From the time Google introduced Gmail tabs, the way marketers used email for promotions changed. Most promotional emails no longer end up in the coveted Primary tab section. Instead, promotional emails now have their own tab, one where only 19.2 percent are ever read.
The best chance for promotional emails to get back on the primary tab is by asking current subscribers to manually set up your domain for it.
But what about for your cold prospects? You’ll likely end up in the Promotions tab, but how can you increase your chances of being one of the 19.2 percent of promotional emails that actually get read?
The answer? Targeting the Promotion tab’s ‘Top Picks’ section, where your email will float to the top of the inbox. You can also do this by creating Gmail Ads.
There are many reasons to send a Gmail Ad, but one of the big ones is being able to send a campaign to a prospect even if you don’t have their email yet. Plus, Gmail Ads have the potential for engagement other emails do: recipients can choose to save your ad in their inbox and forward it to their friends.
To reap all these benefits, you need to make sure your email ads are in top form. In this blog post, we’ll address strategies that will help you start Gmail Ads that are exactly that.
Strategies to Get Your Emails Listed in the “Top Picks” Section
1. Treat Your Gmail Ad Like a Landing Page
Let’s start with basics: what inte to have in your Gmail ad.
It’s tempting to be a little aggressive in getting your prospect to do what you want, but Google doesn’t give you a lot of space, especially for text in the Collapsed Ad view. You only have 20 characters for the subject line and 90 characters for the description.
Be careful with how you word your subject lines and descriptions, not only because your prospect will ignore your ad, but you could also run the risk of getting flagged. Avoid subject lines that are risky or clickbaity, as Google might mistake your ad as a phishing scam.
Think of your ad as you would a landing page where you entice your audience with an eye-catching visual and then direct them to your call to action.
A good landing page has a CTA that commands attention. It’s mobile-responsive, not too heavy with multimedia that it bogs down page load times. It doesn’t have too many länkar or fields, distracting your prospect from converting. It highlights the benefits and values of your offer.
2. Leverage Your Email Marketing Data
Treating your Gmail Ad like a landing page is the first step. The next would be to optimize these ads by following strategies that have previously worked for you.
If you’re thinking of running (or have already run) Gmail Ads, you’ve probably done some email marketing previously. Your past email marketing campaigns contain treasure troves of data you can apply to strengthen your email ad.
Revisit your email marketing metrics. Which emails had the highest open rates? What about these emails worked well? Is it the way you worded your subject line? Is it the way you designed your CTA?
Strategies that have worked well for you organically before will likely work even better for you in a paid ad campaign. It fits, too, because a Gmail Ad looks and works like an email marketing campaign.
You also want to see what kind of audiences give you the highest open rates or even convert to paying customers from your past promotional emails. These details will be valuable when it’s time to select audience and demographic targets for your ad.
You want to target prospects that more or less fit the customer persona that buys from you.
3. Spy On Your Competitors
Which keywords should you be targeting?
For Gmail Ads, you should be targeting your own branded keywords, as well as branded keywords by your competitors. This will allow you to sneak into their current customers’ inboxes and make them aware that you’re an option.
Make the most out of Gmail Ad’s Domain Targeting feature by targeting ancillary domains related to your business. With the way Google’s targeting works, you’ll likely show up in inboxes of prospects that have received non-spam emails from these domains in the past.
If you do this, make sure your ad copy can communicate why you’re a better (or related) option for your prospect. You can offer a discount or highlight your unique selling points in the Expanded Ad.
4. Substitute Remarketing with Keyword Targeting
Remarketing is tricky for Gmail Ads as user privacy keeps you from simply remarketing to people who have interacted with your brand before in some way.
But you can still end up in their inbox by using branded keywords as well as your own domain as a keyword and retargeting them in that way.
You want to end up on their inboxes because they will have heard of your brand before and are likely to click on your ad. You might even catch them at a better time when they’re ready to engage with your brand again.
When setting up your targeting campaign, you should set up the targeting automation according to your ad budget. For smaller budgets, select manual or conservative targeting to set parameters yourself. If you have a bigger budget and want to target a broader market, select aggressive automation.
Aside from being very specific with your keyword targeting, you can also exclude keywords, site categories, and topics.
5. Diversify Your Ad Formats
You can’t just stop at one Gmail Ad. Testing different ads is how you optimize your campaign. You can set different ads to rotate on the Google Ads platform.
Google offers four different templates for your ads:
- Gmail Image – a single image your prospect clicks, sending them to your landing page
- Single Product – an image with a description and a button for your CTA
- Multiple Products – a carousel where you can display different products
- Custom HTML – you can upload your own custom-coded ad
If Gmail’s default templates are limiting, sign up for BenchmarkEmail, an email marketing tool that has a robust builder, allowing you to craft an email ad that is sure to stand out.
