Since Google’s global release of its new Gmail ad format in September of 2015, you’ve probably starting seeing collapsed ads formatted like emails at the top of your Gmail inbox that expand into a larger, image-based ads when clicked.<InsertImage>Example of how Gmail ads appear in a Gmail user's inbox.<InsertImage>How an expanded Gmail ad may appear when clicked, depending on the template used by the advertiser.
Google has tested Gmail ads in the past, but the updates released in September deliver a more seamless experience to Gmail inboxes, both for the advertiser and Gmail user. An initial click on a Gmail ad won’t navigate you away from your inbox; you’ll need to open the ad and then choose to click the button or creative within it to navigate out to the site. This way, users are more inclined to explore the ads served to them in their emails, knowing they won’t need to navigate away from their inbox until they’re ready. These updates have also made running Gmail ad campaigns more straightforward for the advertiser, as Gmail ads can be set up, maintained, and monitored through any AdWords account.<InsertImage>Examples of different templates that can be used to set up Gmail ads.
Gmail ads can allow for ad targeting that’s more relevant to the user. While advertisers still select keywords on which to bid, like in traditional search advertising, Gmail ads are not triggered by search queries. Instead, Gmail ads are served to your inbox on an interest basis.
This provides an additional opportunity for advertisers who incorporate conquesting, or bidding on competitor terms, into their strategy, so ads show to customers that may still be shopping around and have not yet selected a brand. But due to increased competition for the same keywords and for a top position, especially after Google’s recent elimination of right-hand ads, conquesting using Google search network campaigns can get expensive quickly. On Google’s search network, conquest terms can cost almost three times as much as general or brand terms, racking up huge costs for advertisers. Gmail ad clicks come significantly cheaper, generally costing less than a dollar. While conquest keywords in a Gmail ad campaign may still be pricier than general or branded terms, the difference is cents, not dollars.Even if you consider that a click to your Gmail ad is not a click to your site, as the user must take an additional step once in your ad to click to your site, taking advantage of the additional Gmail metrics AdWords provides can help you determine your actual cost-per-click to your site, in addition to your CPC on your collapsed ad.<InsertImage>Gmail metrics columns you can add to your AdWords account.Since conquest clicks to your collapsed ad cost a small fraction of search network conquest clicks, you’ll be able to ensure your actual CPC to your site stays low by optimizing your Gmail ads to drive users to your site. Ensure your subject lines and descriptions are clear and captivating in your collapsed ad, you include crisp and descriptive image in your expanded ad, and that your call to action is obvious and straightforward, and you’ll be on your way to a more cost-effective way to conquest.
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