Google is quietly testing a change to Gmail’s Promotion tab. The field test announced this week gives users the option to view incoming messages in a list or image format. The image format view has a Pinterest feel and gives marketers the ability to snag attention with great graphics. The example shared by Product Manager Aaron Rothman on the Gmail blog looks like this:
Explaining the change, Rothman says, “Promotional mail has a lot of images, from pictures of snazzy new shoes to photos of that rock-climbing gym you’ve been wanting to try. But right now, those images are buried inside your messages—and with only subject lines to go on, it can be a challenge to quickly pick out the deals and offers that interest you most. To help you find what you’re looking for faster, you can now sign up for a new field trial for Gmail that lets you view the Promotions tab in a more visual way.”
Following the changes in the inbox that moved promotional messages out of sight, this appears to be a good thing for email marketers. We’ll hope for the best, but appearances can be deceiving. If the change is to simply make it easier for users to find what they’re looking for faster, marketers can rejoice. They now have a way to stand out in the crowded tab. If this is the first step in a plan to monetize the promotions tab, email marketing will forever change.
Don’t expect Google insiders to share their monetization plans. We’ll have to wait for the announcement before we know what they are doing. In the meantime, optimize your emails and keep your eyes open for the new tab options to go live.
For more information on optimizing your emails, check out 31 Ways to Supercharge Your Email Marketing.