Heads up marketers: There's a Gmail field trial you want to sign up for right this instant.
Remember about six months ago when Gmail unveiled a whole new inbox layout and suddenly all of the emails you were sending to leads and customers suddenly got bucketed into the 'Promotions' tab? Well today, there will be a huge test rolling out that could change the way you do email marketing (again).
Gmail's unveiled a new field trial that turns your Promotions tab into a Pinterest-esque display. Each email and ad becomes a square tile with a prominent image, looking like a mashup between a Pinterest board and Google Offers, and the whole section has infinite scrolling (unlike the rest of Gmail). Here's what it'll look like:
If you have an @gmail.com account (not Google Apps), you can sign up for the trial here. The trial isn't open to everyone -- only a select few will be able to preview it. If you're one of the lucky ones, you'll get a message in your Promotions tab to try it out.
Why You Should Sign Up for Gmail's Field Test
So go on -- sign up! If you get selected, you'll be one step ahead of the rest of us. You can test out the feature for yourself and see what email users like and don't like, and prep your email strategy in case Google decides to roll this out to everyone.
I'm gonna take a wild, wild guess from the GIF above that with this new layout, you'd need to start including more high-quality "cover photo" images that entice people to click. (I'm sure you could apply some learnings from Facebook Cover Photo best practices.)
This field trial really speaks to the "Pinterestization" of the internet -- every piece of content is becoming more and more (and more) visual. If you're committed to growing your business with content and inbound marketing, don't miss the visual content boat -- here's a quick crash course in design for marketers if you want to brush up your skills.
So besides signing up for the field trial, crossing your fingers that you're selected, and honing your design skills, there's not much you need to do here. Just be prepared for visual content to start taking over your Gmail inbox, one tab at a time.
What do you think of this potential Gmail Promotions layout? Would you prefer to have the tiled look in your inbox?
Originally published Mar 25, 2014 1:19:56 PM, updated July 28 2017