Now, “Starring” Gmail Promotions Tab Ads Turns Them Into Standard Emails In Primary Tab

Earlier this summer, Google introduced ads in Gmail that look similar to regular emails and appear at the top of the Promotions tab when the tabbed in-box is activated.  When you click on one of these ads, it opens much like a typical email message. Now when you star one of these ads, it will be “Saved to your Promotions inbox”, but more significantly, and unstated in Google’s pop-up message shown below, it will also be added to your Primary tab and display as a standard email.

Star Gmail Promotions Tab Ads After starring an ad, you’ll see it appear twice in your Promotions tab: once as the original ad and a second time as a standard email message without an “Ad” label.

Star Gmail Ads They Appear As An Ad And Regular Message

In the Primary tab, you’ll notice the ad also now appears as a standard email message without any “Ad” label.

Gmail Ads in Promotions Tab

As others have noted, when you open one of these in standard message format — from either the Primary or Promotions tab — the Dismiss and Forward options are gone and the standard action icons are available.

Gmail Email-like Ads Opened As Ads vs Opened As MessagesIn message format, the alert that you’ll be submitting information to the advertiser is removed, and the sender’s email address is displayed as mail-noreply@google.com. In testing, deleting the message (or marking it as spam) doesn’t keep it from continuing to show as an ad in the Promotions tab.

It’s likely advertisers are charged per on a CPC basis when users star an ad, but advertisers pay only for the initial action a user takes. These email-like ads are part of Google’s beta called Gmail Sponsored Promotions.

Related Topics: Channel: Email Marketing | Google | Google: Gmail

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About The Author: writes about paid online marketing topics including paid search, paid social, display and retargeting. Beyond Search Engine Land, Ginny provides search marketing and demand generation advice for ecommerce companies. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter



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  • Cara Olson

    Interesting, I thought that Google had suspended these ads due to a lawsuit they are part of.

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