In addition to custom HTML capabilities, you can also use ad extensions. You can even create an ad where the recipient can call you straight from your ad without going to your website.
When diversifying your ads’ formats, don’t forget to diversify the content, targeting audiences in different stages of your marketing funnel.
Make sure you check that the metrics you want to measure are being tracked. Keep an eye on the ‘Gmail clicks to website’ metric that measures how many times your link was clicked when your Gmail ad was opened.
6. Include Visual Elements
As your promotional emails can be saved and forwarded, you want to make sure your audience will want to do that. You can do this by making your emails pop!
Gmail ads have image support, and one high-quality image will interest your prospects far better than a carousel of poor quality ones.
You can use typography to highlight your brand’s value without using too much text. The fewer words you use, the more direct you are, and the more your prospect will be compelled to take action.
Make the most out of the Custom HTML template and create an ad with a video. Make sure you run tests for both desktop and mobile view to see that none of the info is obstructed or hard to read or see.
Another interesting visual element you might consider using is an emoji. Emails that have emojis on their subject lines are 254 percent more likely to be opened. Of course, these emojis have to be related to what your email is about and should be appropriate to use for your industry.
7. Allow Your Brand’s Personality to Shine
Your branding isn’t just how your brand looks; it’s also how you communicate with both customers and prospects. From how your visuals look to how you phrase your ads, these all affect your ad’s likelihood of success.
Instead of giving audiences the hard sell in your ad, word your copy as to “lower the threat” to whoever is reading it. Instead of telling them to “buy now,” ask them to “see more.” Cold prospects aren’t likely to buy immediately, especially if this is the first time they’re encountering your brand.
Make sure your branding is consistent with how your ad looks. You don’t want prospects who clicked your CTA to think that they’ve been misled to a completely different advertisement.
Accounting software, Freshbooks, uses the same style and tone for their emails as they do for their site copy. Their branding is consistent, and they’re known for making accounting approachable for their users.
Gmails’ Promotion tab isn’t a dead zone for businesses that keeps them from reaching their prospects through e-post marknadsföring. Crafting an optimized email and making the most out of Gmail Ads make it possible for promotional emails to stand out in any inbox.
No other email strategy will allow you to send emails to targeted prospects before you even get any addresses.
Of course, as with any strategy, you need to set KPIs and keep an eye on metrics, constantly improving what you’re doing. When you do so, your email won’t just be a top pick for Google’s algorithm; it will be a top pick for your audience, too!
Kevin Payne is a content marketing consultant that helps software companies build marketing funnels and implement content marketing campaigns to increase their inbound leads.
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Most people involved in email marketing know the importance of a brilliant email subject line. Seeing that you only get a few seconds to nail your email’s first impression, the subject line obsession is more than justified.
That is why crafting poor email subject lines is one of the biggest email marketing mistakes, regardless of how established your brand might already be.
Apart from nailing that first impression, your email subject line is the most decisive factor for recipients to open your email and engage with its content. Even worse, it’s what could get your email marked as spam and harm your sender’s reputation.
The numbers seem ruthless, but we reassure you there is a way out. All you need is a talented marketing team and a bit of creativity. We know you already have the first part, so all we need to do is help you with the second part. Continue reading to discover how to create clever email subject lines that get noticed – and, most importantly, opened.
What Makes a Great Email Subject Line
Creating email subject lines that grab readers’ attention and serve your marketing objectives should be your top priority. To achieve that, there are certain elements that subject lines should have, no matter what. Let’s check them out:
- Make it brief. Email subject lines are meant to be short and show the email’s value beforehand. That is even more important, seeing that many recipients will open your emails on mobile devices. Fortunately, most ESPs like AWeber and the most reliable AWeber alternatives allow you to preview how your emails look on different device types and check the components you must improve.
- Get to the point. Email recipients are busy people looking for the benefits that come with the emails delivered to their inboxes. To stand out in such a crowded space, you need to share what valuable insights your emails have in store for them. So, if you can help your audience see outstanding results and want to spread the news, your email subject line is the appropriate place.
- Keep it relevant. Your email subject line could be clever, unique, and precise. But if it doesn’t match the email content, it will do more harm than good. Your subject lines should be aligned with your email objective so that readers know what to expect and if they are interested in reading more. The last thing you want is to make a promise you won’t keep and make them feel misled.
