Gmail advertising - everything you need to know


Gmail advertising - everything you need to know

Aug 21 2015 | by SARA CRESSWELL


If you have Gmail, you will no doubt have noticed the introduction of paid for advertising that has been appearing in inboxes since the new tabbed format was introduced in the summer of 2013.

In recent months, the ability to advertise in this space has been rolled out to selected agencies in beta format. This has resulted in companies having access to a brand new channel to reach new customers, as well as being able to reach out to existing customers with new products and services.

How Gmail advertising works

Gmail advertising is accessible across all devices and works in two parts - a teaser advert that appears in the top of the promotions tab, and a full advert that opens when users click on the teaser ad, giving you 100% of the advertising space.

Anyone who is familiar with managing PPC or Google Display Network campaigns will find the addition of Gmail very straightforward as the process is exactly the same - you set a daily budget and pay each time someone clicks on your ad. Just be aware that with Gmail advertising you pay for a click from the teaser advert to the main advert rather than from the main advert to the website, so not all clicks will result in a website visitor.

Advertising options

Within the Gmail panel, there are three different advertising options that suit different objectives:

  • multiple product promotion
  • single product promotion 
  • single image promotion

If you are promoting a number of products then the multiple product promotion layout will work best as you can include multiple links through to different landing pages on your website. However, if you are selling something more complex that requires explanation then the image layout will be most effective. This acts as a landing page and gives more space to promote the product or service, though can only include one link due to its image format.

Targeting options

As with most forms of advertising, there is plenty of scope for targeting within Gmail advertising, and options include:

  • Age and gender
  • Location
  • Device
  • Topics
  • Affinity audiences
  • Keywords
  • Domains

Combinations of these can be targeted too, for example, people aged between 25 and 34 who are interested in fishing. Just be aware that when combining targeting, the audience reach will become smaller and so your adverts may result in lower impressions.

The benefits

The great thing about Gmail is that because it is still only in beta, not everyone has access to it and therefore competition for space is very low. This has a positive impact on value for money, with some of our clients seeing cost per click up to 64% cheaper and cost per conversion up to 77% cheaper than other advertising methods.

The specific targeting options also allow companies to ensure their adverts are seen by the customers most likely to convert, therefore leading to very good success rates. One of our clients has seen non-branded adverts with click through rates of close to 10%, much higher than even Google’s benchmark of 4.5% for their industry, indicating that if the adverts are pitched correctly Gmail can offer an excellent return on investment.

Top tips for Gmail advertising

So if you are feeling inspired to give Gmail advertising a go, here are AlphaQuad’s top tips for success!

  • Use special offers - include a special offer in your advertising copy to encourage click through.
  • Design for the audience - if you have a product or service that appeals to a wide range of people consider segmenting your campaign and running unique adverts for different customers with targeted advert design and copy.
  • Convey a single message - in your teaser advert focus on one topic, and have one clear call to action in the main advert too.
  • Create intrigue - ask questions or announce something new as this will encourage click through to the main advert.
  • Refresh creative regularly - Google recommends updating adverts once a month to continuing capturing visitor interest.
  • Use active voice - ‘shop today and save 20%’ will be much more persuasive than ‘20% off items bought today’.
  • Attract the right people - be as clear as possible in the teaser advert to ensure that qualified traffic click through to your main ad.
  • Use imagery - use imagery on your advert pages to improve conversion as Google data has shown that articles containing relevant images earn 94% more total views than text-only articles.
  • Separate desktop and mobile - due to the smaller space available for advertising on mobile, we recommend that different campaigns are set up for desktop and mobile. This is so that on mobile the full advert can be designed to suit a mobile-sized screen. 

If you would like AlphaQuad to help promote your company through Gmail Advertising then please get in touch and we will be happy to advise!


Sara Cresswell

Gmail advertising - everything you need to know

BY SARA CRESSWELL