Gmail Promotions Tab Grid View in action



Tah dah!

This is about 300px wide, now mobile subject rules apply to the Promo Tab:

Animated Gifs don’t work btw.

Getting the G+ logo working was a bit complicated, the sending domain seemed to make a difference and I tend to use the numerical Google plus url as it is a sort of primary key.

More to follow and they’ll probably be a more formal post on the Pure360 blog early next week, stay tuned!


2014-04-03 Update:

In order to get the G+ icon/logo:

The sending domain appears to need to have valid/working MX records.
The domain needs to have some sort of DNS link to the domain listed as the brand’s url on the G+ page.
– Tried it with a sub-domain of the domain listed on the G+ page and it worked
– Tried it with a sub-domain of a domain which redirected to the G+ listed domain and it worked
DKIM doesn’t seem to make a difference either way.

2014-04-04 Update:

The GooglePlus url code is not required. If your sending domain’s dns is linked to the domain your confirmed as your site in Google Plus it just picks it up automatically.

The fact you can specify a GooglePlus profile link seems pointless because it won’t pull the logo unless the sending domain is linked and it’ll do the look up that way anyway.

Sent an email for the first time from a different brand, did not include the G+ data, in fact, tried to wing it by editing the publisher data to call a different image and changed the url/googleplus to just say image:
Gmail still pulled through the google plus image from the account, the only link was the sending domain and item url of their site.

2014-04-11 Update:
Upon further investigation it seems one should be able to get the logo untie inbox from a different domain. The same form used for the transactional schemes also registers your domain with your company.. Testing to follow.

Promotions Tab goes Pintastic

When the Promotions tab first appeared, brands who’d got Gmail promo’d panicked. They called it “Junk 2” and “the 2nd junk folder”, they spent time with animations in emails showing people how move the emails into their primary folder, had landing pages with videos.
Loads of bandwidth was wasted on this! People still went to their promo folder when they were in Promo mode, eg: in the evening whilst in front of the telly.

Then Google added ads at the top of the promo tab, initially disguised as emails: The email industry went berserk! Sprouting the law of opt-in and permission to emails. Except Dela Quist of course who said they were clever and there is more to come – how right he was, as always.

Are they emails are they not emails? Google changed the colours a bit, added a little “ad” label and an ‘X’ button and we all got on with our lives.

Reports came in about open rate drops in Gmail, email marketers were depressed.

Then Google started to auto-load images, Yay! something to be happy about; then we found that the caching was stopping tracking for all repeat opens, device tracking and location logging.

What will they do to us next they cried! There was sooo much drama!!!


Introducing the new imProved, Pretty, Pinteresty: Promo Tab Grid View

Loads of films in the early 2000s suffered from appallingly bad endings where producers were so unable to restore the equilibrium to be better than or even equal to the start of the film, they’d kill off a main character to make you think that anyone could die so by then end you were just relieved that no-one else died rather than disappointed at the shoddy ending. eg: Transformers – Jazz, Serenity – Wash: Yes Spielberg I’m talking about you!

Some say this was Google’s plan all along. In order to maximise it’s impact they had to make the promotions tab look a bit crap first.

As announced on the Gmail Blog it’s currently only in a field trial, Gmail are giving users to ability to turn on a classic grid view of the content of their Promotions tab to give them a better experience of their marketing emails.

Even though the grid view is not a new thing, it seems to have been made famous or at least cool again by Pinterest, either way it’s the first time it’s been in an inbox (or is it?).

Although it will make it easier for Google to slip in adverts, this is definitely a good thing. Google have even released details of what to put in your emails in order to customise the hero image and of course the sender logo is taken from your Google+ page.

If you want to try and get involved in the early days of this, sign-up for the trial and hope for the best.

If you just want to get ready, check out the dev code to make sure you have everything read to add to your emails going forward.


What’s next? Brands telling their users how to move the emails  from the Primary tab back to the Promo tab, maybe a G+ button on the emails to help the brand on G+ maybe to even help deliverability?

