The art of advertising is getting trickier and trickier in the modern day. Gone are the days when a half decent ad, when propagated through a conventional channel, gave decent results. Today, not only is the advertising design demanding but the channels are endless. The advent of social media and e-commerce has changed the business environment completely! The last 5 years have seen the fall of some of the biggest names in the retail sector and the rise of brands from scratch to multi-billion dollar worth. However, as highlighted above, the art of advertising and reaching the consumer effectively has been the key to the rise of such brands. Today we are going to talk about one such medium of advertising i.e. native Gmail ads.

What are Gmail Ads?

Gmail advertisements are a subset of advertising through the e-mail channel. While we say subset, the growing popularity of Gmail makes it pretty much equivalent to the entire set in economies like India, the US and many European countries. These advertisements take a seat in the promotions tab in the Gmail inbox of the users allowing reach to a target audience that is an active e-mail service user. So, the big question is how do you do that? What is the way to maximize your output out of this advertising channel? Well, just follow these five simple steps.

  • Tip 1: The Subject Lines and Quality Score: Lowering your PPC

The sole aim of any marketer is to reduce the PPC (pay per click) rate, which he is paying to a publisher (in this case- Google) for publishing his ad. Obviously, a lot depends on the quality of the advertisement. In a recent survey by the monitor group, it was revealed that the first 3 seconds decide whether the user will actually open an email advertisement or not. And guess what does he see in the first three seconds? The subject line of the mail! Needless to say, it has to be unconventional and intriguing. The email advertisement doesn’t display a quality score of the ad to its user yet but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. Mails with high-quality score have a greater CTR (Click through Rate) and thus a lower PPC (Pay Per Click).

  • Tip 2: Track Email Performance Reports (EPRs) Periodically

No matter which software you use to track it but you most certainly need to track your email performance reports. A few good suggestions would be SalesForce, HubSpot or Marketo. Usually, using a few parameters (do not make it too complex) like open rate, stay time and action rate, the performance of the emails can be visualized well. There are email ads that can boast close to 50% open rate and then there are ones that don’t even have 5% open rate. Check for the outliers in these parameters and analyze them. Look for similarities and overlaps among such success and failure stories. Failure stories are just as much or even more important than the success stories at times. Hat Tip: If you’re stuck, try using the bounce rate as a metric to freshen things up.

  • Tip 3: Target the Right Keywords

A universal concept taught in marketing classes of leading business schools is the concept of targeting the existing visitor. There are always two ways to increase revenue in any business: either through new customers or through existing customers. The use of keyword targeting to check the kind of products that have been searched by a specific customer in the past gives you a much better insight into his/her current product preferences. This leads to a much better ratio of CTR (click through rate) from these targeted emails as the user tends to return to make a purchase that he was unable to make in the recent past.

  • Tip 4: Draft Quality Mails

Thankfully we live in a world where we have the liberty of embedding pictures, songs, and even videos as a part of our email advertisement. It is a good way to attract a person’s attention. This point comes as a direct derivative of the first tip i.e. quality of the email. You cannot afford to make it bland and boring. So, make sure you mix it up a little. Use an image template, single promotion template or even a multi-product and catalog template if suitable.

  • Tip 5: Data Doesn’t Lie

Remember that no matter what the theory might be saying, it is very important for a marketer to be data driven. Use analytics to visualize metrics of all your advertisements. Look for patterns of success and failure of an advertisement in the TG. This helps in managing a variety of advertisements at the same time and replicating those success stories onto the current business strategy.

Clearly, there is a lot that you can do through a simple native Gmail ad. While the quest to find the optimum balance in an advertisement is elusive, it is not as hard as it sounds if you follow the above steps. Remember, Yes! In order for a product to sell, the quality of your product or service has to be top notch but so has to be its advertisement. Good products are those which reach the consumer and satisfy his/her needs. However, as you noticed correctly the ‘reaching’ part comes first!

Tobi Bamidele is a marketing consultant who has been published on some of the world’s biggest blogs, including Under30CEO, andSocial Media Today.