Gmail has released new features around their promotions tab which are now supported in Bluecore emails. With Gmail Inbox annotations you can call out key information like deals, expiration dates and promo codes, and Google will automatically group and highlight emails in the Promotions tab that people are most likely to engage with.

Top deals, promotions, and annotations placements/engagement are dependent upon customers:

  • Having the Gmail mobile application installed on their device for Android or iOS

  • Having the promotions tab enabled

  • Having the images set to always show

  • Having the conversation view enabled

  • Having the bundling of top emails enabled

While the above settings are defaulted to Gmail mobile users, there's no guarantee that a customer will see your annotation. Annotation visibility depends on the quality of the email, sender reputation, and the customer's prior engagement with the brand.

SETUP WITHIN BLUECORE

The below instructions are a step-by-step overview of how to add the code snippet to a campaign built with the visual template editor (VTE). The code snippet can also be placed into an HTML email built with Bluecore's code editor.

  1. Navigate to the flag icon on the left-hand side.

  2. Click Automated or One-Time campaigns under Communicate.

  3. Click Create New Campaign or select an existing campaign.

  4. Navigate to the message tab.

  5. Navigate to VTE.

  6. Drag and drop the code block widget onto the canvas.

  • TIP: Bluecore recommends adding the code snippet to the top or bottom of the email message, allowing you to quickly and easily edit it, if applicable. This code snippet is invisible when the message is sent.

<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Organization">
<meta itemprop="logo" content="https://www.gstatic.com/images/branding/product/1x/googleg_48dp.png" />
</div>
<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/DiscountOffer">
<meta itemprop="description" content="20% off" />
<meta itemprop="discountCode" content="PROMO" />
<meta itemprop="availabilityStarts" content="2018-01-01T08:00:00-07:00" />
<meta itemprop="availabilityEnds" content="2018-04-30T23:59:59-07:00" />
</div>
<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/PromotionCard">
<meta itemprop="image" content="https://www.google.com/gmail-for-marketers/promo-tab/markup-tool/sample.png" />
</div>

7. Copy and paste the above code snippet into the code block widget in VTE.

Please be sure to update the code snippet accordingly to your marketing objectives. The following areas within the quotations need to be updated for the code snippet to populate in the inbox accordingly:

Field

Description

Example

Logo URL

The brand's logo. Keep this consistent throughout your campaigns and utilize an https:// URL.

<meta itemprop="logo" content="https://www.gstatic.com/images/branding/product/1x/googleg_48dp.png" />

Featured Image URL

This is the featured image and will be different for each campaign. Any size image can work, as images are center-cropped automatically. GIF and WEBP images are not supported.

<meta itemprop="image" content="https://www.google.com/gmail-for-marketers/promo-tab/markup- tool/sample.png" />

Offer Description

A brief description of what the offer code is. For example, 10% off or free shipping.

<meta itemprop="description" content="20% off" />

Offer Code

Include a dynamic or static coupon code. To include a dynamic coupon code, insert the parameter of {{coupon.coupon.code}}

to use the same coupon code as the template. For static coupon codes, enter the code here.

For Dynamic Coupons:
<meta itemprop="discountCode" content="{{coupon.coupon.code}}" />

For a Static Coupon:
<meta itemprop="discountCode" content="PROMO" />

Offer Start Date

Enter a start date for the offer to begin on. Specify the time and timezone as the following example: "availabilityEnds": "2018-12-30T23:59:59-0700". Click here to learn more about formatting.

<meta itemprop="availabilityStarts" content="2018-01-01T08:00:00-07:00" />

Offer Expiration Date

Enter an expiration date for the offer to end on.

<meta itemprop="availabilityEnds" content="2018-04-30T23:59:59-07:00" />

After you've added the code snippet and configured the required fields, your email will look like this:

Be sure to click save and save the email template!

PREVIEW AND TEST

Due to the real-time nature of these promotions, previewing and testing these promotions is a bit tricky. You can copy and paste the code that you've modified into this Google tool to see what it looks like.

To see the message in your inbox, Bluecore recommends creating a Gmail email account for your team ending in promotabtesting@gmail.com, for example mycompany.promotabtesting@gmail.com. This account will have more aggressive email ranking and bundling to make testing easier and faster.

  • TIP: Even if you use this email account, there's still no guarantee that every test send will showcase the annotation.


FAQ

Q: How does Bluecore support Gmail inbox annotations?

  • A: Bluecore supports Gmail inbox annotations by adding the above code snippet to an email campaign, not the script-tag method that may be supported by other email service providers.

Q: How does this work with our dynamic coupons?

  • A: You can leverage the same coupon here that's currently being used in VTE, by referencing the same coupon in the email template. You must insert {{coupon.coupon.code}} where the coupon code is supposed to go, instead of a static code like PROMO.

Q: Do all types of Bluecore campaigns support Gmail inbox annotations?

  • A: All campaign types support this. However, dynamic coupon codes are not currently supported in transactional messages, so a dynamic code would not be able to be referenced in those campaigns.

Q: Does this work in VTE and code editor?

  • A: Yes, Gmail inbox annotations may be used in either.

Q: How can I view reporting for this?

  • A: At this time, there is no reporting available.

Q: Are Gmail inbox annotations supported on desktop?

  • A: At this time, Google is working on desktop support for Gmail.

Interested in learning more? Check out our blog post on Gmail Inbox Promotions use by customers.

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