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Gmail Annotations

Gmail Annotations: Delivering More Value in the Gmail Promotions Tab

Gmail made an announcement in December 2018 for adding annotations for the Gmail Promotions Tab. This means that email marketers can give additional branding and offer information whenever an email ends up in the Promotions tab. To add this feature and make your inbox look better, there is a code by Google that should be added in the email header.

At the outset, when Gmail introduced the Promotions tab, the open rate got considerably hampered as subscribers hardly checked the promotions tab. However, with the advent of gmail annotations, there is a ray of hope to get featured and grab the subscriber’s attention.

Gmail annotations comprises of several sections as shown in the image below:

What Gmail Annotations look like

  Let’s understand each of them in greater detail.

Preview of Single Image

Text-only promotions tab can get really boring for the subscriber. With Gmail annotations, you can include a custom image to the email with an attractive featured image so that the users can have an idea of what the email is about.

Best Practices:

  • Refrain from having a text only annotation. Use product or lifestyle images for better subscriber engagement.
  • Crop the image better so that it makes sense for the email recipient. You can have images in 538x138px in size with 3.9 aspect ratio. Do not use GIF and WEBP images.
  • Try not to use stock images or reuse same images over and over again so that your promotions tab looks fresh and imparts a delightful experience to the reader. If you reuse the same image, it may be considered to be duplicate by the users.

Green badge highlighting the deal

Gmail annotation gives you a space where you can give more insight into the deal that you have got to offer. For example: 50% Off, Free Delivery, Buy 2 get 1 free are tags that you can use. It does not have any character limit as such, but the text might get trimmed according to the total character count used by all the features that you have added. With the help of a preview tool, you will be able to see how exactly your text will be seen.

Best Practices

  • Avoid using long sentences or too much text in this space so that it does not compete with the subject line. Just like single image preview, there is no character limit for this section too. Nonetheless, you should keep it short and sweet to prevent any truncation.
  • It is advisable to call attention to promotional offerings rather than putting actions like “Click now”.

Grey badge showing the discount code

Use this field to display the discount code. You can keep this field blank if your email does not have any discount code to offer.

Best Practices

  • Do not specify the discount code if it is not included in the email.
  • Repurposing this field is a strict no-no.

Logo

By showing the logo, your subscribers will be able to instantly identify the brand. It also builds credibility with the subscriber.

Best Practices

  • Make sure you use an https URL rather than an http.

Expiration Date

More often than not, your subscribers will make an impulsive purchase with the fear of missing out. Expiration date taps on this instinct by creating a sense of urgency and lets them know when the offer will expire.

Best Practices

  • Mention the expiration date so that you get two chances to get yourself featured in the promotions tab. The first time is when you send it and next before 3 days of the expiration date.
  • If this field has an expired date, it will be considered as an old offer and the email will not be populated.
  • Do not forget to specify the time and time zone (for instance, “availabilityEnds “:”2019-12-12T00:00-00+0100”)

Subject Line

Subject line lets the subscriber know what the email is all about and conveys its purpose.

Best Practices

  • The reader will see the subject line only if the discount code or deal badges are also displayed.
  • You should bear in mind that there should be no duplication between the deal badge, discount code, and subject line.

As an example, if your original subject line is set to “70% off sale ends tonight”, and the deal badge is “70% off”, mention “Sale lasts till tonight” in the EmailMessage.subjectLine section so that there is no repetition.

Things to Bear in Mind

Just annotating the emails does not mean that your emails will definitely land in the promotions tab of the subscriber’s Gmail account. If your email is received in the primary tab, the reader will not be able to see the annotations as this feature is available in the promotions tab only.

Need help with Gmail annotations and want to get featured in the promotions tab?

Uplers can enhance your email with Gmail annotation in just $49 USD.

Get in touch with us now>>

Wrapping Up

Since it is already a year to the launch of this awesome feature, have you started using it already? Do let us know what you think in the comments below.

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Kevin is the Head of Marketing at Uplers, one of the fastest-growing email design and coding companies. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and breathes ‘email marketing’. He is a brand magician who loves to engage, share insights with fellow marketers, and enjoys sharing his thoughts on the latest email marketing best practices.

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