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OPINION: Google is Turning Gmail into ‘Ginterest’

Written on
Apr 1, 2014 
Author
Dave Hendricks  |

ADOTAS – It’s now called “Ginterest.”

April Fools.

That is not exactly what happened, but if you check your Gmail Web Client (and who doesn’t do that 10 times a day), you’ll see the marriage of Parallax, Gmail and Pinterest in your promotions tab.

Oops, Google has done it again.

Where Google has been buying so many of its biggest new businesses —  like Waze, Invite Media, DoubleClick and AdMeld — it’s in the realm of email where they really get their innovation on.

In 2013, Google rolled out “Tabs,” and lo the world trembled as marketers — all of whom are not so secretly dependent on email commerce to shore up their social media budgets — woke up and found that their email campaigns had been shunted to a new promotions tab.  This tab was where that icky “commerce” messaging went.  You know, the emails with a 20% open rate that drive more ecommerce sales than anything other than search.

Even worse, when Google rolled our tabs, they created a new form of email that wasn’t even sent.  It let marketers buy ads — eerily similar to search down to the same background color — in the email inbox without requiring that the emails were actually “sent.”  Whoa.  As you can imagine, this pissed off people who had been running the email deliverability priesthood.

It’s not just search people that get pissed when Google changes an algo.  Email people get pissed too.

Now Google has gone one step further and created something so awesome, it probably is going to mess up even more people.

Google has obsoleted the Subject Line.  Yes, that’s right.  They have deprecated the subject line and promoted the image as the main element within an email.  Now within the promoted tab in Gmail, marketers will have the ability and choice to present a preview image to the user who is scanning their Gmail Promotions tab.

Go look for yourself.

It used to be that words matter.  Apparently, in this video age that we live in, words are less important than image.

The image that represents the email you are about to click on and open.

I am betting that this will create a tremendous amount of “Ginterest” in getting into the Promotions tab.





As President of LiveIntent, Dave Hendricks leads Marketing, Sales and Corporate Strategy. After an early career as a technology consultant and headhunter, Dave worked at Oracle in Global Alliances and then left in 1998 to join early email marketing pioneer MessageMedia. Dave was then CheetahMail’s first head of sales and marketing prior to its acquisition by Experian, and was the General Manager of PulsePoint’s StormPost ESP. Follow him on Twitter @davehendricks.

Reader Comments.

I see nothing like this in my third Gmail tab.

Posted by Mitch | 2:17 pm on April 2, 2014.

Well, after the “tabs” and “image caching” this new design looks like the next obvious step. The use of images will be interesting, but, will there be a time when the images have nothing to be with the content?

You know all those Facebook Ads campaigns that use images that are barely related to the campaign.

Will we see our inboxes full of images that are not related with the emails content?

I bet that “yes” :)

Posted by Jose Argudo | 9:29 am on April 3, 2014.

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