Advertising in your competitors’ emails

Yesterday I mentioned using Google AdWords to put your message on hundreds of thousands of different sites around the web, including some which you might consider doing separate (e.g banner) advertising on. Another place where your AdWords ads can appear is alongside Google Mail (GMail) messages, and this is a really intriguing concept. Just as on those “Content Network” sites, Google shows the ads which are most relevant to the content of the web page, in this case the content of the email. So, for example, I’m a GMail user, and this morning I had a promotional email from Marks and Spencer. Down the side of it was a column of Google AdWords ads …from M&S competitors.

So if you’re thinking: “So if I do Google AdWords, will my ad appear alongside emails which my competitors send to GMail users?”, the answer is yes, it will. And that’s going to be rather exciting for any business. But how many people use GMail? Well, rather a lot actually – between 150 and 200 million users, and more in business than you think. Many businesses are switching to run their email through Google Apps, and for these, you don’t see an “@gmail.com” address but the normal domain belonging to the business. Many of those business users, who get used to GMail, will also switch their private email accounts to GMail. You can look at your own mailing list and see the growing number of recipients who have a “gmail” or “googlemail” address, but remember that there are probably many more who are using GMail who don’t have those domain names.

And now the bad news. When you email these people with your email mailshots, then yes, your competitors’ adverts are framing the page nicely.

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