This gives businesses a chance to really make an impact. Stick with images at least 580 x 400 pixels. Make sure your company logo is imaged for users to see in their grids as well.
Use tools –
With businesses all trying to master the art of marketing to Gmail users, the promotions tab and grid view changed it all up. There are companies out there now with tools to help. Some are able to create images that personalize to the user with things like birthdays, weather conditions and sales based on location. Even David needed the help of a slingshot and rock to beat Goliath, right?
Short and sweet headers –
Keep your character count down in both your subject line as well as your sender name. Subject lines need to be clear, simple, and concise. Aim for no more than 75 characters. Your sender name does not need to be fancy. This needs to be even shorter, less than 1/3 of your subject line. These simple tricks make your messages easily to skim and see important words.
Consider alternatives –
Make sure your emails speak for themselves once they are opened. All this advice to get users to see your messages won’t really matter if your message wasn’t worth seeing at all. Consider options like sending your message with video or engaging users with a scavenger hunt of some sort.
Gmail isn’t going anywhere anytime soon so rather than fear it, embrace it. They have amazing tools to even help your business via their Google Apps features. Take the whole array of changes in and make the most of them. Your email marketing campaigns can continue to be successful and your business will thrive at the same time. Make Gmail your partner, not your enemy.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.