Will Google Make Email Marketing Even Better For Conversions?

    August 12, 2012
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

Google may have just made email marketing even more effective, and more important to your maketing strategy. Thanks to a new feature Google unveiled this week, email is now part of the search experience.

What do you think of the new feature? Let us know in the comments.

“Sometimes the best answer to your question isn’t available on the public web—it may be contained somewhere else, such as in your email,” says Google’s Amit Singhal. “We think you shouldn’t have to be your own mini-search engine to find the most useful information—it should just work. A search is a search, and we want our results to be truly universal. So we’re developing a way to find this information for you that’s useful and unobtrusive, and we’d love your feedback.”

You can sign up for the field trial here. The first million people to sign up can use it for now (once they get an email confirmation from Google, which can take some time, and Google accepts them – some won’t make it in). It’s only accessible in English on Google.com with @gmail addresses, for the time being, and is currently not available for Google Apps accounts.

Google Gmail Results

“We’re working on some even more useful features,” says Singhal. “For example, if you search for [my flights] we will organize flight confirmation emails for any upcoming trips in a beautifully easy-to-read way right on the search results page.”

It will be very interesting to see what other niche-specific features Google might add in the future. Whatever they may be, they could factor into your email marketing plan.

Earlier this year, Google consolidated its privacy policies into one main policy spanning across Google products. This enables Google to use data from one product across its other products (who knows where else Gmail messages might appear in the future).

Some Gmail users keep a whole lot of emails in their Gmail accounts. One of the main selling points of Gmail when it was unveiled back in 2004, was that it had a ridiculous amount of storage capacity, so you didn’t have to worry about deleting emails. That’s a lot of content that can pile up. Highly personalized content that may just be relevant to some of your searches, even if you’ve forgotten about it. Until now, it’s been behind a wall that Google was not accessing from search, even though it was a wall that Google always had access to.

Email marketers may want to consider how their messages could perform in the long term.

VatorNews just reported on a study from Monetate, indicating that email converts better than search and social combined. What effect will emails in search have? Any additional conversions from search would simply be the icing on top of the email cake. An added bonus.

Reporter Krystal Peak says the report found that “social converted at 0.59%, while search was almost 5X better at 2.59%.”

“The real winners are those troves of emails filling up all of our inboxes right now,” she adds. “Converting 4.25%, email deals are converting people to sales eight times better than social.”

That’s exactly my point. Those emails that would otherwise just be filling up your inbox, most likely never to be seen again, can now serve a new purpose, surfacing in search results.

While for now, it’s only in limited trial mode, it stands to reason that Google will open up this feature for broad use in time.

Obviously, email campaigns are going to hit much more than Gmail users, but that doesn’t mean Google’s competitors won’t look at incorporating similar features into their products. It’s not hard to imagine Bing doing this with their new Outlook.com email service, for example. And who’s to say that Google won’t partner with other email providers sometime down the road.

Either way, Gmail has over 400 million active users. It stands to reason that many of them are using Google Search. Depending on how many opt into Google’s new feature (assuming that it expands beyond the trial period), that’s potentially a lot of people your email messages could be reaching well beyond the send date, at a time when they’re perhaps even more relevant than they were on that date.

It’s something to think about. What do you think? Comment here.

  • http://www.admain.net AdMain

    I for one will not be allowing googlebot or any other type of google Search robot access to my emails.

  • http://www.spinnakermarcom.com Philippe Gadeyne

    Google is already data mining Gmail and Google Drive, for their own marketing purpose. I recently received a call from a Google Adword rep to set up and Adword account and campaign for a client I am consulting with. Nobody knew about the business relationship except for myself and one of my business partner… and Google since we used Gmail and Google Drive to collaborate.
    Now, the article is pretty vague and seems to imply the the feature will be used for personal search, but again, the line between using the feature for personal use and extending the search to others is very fine and easily crossed, becoming a gross invasion of privacy and raising questions about confidentiality of content.
    Personally, I am now reconsidering using Gmail and any other Google tools for business.

  • http:www.SidneyDiamond.com Sheila Diamond

    Interesting concept – but it kinda creeps me out.

  • http://epoolonline.com pool online

    It may be prove really handy if everything goes according to their plans. But it kind of creeps me out to!

  • http://vintagewinepicks.blogspot.com/ Jason

    Interesting. Not sure if I need to signup for this as I can always just use the search function within my Gmail account.

  • http://www.smartphonetaxis.com Martyn


  • http://www.pinkzebralionmarketing.com Dusan

    Does this mean that someone is Googling something and Google will look into my gmail inbox and, if it finds something it deems useful to the searcher, show it? Or does it mean that if I am Googling something, it will also look for info in my inbox?

    Don’t like the 1st option at all.

    • http://brandably.com Jaimyn Chang

      Second option I believe. It’s user-specific from what I understand.

  • http://www.daredate.me Alex

    For an affiliate marketeer who relies on an email newsletter, I am glad that my pieces may be found again by my subscribers.

    But from a privacy viewpoint, it’s worrying. I can see the google bots are already doing more than scanning my mail. E.g. I keep getting targetted ads after I’ve subscribed for newsletters on a tax lien site.

    Looks like only a matter of time when the line will be crossed i.e. the bots will not just search my mail, for sure they’ll serve mail contents from others (with personal names deleted, perhaps?)…

  • Mojavelyn

    I will also be reconsidering my gmail accounts. Google has now become a company who wants to control and dominate. If the internet was a country, Google would be a fascist dictator. They want to control how you use the internet, what you see on the internet, has a total disregard for forged emails and spam. They already datamine email to give you advertising. This company is too big. how many times do you have to mark “Replica rolex” “Canadian Drug” and “Penis Enlarglemnt” before they quit delivering?

    @Philippe Gadeyne Your experience sounds very much like industrial espionage. I would definately take your business off google, now you have to worry what google will do with this information. And consider this, if google is doing it, how many others are doing it?

  • http://domain-name.stocklii.com Stocklii Domains

    whatever it may be Google stand to be unavoidable in business so just try to find best way to use it without being hurt greatly.

    • Mojavelyn

      @Stocklii Domains

      One company in control of the entire internet? You REALLY OK with that? One company being in control of what you can see or not see? That’s OK with you? Mining your sensitive info between you and a client is industrial espionage. You want One World government? Because Google being in control of the internet is the equivalent to that. Google follows you around the internet. And if you don’t play by google’s rules your site isn’t seen. Our privacy is being eroded and we just walked straight into it. maybe we need to study history a bit more closely and see what historical events have parallels to this.

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    It’s not ok for us that one company dominates the internet. it’t never ok when a company gets control of an entire industry!

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    World recipes for you
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