eBrandz Blog

Ads alongside your emails– text only or image based?

Ad targeting process in Gmail is wholly automated. Importantly, there is no human intervention as no one is able to read any email. Yet, the system is competent enough for targeting a given advertisement or related data. In fact, this particular type of automated scanning has been prevalent. Many leading email services use it.

Ads, appearing just next to messages in the users’ inboxes, are not far different from those alongside search results. In Gmail, as we have grasped in the previous post, advertisements are aligned to the text matter of a message. The core idea is to serve relevant ads in order to fulfill the user’s requirements.

Gmail also offers user-friendly features such as spell checking and spam filtering. Ads are chosen on basis of key terms for relevance and then served employing contextual advertising technology similar to the one, which powers AdSense program. Google does not share any piece of information that identifies or singles out a user for the purpose of marketing unless express permission has been given. Any personally identifiable data like No email content is given to advertisers. Instead they are only served with aggregated non-personal data like the number of clicks an ad received. If one doesn’t wish to see ads in Gmail, there is option of utilizing the HTML interface, or IMAP or POP.

The company always looking to try out innovative ad formats as well as placements, decided to play with image ads on Gmail messages, as was publicly announced earlier this year. They incorporated heavy image content, to reflect the change. As has been widely reported, the revamped ad-matching/ serving system is now geared up for the purpose of analyzing content and also the context of an email message. Gmail is also going to let insertion of images in the ad display.

The search engine giant has this far not permitted usage of images in Gmail ads. So this is a significant development Google’s text ads don’t include the graphic palette. They can state only, ‘We’ve so and so goods in stock.’ That’s exactly may be all that certain users really wish to know. No surprise, Gmail is treading with caution for introducing relevant images as a preferred ad option. Even other email service providers are trying to be extra careful in their approach.

According to a Microsoft spokeswoman, Hotmail had opted to reduce the number of image ads’ frequency from two to one per page. This obviously indicates on their part a clear ‘consumer-first approach’. The company spokesperson revealed that Hotmail had also decided to entirely remove text-only ads in order to ensure a ‘cleaner user experience’.

But for a section of users a ‘clean viewing experience’ is still perhaps a text-only ad of just a few vital words. For them, it scores over images so it remains to be see how things pan out over time.