Preparing Your Nonprofit Email Marketing for Gmails New Grid View

By Posted in - Email on April 22nd, 2014 2 Comments Gmail

It’s starting to seem like every time we blink, Google is changing the Gmail interface again. Back in mid 2013, Gmail changed the way we interact with brands by introducing the tabbed inbox – a kind of automatic filing system for all of the messages flowing into our inboxes. Email marketers around the globe freaked out. Then, in December 2013, Gmail started caching images, and got rid of that annoying “Images are not displayed” message, and again, email marketers flipped out.

Now the folks at Gmail are at it again. In March they announced that the promotions tab (the place where most marketing messages end up) will feature a “new, more visual” layout — a grid view option displayed below.

gmail promotion tab layout

What does Gmail’s new visual layout mean for your nonprofit email marketing?

Initially the new layout downplays the subject line and gives you a more visual way to engage you subscribers. When it’s implemented correctly, the tiles generated can be a compelling visual cue that sets your emails apart from the pack. That said, if you don’t implement it correctly, your email will be pretty lackluster. Have a look a this test we ran on one of our recent emails, the visual difference is quite striking — see below.

gmail inbox layout

So how do you go about making sure that you’re emails are the ones that are standing out in the new promotional inbox? Thankfully, Google has published exactly how to make sure your emails render perfectly in the new promotions tab. This is all a bit technical though so for those of you who  might not have the technical understanding, Litmus created this nifty tool to help the rest of us develop the code to drop into our emails. FreshInbox has another tool to help us preview what our emails will look like.

Now that you’ve got the tools to make your nonprofit email marketing messages look great in the gmail promotions tab we’d love to hear what you are going to do with them in the comments below, let us know.

Do you want help developing templates that will work seamlessly with the new promotions tab? Media Cause can help, reach out to us at connect@mediacause.org.

  • http://www.nten.org Joleen Ong

    Great article – really helpful! It underscores the importance of images in your email, and the power of visual communications to convey your message. If it wasn’t a high priority for nonprofit marketers before, it surely is now.

    • http://Mediacause.org Jacob Swarsen

      Thanks, Joleen. You are right, sometimes a visual story is the most inspiring one we can tell!

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