In 2013 Google released a new feature in its email service Gmail called Tabs. Tabs are different areas in the inbox where email is filtered depending on the category of the message you receive. As a default there are three Tabs called Personal, Social and Promotional. Email messages are then filtered into to each TAB depending on it’s category.
Gmail has now released an exciting new way to view email in the Promotional TAB called grid view. The new grid view is a visual image-based way to see email in the promotional TAB. The grid view displays a featured image, sender name, sender logo and a subject line.
Here is what is displayed in the grid view for each individual email:
Here is what the new grid view looks like. You can see the the featured image, logo, sender name and then the subject line for each message from ACHICA, Mr Porter and Macy’s.
Remember, this is what it looks like before the new view:
What does this mean for marketers?
The new grid view means marketers can now make their emails visually appealing. This presents marketers with an exciting opportunity where they are able to engage with Gmail customers before email is opened.
The featured image can be made as relevant, contextual and live as images within the normal email content.
It also places less emphasis on the subject line because it is the third thing you see. Yes subject line is still important but more so is ensuring the grid view featured image is optimised and relevant to each customer.
How to use Kickdynamic to get the most out of the grid view.
Since the release of the field trial the Kickdynamic team have been testing what this means for real-time, contextual content – what works and what doesn’t.
The great news is that all Kickdynamic products can be used in the featured image.
Therefore you can use Kickdynamic to make the featured image live so it updates at every view in real-time. This is a great opportunity for marketers to contextualize the email experience for Gmail users who view your email in the new grid view.
How can you get the most out of the grid view feature image?
The featured image can be live
Grid view featured images can be live and will personalize to the customer at the time-of-open. Display different images based on the time email is opened, weather at destination, latest social updates and more. You can personalize the image using your customers first name to make the content relevant to them and really stand out in the new grid view inbox.
If you are an existing Kickdynamic customer you are good to go, you can use your TAGs for the featured image now.
Optimize the featured image for increased engagement
You can optimize the featured image in the grid view using Kickdynamic’s image optimiser product. Automatically displaying multiple versions of the featured image and the version that generates the best response will automatically be displayed to the majority of opens. Therefore the highest converting image is seen by most of your customers.
An open (or view) can be recorded
When the featured image is seen in the grid view Kickdynamic can record that the image has been viewed. This would be recorded as a ‘open’ and be used to analyse if email is being viewed in the promotional TAB but not being opened fully.
It is worth noting that although customers are seeing your message, the ‘open’ is when your customer is viewing the Promotional TAB, not reading your email.
What are the other considerations?
Animation does not work
Currently animation does not work in the featured image. Therefore countdown clocks will not tick when used as the featured image. This may change in the future as Google develop the grid view further.
How do you get a featured image?
There are two ways for an image to be the featured image in the grid view.
1. The featured image is taken from the body of the email. During our testing all Kickdynamic images were included as a feature image. One thing we did notice is that image has to have a height and width style, otherwise it was ignored.
2. Use a markup provided by Gmail here: https://developers.google.com/gmail/actions/reference/offer. This is a way to select a specific image to appear.
Finally this is a field trial. It has not been rolled out to the masses and I’m sure that Google will make some further updates before it does.