Gmail Sponsored Ads: Get Into Your Prospects’ Inboxes Without An Email Address

Email is one of the most effective channels to reach and engage with your target audiences. That’s why businesses and marketers all around the world invest so much into trying to capture the email addresses of people who visit their website. Getting people’s email addresses isn’t always that easy to do, however. It’s often a challenge. But, there is a way to get into the inboxes of your target audiences without having their email addresses.

The answer: Gmail Ads.

Gmail Ads allow you to use Google’s smart targeting options to serve highly relevant paid ads into the inboxes of millions of active Gmail users across the UK who use their email every day.

So, how does it work?

Quite simply, the audiences you target see a snippet of your ad in their inbox (you’ve possibly seen a sponsored ad above all your organic emails if you’re a Gmail user)…

gmail adWhen clicked, the snippet expands into a full-size advertisement which looks just like the body of an email…

gmail ad 2

In terms of setting up Gmail Ads for your business, one of the best parts is that you won’t need to start from zero. Within AdWords, you’ll find a number of pre-built templates which you can use and make your own depending on what you’re promoting and what your goals are. These include…

  • The Multi-Product Template | Displays a range of images which is great for promoting multiple products or offers.
  • The Image Template | Where a single image fills the body of the expanded ad.
  • The Single Promotion Template | Best if you’re promoting a single, direct offer or product.

And, just like with an email broadcast, you get to measure the open and click-through rates. You also get to measure the number of saves and forwards giving you a full understanding of how your ads
are being received and engaged with.

What makes them so effective?

Well, firstly, Gmail Ads are unlike any other form of advertising in the sense that they’re the only form of advertising which allows you to get directly into your prospects’ inboxes. When you take into account that the average person spends between 15 and 20 hours per week looking and responding to emails, that’s pretty powerful stuff.

But the fact that you can get into someone’s inbox isn’t the main reason that Gmail Ads are so effective. What really makes it such an effective advertising platform is the ability to get into exactly the right people’s inboxes with Google’s wide range of pinpoint targeting options. Google’s huge range of targeting options mean your message and brand are continuously getting in front of the right people.

Want to target people based on their gender, age or household income? No problem. Want to target audiences who are in-market for a new kitchen or bathroom, who are researching companies, just like yours, and who are in-market for a service or product exactly like you have to offer? You can. Want to reach people who have already visited your website and engaged with your brand? Gmail Ads allow you to do just that.

It’s this level of targeting which really makes Gmail advertising a truly effective channel. And what’s more, although Gmail Ads have been around for a few years now, it’s not as commonly used by businesses as other, more well-know channels such as Facebook and Display advertising. This means there’s still a real opportunity to get where your competitors aren’t and gain a real edge. As well as this, the cost of Gmail Ads tends to be lower, with cost-per-click on Gmail Ad campaigns tending to be somewhat more competitive than other channels.

So, how do you make Gmail Ads work?

Marketing 101: market, message, media. You have to deliver the right message, to the right people in the right way or place. The right message very much depends on what stage of the buying journey
your audience is at. With Gmail Ads, the audience you’re targeting will most likely be in the evaluation stage, close to the start of that journey. If they were further along, you’d already have permission to contact them via email or by phone. But, because you don’t, you’re using Gmail Ads as part of your overall marketing activity. These people are likely to have little or no knowledge of your brand and their encounter with your ad doesn’t come with the same intent that a search ad would. Because of this they’re probably not ready to be sold to.

In order to get the most out of your Gmail Ad campaigns, you need to deliver value and provide content which your prospects will engage with and which will strengthen your relationship with them. Now, there are of course a number of ways to do this. You could simply drive traffic to your site and showcase your range of kitchens or bathrooms (as long as your site is rich with imagery and videos which promote your products in an effective and inspirational way) or you could promote and create awareness of an offering such as a free design quote. When putting together your ad, as with any advertising channel, you need to ensure that what your potential customers will find useful and valuable remains at the forefront of your mind. Do this and you won’t go far wrong!


As a business, the number of advertising channels and platforms available for you to use as part of your overall marketing strategy can be confusing and overwhelming and of course, you can’t use them all. Gmail Ads do however provide something unique which is both cost-effective and which will deliver a strong ROI when implemented in the right way. Its range of targeting options means that you can be assured that you’re getting in front of exactly the right people and that you’re engaging with highly relevant audiences. It’s also a great way to get one up on your competitors.

If you haven’t used Gmail Ads before and you’d like to know more, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

P.S. Want to find out more about setting up Gmail Ads for your business? Simply click here.

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