Gmail Annotations: A New Horizon for Email Marketing

As digital marketers, we're always on the hunt for the next big thing that will elevate our email marketing strategies. Gmail's latest release of their new Annotations feature might just be the key to unlocking higher engagement and open rates for your brand.

What are Gmail Annotations?

Launched in an updated version, Gmail Annotations is a powerful tool that allows marketers to enhance their promotional emails with additional images. This tool lets marketers add extra details to the preview of their emails, making them more interesting and eye-catching. For example, they could include an enticing image, a special discount code, or a countdown to an offer's end.

In February 2023, Google introduced a new feature to Gmail Annotations called the "Product Carousel." This lets marketers show multiple product images right in the preview, which users can flip through like a slideshow.

To add these features, marketers use a special code, called JSON-LD, in the header section of their emails. But with the recent update, the use of the <script> tag has become the standard. Currently, Gmail Annotations are still being tested, and only a select group of big brands can use them.

The Benefits of Gmail Annotations

Annotations introduce a new level of personalization and interactivity to emails, fundamentally altering how promotional emails are viewed and interacted with by recipients. They can enhance email content, make promotional offers more appealing, and provide more direct pathways to your website.

One of the unique attributes of these annotations is their flexibility in image sizes, accommodating various aspect ratios from 4:5, 1:1, to 1.91:1. Moreover, Gmail also automatically adds annotations for some customers, creating a dynamic image carousel extracted from the content of the email.

When Can We Start Using Annotations?

Gmail Annotations are currently functional for emails in the Top Bundle of Promotions and are predominantly available on mobile devices. For desktop Gmail users and users in the EU, this feature will not be available until later in the year. Single Image Previews and Deal Annotations are still in the works and coming soon.

However, it's important to note that the use of annotations is currently restricted to an "allow list," with testing limited to mass emails. To apply to be included in this list, brands can reach out to Gmail's outreach team for evaluation.

How to Leverage Annotations for Better Engagement?

Using annotations effectively will depend on your understanding of their application and the willingness to experiment. Despite the current limitations, Gmail is actively working on a tool to test your Annotation code, improving the ease of use for marketers. This will be instrumental in testing and optimizing the use of annotations to suit your brand's unique needs.

While the rollout of the new Annotations feature is still in progress, its potential impact on email marketing is promising. As Gmail continues to refine this tool, marketers should prepare to integrate it into their strategy, exploring innovative ways to use these new functionalities to drive engagement and conversion rates.

Some Final Thoughts

We're continually researching and experimenting to bring you the latest insights on Google's innovations like Gmail Annotations. So why wait to get the inside scoop?

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