Gmail Grid: How to Optimize Your Email Strategy for the Newest Trend

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Gmail recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, and over the last decade has become an advertising powerhouse. Originally launched in April, 2004 the webmail service has become the most popular in the world, beating out hotmail, yahoo, and countless other competitors. Given its popularity, marketers have had to stay on their toes to keep up with constant enhancements and changes to the platform. In 2013, tabs were integrated to the Gmail layout. Google has recently announced another change to the promotions tab by creating a new grid structure.

Taking notes from Pinterest, the grid will feature boxes highlighting a main image, company name, and subject line. The grid will also have featured advertisements alongside the emails. While still in test mode, this layout is being slowly introduced to the entire Gmail database. Here are some tips about the grid, and how you can customize your emails to utilize the new layout.


What You need to know:

Subject line:

The email marketing rule of thumb has generally been to keep the subject line to around 25 characters. Within the grid layout, there is a maximum of 75 characters for the subject line.  This format does not pull and supporting body copy from the email, like most viewers are used to seeing. Because of this, it is a good idea to use all 75 characters. This is your prime real estate for getting your message across. So use 25 characters for your normal subject line, and another 50 as to support why the viewer should open the email.

Featured Image:

This is the main difference in the grid view. This main image is either pulled from the email itself, or you can provide gmail with a designated URL to pull an image. The recommended image size is 580 x 400 pixels. If the image in your email is smaller, only the subject line will be shown in place of the image.  If the image is too large, google will automatically crop the image, and you can lose aesthetic value, which is why it is a good idea to set up a designated version. One of the great benefits of the featured image is the ability to add copy. Having a dynamic graphic with a strong CTA can help your email stand out from the crowd.

Sender Image:

This is like a profile picture for your business that is featured within your block of the grid.  It pulls the profile image from your verified Google + page. If you do not have a Google + page, it will pull a shadowed monogram of the first letter of your company. The sender image is a great way to enhance branding, and can also give the opportunity to build your Google + audience. Find out how to create a verified page here.

At EmoryDay, we can create email campaigns for any sized audience and work with any budget. Our strategies produce results, and drive more business to your brand. Contact us today for a free consultation.