Gmail Sponsored Promotions

Google is an ever evolving and changing brand. Their recent endeavor – Gmail Sponsored Promotions (GSP) was rolled out in Beta in 2013. This year Google has launched it in South Africa and has us excited with the opportunities it presents. Previously you could target an audience on Gmail through the Google Display Network. However, with GSP this is all changing.

GSP’s appear in the promotions tab of your Gmail account. They look like an email but are still highlighted as an ad. Studies have shown that this format has a  higher CTR of 20% compared to the previous Gmail text ads. Users are more open to receiving ads in this format as they are already in“consumer mode”. Part of most people’s daily routine is checking mails. Now, you can reach users at this crucial time. There are approximately 2.6 million Gmail users in South Africa that can be targeted with GSP. GSP is a very useful format if you want to reach new and existing customers. The interface is available on all devices which means you can reach as many people as possible on all screens. The useful format allows you to embed lead forms, videos and a call to action. So that you can captivate your audience through a GSP.

When you click on the subject line of the GSP, it expands exactly like an email does. In this format you have the option to either:

  • Save to inbox – the ad shall be saved to your inbox as a normal email would.
  • Dismiss – users have the freedom of choice to stop seeing this ad.
  • Forward – Send the mail onto a friend.  Free traffic!

There is also a teaser ad on the right side of the email to further push the brand .The ad only gets shown a maximum of 10 times per 30 day period. This means you get optimal exposure but don’t overdo it with your customers. The ads are very transparent and Google gives you the option to never see that ad again by simply just dismissing it or clicking the “x”.

You can target your specified audience based on gender, age and interests. This is all done via demographic and interest targeting. You can also target popular keywords in a user’s inbox, certain domains (e.g. if a user receives a daily Groupon newsletter –  Groupon competitors could target the Groupon domain to take advantage of this traffic) purchases, email lists and jobs. This specific targeting means that you can target exactly who and what you want.

There are a few other points to consider when using this new format.  GSP is done through a separate dashboard: You need to link this dashboard to your AdWords account to track your conversions. Also GSP’s are invoiced separately to AdWords. Lastly creative needs to be done with HTML which presents a challenge if you don’t have a developer on your team. However, Google is willing to assist with this.

All in all a great addition to Google’s highly targeted advertising platforms.