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Introducing Gmail Sponsored Promotions3 min read

3 min read

The new look Gmail inbox which was released last year has produced a number of new features including the three new tabs dividing up your inbox into social and promotions. It’s the new promotions tab which has been causing quite a stir among the online community.

Gmail Sponsored Promotions is Google’s latest effort at getting ads in front of their 425m users across the world. Appearing across all tabs, the new ads can be found on the right hand side, much like any PPC ad on Google’s SERP.

Sponsored Ads

It’s the promotions tab however which is proving to be most interesting among marketers. Appearing just the same as any email you receive, the sponsored ads can reach audiences as a tailored message designed for the user.

Promoted Gmail Ads

These ads provide a much richer experience for the user than the usual text ads. They appear like an email so users can choose to can save or forward the emails on to a friend who might be interested. Of course this will all be tracked as metrics within the advertising dashboard.

Targeting options:

All the usual suspects are available: age, gender, language, geography as well the ability to target desktop, Android or iOS. You’ll also bump in to familiar GDN targeting like contextual keywords and Interests like Arts & Entertainment, Food & Drink and Finance. However, there are also a few cool additions.

–          Domains

–          Recent purchases

–          Mailing lists

–          Jobs

All of these targeting options are also available as exclusion options meaning your Gmail Sponsored Promotion campaign can be super targeted.

Let’s say you sell lawnmower insurance. We could target the geographic area where you sell the most lawnmowers, target people who have recently bought a lawnmower (via purchases or even by the domain in the thank you email you sent if they purchased online) and remove anyone who is already on your current mailing list to make sure you aren’t doubling up on email efforts.

Mobile Promoted Ads


Ads are uploaded as a little package. You’ll need a small image along with the promotional ad text you’d like to use but you’ll also need the fully expanded HTML email along with any assets it needs (pictures etc). If you’re already using email successfully building this shouldn’t be too hard. However, if you don’t there is an online ad builder you can use but it is HTML based – not GUI based.

You can also create dynamic ads if you use a feed. So if the price you’re willing to pay for gold changes on a daily basis that can be tweaked so the ad stays relevant day to day.


The Gmail Sponsored Promotions account is linked to a specific AdWords account so it’ll piggy back off the same AdWords Conversion Tracking. However, you can still tag up your URLs in the email with 3rd party tracking to add a bit more visibility.

You do get an informative dashboard which will give you information on key metrics like impressions, clicks on ad, clicks to external site as well as saves and forwards.

Promoted Ads Dashboard


At Croud we have proven email campaigns to be one of the most effective mediums when reaching your audience. If it is not currently a channel you have explored, Croud’s PPC experts can help you discover its benefits and add it to your arsenal. Econsultancy recently listed email as the best digital channel for ROI with 68% of brands reporting a significant increase in ROI through the use of email marketing.  There are no minimum budgets or spend and the ability to create precisely targeted ads can open up another large channel for conversations.