For those who know Google, it’s not surprising to see the tech giant switching things up once again when it comes to how people use it’s hyper popular email service. While the changes to Gmail, dubbed “Gridview,” still might be in the trial stages, it never hurts to keep up with all the latest developments to ensure that you and your emails aren’t caught off guard once things go live. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the particulars on Gridview and how it affects the way your audience interacts with your messages once they open up their Gmail inbox.
Bringing You up to Speed
At this point, if you haven’t heard the news, you’re probably wondering what Gridview is in the first place. Basically, after partitioning the user inbox into three basic tabs last year, the Gmail team now has plans to spice things up for the one that matters most to your brand. With the new changes to the promotional tab currently in testing, Google hopes to make it easier for your marketing messages to show off your sales pitch, all while creating a more pleasing and enjoyable experience for the audience as well. Of course, to get to there, you’ll have to make a few tweaks to how you approach your message, but we’ll talk a little more about that later.
Breaking down the New Layout
As the name implies, Gridview’s doing away with the old-fashion list of messages and making things a little more visual. Instead of having featured images buried in the message, this part of your message now takes center stage on the viewer’s screen, along with a brief subject line that helps explain what the message is all about. In addition to these two portions of the new Gridview layout, you’ll also have your brand name and a “sender image” – think company logo – built-in this email tile. Along with all other promotional emails coming in to the viewer’s inbox, this should make for a colorful new way for shoppers to check out the latest deals with their morning cup of coffee at the very least.
So What’s the Big Deal?
Of course, Google’s not just rolling out an entirely new setup just to keep its name in the news; it already has plenty of other major developments to ensure it’s always the top name on the web. Instead, this rollout serves two purposes. The first is to continue to make Gmail the most innovative and attractive email option out there. While Google might be the top dog when it comes to search engine status and general web influence, there’s plenty of other email providers out there that offer a great product, so keeping up with the competition is a very real motivating factor on this front.
The second and perhaps even more important, is to keep providing support and visibility for Google+. While this network might never rival Facebook, Google’s not backing down from the fight any time soon. If you want to upload a sender image to represent your company, you’ll need to have a verified Google+ page that’s tied to the domain you’re sending messages from. Clearly, this is just the latest in a long list of clever ways that Google is trying to encourage companies to keep using the social network and guarantee that it holds at least some Internet relevancy.
Making Sure You Get the Most out of Your Emails
So now that you’re well aware of what’s going down with the promotional tab on Gmail, how do you make sure you’re emails stand out in a sea of beautiful images and alluring subject lines from competitors? To start this discussion, keep in mind that you have to play by Google’s rules if you want to pull this off. Your sender name should be less than 20 characters total, and your featured image needs to be at least 580px by 400px. Additionally, if you go over 75 characters on your subject line, expect this part of your square on the grid to come in truncated. From here, you can get back to optimizing subject lines and rolling out great content like you do under the current system.
Is Gridview Here to Stay?
Naturally, some in the industry might be a little skeptical about whether or not Gridview is the real deal, considering it hasn’t even made it to live inboxes yet. While it’s true that this new layout’s still in testing, it’s hard not to imagine Google making this the go-to way to display the promotional tab, considering its track record for pushing the envelope. If this does become the norm, chances are you might see a dip in the importance placed on traditional testing, and the focus then shift toward maximizing the value of the new featured image approach. Whatever happens, it should be exciting to see what kind of splash Gridview makes in the email marketing world and what Google might have up its sleeve for the next big inbox innovation.