Stop ignoring Gmail sponsored promotions in your inbox

We know that Google is doing a lot of exciting stuff: extended ad formats and changes to AdWords paid advertising format, to name a few. But that shouldn’t mean that we ignore Google’s amazing Gmail Sponsored Promotions (GSP).
When you partner with BIGEYE, we help you prioritize when to invest in each of these opportunities. Also, how to adapt to your target audience’s needs so you can serve them the right information at the right time. Gmail Sponsored Promotions are especially important for consumer and retail organizations.

This is especially important now that Google has finally opened up GSP to any and all advertisers. After two years in the beta testing phase, the sky is finally the limit. As you start planning your 2017 marketing strategy, don’t miss this trend.


GSP look and function a lot like email by popping into your customers’ personal Gmail inboxes like your latest email marketing campaigns … except they aren’t emails.

GSP are actually cost-per-click (CPC) ads disguised as emails to increase engagement and reach users who may be primed to shop while checking their mail. These ads are always filtered into the “promotions” tab on users’ desktop Gmail site (never appearing on mobile). The idea is that customers who are spending time in this tab might be looking for a deal or browsing similar content, increasing the likelihood that a click will be profitable.

All Gmail Sponsored Promotions follow the same format:

  1. A teaser ad, featuring a headline (25-characters).
  2. Body copy (100 characters) that mirrors the format of Gmail’s email preview layout.
  3. A clickable image (50 x 50 min or 600 x 1000 max) that opens when the teaser headline is clicked. It can be customized with form fields, video, and other interactive elements.


Sounds great, right? We told you so. The ad layouts themselves do a lot of the heavy lifting for you, which means the main key is making sure the right users see the right content. GSP have similar targeting capabilities as Google’s other advertising channels, so you can filter based on all the demographics you’d expect, such as gender, age, geography, and any other public information.

However, GSP also offer some unique, highly attractive targeting capabilities that other ad types don’t have. Think: domain-level targeting, job title, and purchase history (all mined based on pre-existing information in peoples’ inboxes). Just remember, the more specific your search gets, the smaller your audience will be, so balance these needs accordingly or partner with a BIGEYE digital specialist to help you find that happy medium.


GSP is most popular in the e-commerce world because it can lead to direct sales, but they can also be used to collect leads and contact information, or raise brand awareness (especially considering the CPC structure, you have a great opportunity to expose your brand to large audiences even if they aren’t clicking).

In fact, using GSP for some of these secondary use cases is sometimes more successful than trying to drive sales. When you combine ultra creative content with this uniquely primed ad formatting, the potential is great. Without the accompanying price tag.

Click here to explore some of the creative campaigns we’ve created for our clients. You could be next. And we are here to help every step of the way.

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