- Personalize and conquer. Most subscribers have received tons of emails and have grown weary of emails without personalization elements. They need to feel special and that your brand has done its homework about who they are and what they want. Use the recipient data you have at your disposal to show them you care and give a human touch to your email promotions.
- Avoid spammy tactics. Would you open an email with a subject line that is fully capitalized and includes spam-triggering words? Probably not, and neither will your subscribers. To stay away from spam, avoid too many special characters, excessive capitalization, and spammy words like “buy,”, “money,”, or “click”.
Brilliant Email Subject Line Types That Get Opened
There are several approaches to catching your email recipients’ attention, from employing humor to piquing their curiosity. But putting in that creative spirit is a whole different matter, right? That’s why we compiled a list of the most brilliant email subject line examples to spark your inspiration and help you increase your open rates.
When you include an element of urgency in your email subject lines, your recipients will open your emails in no time. Consumers tend to prioritize their purchase decisions based on the time sensitivity of the offer, and recipients are no different. Words like “now” or “limited time” can work wonders for your open rates, triggering subscribers to open and click through your email. So, if you have a time-sensitive offer, choose your marketing messaging wisely to highlight it in your email subject line. However, don’t overdo this type of promotion since receiving too many limited-time-only deals could get the opposite results and annoy your subscribers.
Subject line: Limited-time offer: free premium wristband with any Steel HR purchase.
Nokia is a brand that knows how to influence its subscribers to take the desired action and move down the försäljningstratt. This Valentine’s email promotion leverages time-sensitive language to create urgency. Not only that, but they made sure to include all the necessary information for readers to know what the deal is about. Recipients appreciate it when you save them time, and they can tell if they are interested in your promotion beforehand.
Highlight your personality
Most experienced marketing professionals are aware of the benefits personalization brings to the table. But while tweaking email elements to the recipient’s preferences is of utmost importance, getting personal isn’t just about that. Subscribers love authenticity and unique marketing messages that stand out from the crowd. Your email subject lines must reflect your brand personality, no matter the email objective. But for this tip to work, you must establish your brand’s tone of voice. You can play it funny, witty, professional, or whatever characteristic fits your business objectives. So, get your creative juices flowing as long as you keep it relevant and consistent with your overall branding.
Subject line: Your cart is sobering up
Abandoned carts are an integral part of a successful e-commerce email marketing strategy, and it’s an excellent field to showcase your brand personality. From start to finish, the email copy is brilliant and reveals the personality behind the brand. Liquor Loot uses a clever pun in the subject line related to the product left behind. The email content is aligned with the subject line and the overall brand tone. Even if recipients don’t click on that “Treat yourself” CTA, they will open the email and relate the tone to the brand the next time they get an email from them.
Email subject lines that announce exclusive deals, one-time offers, or special discounts are usually the ones with the highest open rates. That’s because they lead with the benefits, letting readers know what they can gain from opening and reading the email content. By being clear with your recipients from the start, you build a trusting relationship with them. When your email delivers on the promise in the subject line, you are one step closer to building customer loyalty. So, if your product or service solves an everyday challenge and helps them meet their goals, your email subject line should give readers a hint. To successfully follow this tip, make sure the language you use is actionable and precise, urging them to take action.
Subject line: Get a free handcrafted gift when you
This email subject line from Starbucks does much more than just mention a specific offer. They keep the recipient hanging on by stopping mid-sentence, almost forcing them to open the email and learn on what occasion they get the free drink. It’s straightforward, precise, and worth their while. From the benefits-oriented verb to the actionable email CTA, this email is about the reader taking the desired action within the specified time limit.
Ask a question
Posing questions is a popular content optimization strategy. Questions come with a double benefit: they increase recipients’ engagement and pique their curiosity. When subscribers come across a question in your subject line, it forces them to stop and think about the answer. To draw recipients into your email content, opt for intriguing questions that could open up a conversation rather than one with a simple yes or no answer. The sky is the limit here, but try to keep up with rising audience trends while staying on-brand. Their natural curiosity will be more than enough for them to want to learn more about it.
Subject line: How much do you know about sleep?
Casper’s subject line isn’t just posing a question. The email subject line takes it one step further by giving them an idea of what the email is about. That way, recipients know exactly what’s in it for them and expect to find helpful information regarding their sleeping habits once they open the email. This email subject line example ticks all the boxes by combining an intriguing question that picks recipients’ interest and valuable content that addresses their pain points.
Catchy Email Subject Line Examples
When it comes to email subject lines and the elements you could include to grab your readers’ attention, the sky is the limit. To stir your creative juices, we will present some of the most catchy email subject line examples that left us no choice but to open the emails.