Time will tell!

Either way, I love the fact that someone is being innovative with an inbox. It is the recipient experience that matters and our job to facilitate that in the environments provided.



(image courtesy of the Gmail blog)

Gmail adds its own unsubscribe link

Gmail Unsub

Gmail Unsub

Gmail is now adding an unsubscribe link at the top of the email, after the Sender Name

Gmail’s had a busy time lately: tabs and auto image loading being the most recent two and before that, smart labels and priority inbox. All there to improve the user experience of the Gmail inbox.

Gmail’s latest little trick is to add an unsubscribe link at the top of the email. This is not far all senders and is not in fact a new feature, they’ve just moved it so it is more prominent.

Back in 2009 Gmail decided to make Unsubscribing easy. This simply gave the user the opportunity to unsubscribe when they hit the spam button. This was kind of pointless, because people who hit the spam button had done so because they did not trust the unsubscribe mechanism provided by the sender and were worried that by doing so they would merely alter the sender of their existence thus ensuring more spam. Alternatively the email might not have had an unsubscribe button at all. All the user wanted to do is not see anymore emails from that sender.

Either way the spam button was still hit and the damage was done to the sender’s reputation in Gmail.

How they unsubscribe them

They key point here is how they were able to unsubscribe them. The funny thing is that Gmail did not invent anything new and nor did any of the other ISPs who also rolled out that same functionality. The method employed is in fact very very old and it’s called the “List-Unsubscribe Header”. (Try reading that back again but in your best Jeremy Clarkson voice!).

In the old days is was simple and the receiving server or person would just process the opt-out of the address which sent the email. Nowadays we have software to send millions of emails very quickly all from one spot, ie: ESPs. This means that the unsubscribe method has to be unique for that recipient at that sender and sometimes even on that particular list but it works the same.

All that used to happen was when someone hit the spam button on an email with an Unsubscribe-Header, Gmail would let them also unsubscribe thus stopping that sender from hitting someone’s junk folder for ever or until they did some engagement cleaning.

(That is if they did engagement cleaning, they might be one of the “Never Remove Inactives Crew” which incidentally has a very long list of “Don’t be stupid rules” which if you break them and have deliverability problems, you don’t get to blame the people who told you to never remove inactives and it’s definitely not their fault, it’s your fault).

So in short, the List-Unsubscribe header is quite a bit like a Feedback loop when activated automatically by hitting the spam button and quite a lot like a unsubscribe link when activated manually by the user.
Of course all of this relies on the sender having these headers.

What Gmail Have Actually Done

Gmail have simply copied the “Unsubscribe” bit of old “Unsubscribe and report a spam” from their spam button process, into the inbox.

Only one email I get actually employs the List-Unsubscribe header, and it’s my Favourite place to get baby gear from for my daughter – free next day delivery if you spend £30 – Kiddicare.

This is what I get from my favourite on-line shop when buying toys and stuff for my kid – this lot do free next days delivery on orders over £30 if you order early enough in the day!!!

… Below they are correctly signing with DKIM, if they didn’t properly sign the Sender-Name would be followed by some kind of “via” or something like that and then they would have the unsubscribe link.


Essentially it looks a little like an Inbox Snippet Preview, where in the inbox they take the top line or two from the message and stick in grey after the bold subject line, except it’s underlined to show it’s a link.

Apparently it is to save their users from scrolling around looking for the link. I think it is far too prominent and should be at the bottom of the page where everyone expects it to be. It could be at the bottom of the frame so people still don’t have to scroll, it would just mean that as they open the email, the new easy to use unsubscribe link won’t appear right under their mouse.

Either way, it’s here if you have a List Unsubscribe Header.

If you don’t and are quite spammy, you might think, “I’m not getting one of those, people will just hit that link”, what you are missing is the fact that without that link your recipients are just hitting the spam button!

If you get on the eventual Gmail FBL you’ll be able to see the counts and when you add your List-Unsubscribe header you should see the complaints go down.