Gmail is rolling out a new presentation view which may mean an end to ‘subject-line roulette’ for marketers: a visual, grid representation of all emails that land into Gmail’s promotional tab – essentially, thumbnails of the featured images (see below). This latest trial feature from Google is going to change the face of email marketing – literally.
Pinterest Meets Gmail
Think of it as, Pinterest meets email. Marketers will now be able to present their campaigns visually to customers. On the face of it, this is very exciting news – a possible end to subject line testing, the ability to use richer marketing creative to lead to their product, and finally, a level playing field in marketing based on visuals.
Gmail Featured Image
In terms of technical requirements, the featured image must be at least 580x400px – this is huge. It changes the notion of not having a big image above the fold and flies in the face of every bit of email design best practice preached since images were switched off by default. Email marketers are now aligning closer with content publishers and social media managers.
This new feature allows marketers to attach their profile picture to the featured image. This requires the company to have a verified Google+ company page, fueling more suspicions that Google is trying to get every single person with a connection to the Internet onto Google+.
What does this mean for dynamic content design? How will you integrate these new designs with your abandoned shopping cart emails, or other personalized campaigns? How is reporting going to change? Are there going to be new engagement metrics that we’re going to have to develop?
What provisions will be made for visually impaired recipients? These are the questions we are asking, and we want to explore them with our clients and partners. Are you a Google+ user, stop by the OpenMoves Google+ page and share your insights.
Opt-In and Try For Yourself
We should, however, step into the pool, toes first. As Google has said, it is an opt-in trial – only a relatively small number of users may initially use it. In the meantime, individual marketers should definitely sign up for the trials to see the effects for themselves. There are a small number of big brands that have already implemented this view, and we’re waiting to hear how their emails are performing. We can see a huge boom in engaging ecommerce emails coming our way and it’s going to look beautiful.
In any case, there are a slew of new tech specs, and our creative and development teams are already working on how we can adapt these natively into the OM3 environment. Stay tuned.
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