- Subject line: Forget FOMO—see what’s waiting for you (Nike)
Looking for ways to leverage FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) in a subject line to catch your recipient’s eye? FOMO is a psychological factor that many marketers rely on to motivate their target audience. Nike is our winner here. Readers know the email content addresses their needs just by reading the subject line. By asking recipients to forget about FOMO, Nike makes them feel included and that they are about to enter a world of exclusive deals and compelling product recommendations.
- Subject line: Få historien bakom varumärket (Drizly)
Du kan ta en sak för given: människor älskar berättelser. Mottagarna har tröttnat på att företag går och fortsätter om sina säljförslag. Att dela historien bakom ditt varumärke ger en mänsklig touch till dina e-postmeddelanden. Dina prenumeranter är nyfikna på hur allt började. Drizlys ämnesrad är uppmärksammad och okomplicerad. E-postmottagare uppskattar att veta vad de kommer att läsa i förväg – i det här fallet insiderinformation som får dem att känna sig delaktiga i Drizlys spännande resa.
- Subject line: Frågesport: Vilken duschdoft passar dig bäst? (Harrys)
Frågesporter är bland de mest effektiva elementen som marknadsförare kan använda för att öka engagemanget. Även om en mottagare inte är intresserad av att köpa, kommer ordet frågesport i ämnesraden att få din e-post att sticka ut i en fylld inkorg. Det är därför Harrys ämnesrad belyser frågesporten som ingår och vad det handlar om. Frågesporten är relaterad till märkets produkter, så mottagarna kommer att uppmanas att ta det och hitta vilken duschdoft som matchar deras personlighet. Och varför inte köpa den, kan vi tillägga.
- Subject line: Din korg har problem med att överge … 🙁 (Jack Wills)
Humor är, per definition, ett avgörande element att inkludera i en catchy e-postämnesrad. Företag som använder det i sina ämnesrader ser hur öppet priser och mottagarengagemang ökar. Den här e-postens ämnesrad från Jack Wills är smart och rakt på sak. Det sätter ett leende på läsarens läppar och motiverar dem att öppna e-postmeddelandet, gå tillbaka till sina övergivna föremål och fortsätta med köpet.
- Subject line: Du frågade, vi svarade: Vad får jag som medlem? (Frodas)
Vi kan inte nog betona detta; din publik älskar att veta att du bryr dig om dem istället för att bara sälja. Ännu mer när du hör dem och är villig att ta itu med deras problem. Det är just därför den här ämnesraden från Thrive är så framgångsrik. Det ger exakt information om vad läsarna kommer att läsa i e-postmeddelandet, vilket betyder fördelarna de får som medlemmar. Prenumeranter uppskattar alltid att få svaren de bad om, och "Du frågade, vi svarade" är så kundcentrerat som det bara kan bli.
- Subject line: Dela dina tankar och få chansen till ett presentkort på $200! (Everlane)
Att inkludera undersökningar i dina e-postmeddelanden rekommenderas starkt för att öka mottagarnas engagemang. Undersökningar får kunderna att känna att deras åsikt är viktig och kan forma din marknadsföringsstrategi. I det här e-postmeddelandet är Everlane inte begränsad till att be prenumeranter att svara på enkäten. Varumärket tar det ett steg längre genom att lägga till ett övertygande incitament och framhäva det i e-postens ämnesrad. Mottagarna är ivriga att ge feedback till ett varumärke de redan har interagerat med. Ännu mer när det kommer med en chans att vinna ett presentkort på $200.
En e-postämnesrad är en kritisk komponent i varje e-postkampanj, vilket ger marknadsförare huvudvärk varje gång de börjar skapa en e-postkampanj. Det beror på att denna lilla del av innehållet uppmanar eller avskräcker e-postmottagare från att öppna ett e-postmeddelande. Och eftersom de får massor av e-postmeddelanden varje dag, måste du få den begränsade texten att räknas.
För att göra det, se till att studera din målgrupp och använda en varumärkeston som träffar deras mjuka fläckar. Skapa tidskänsliga erbjudanden, ställ frågor som de gärna svarar på och kom alltid ihåg att visa varför ditt e-postmeddelande är värt mödan. Vad du än gör, se till att du övervakar hur dina e-postämnesrader presterar.
Allt du behöver är pålitlig programvara för e-postmarknadsföring med A/B-testning funktioner som låter dig kontrollera vad som fungerar och vad som inte fungerar. Även om du upptäcker att dina ämnesrader träffar målet, vila inte på dina lagrar och använd dessa insikter för att fortsätta att justera dina ämnesrader för att skapa långsiktig framgång.
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