Email Annotations for Gmail Promo Tab | FireDrum Email Marketing

Email Marketing Blog

Gmail Email Annotations

Gmail recently rolled out a major feature update to its promotions tab. With Email Annotations, marketers have the opportunity (through schema markup) to put offer details, promotional codes and branding in subscribers’ inboxes - without even having to open the email!

How Does Gmail’s Promo Tab Work?

Google states that “[...] the most relevant promotional emails are highlighted. Gmail automatically groups and highlights email promotions that people are most likely to be interested in.”

On a per subscriber basis, powered by machine learning utilizing a number of factors, emails identified by Gmail as valuable messages for the reader will be grouped into bundles organized by themes like “Top Deals” and “Top Picks”. As a result, the emails Gmail decides to use in the bundle will display additional key information - therefore, all visible and driving your subscribers to take action even before they open your email!

Currently, Gmail's annotations are being shown in all Gmail mobile apps on Android and iOS, and are planned to roll out to Gmail’s web client at some point this year. This experience does not impact G Suite or paid users.

Mobile Gmail Promotions Tab - Email Annotations

Everybody Wins

The Gmail promotions tab is a "win win" situation for users and marketers, because it was designed to deliver value to both parties. Infact, a study conducted by ReturnPath's of three million Gmail users, showed that the implementation of Gmail tabs improved overall deliverability by decreasing spam complaints and increasing open rates!

For instance, email users will benefit from the convenience of seeing the most valuable parts of the email (like limited time offer codes and deals) from brands they love without having to open the email.

Put the most valuable parts of email right at peoples' fingertips.


Similarly, Gmail wants users to enjoy the inbox experience, and brands that provide the most value to their subscribers will be rewarded with a more prominent placement in the Promotions tab. It offers marketers a new way to drive engagement with visuals that bring promotions to life and entice subscribers to take action by highlighting key details on deals that are “just too good to miss”.

Here are the annotations that can be added to emails to make a big splash in Gmail’s Promotions tab

Annotated Gmail Email Annotations


Perfect for brand recognition! Add your logo and subscribers will immediately identify your business.

Featured Image

Include an image that represents your promotion or a photo that gives a hint as to what your email’s message is all about!

Deal Badge

As a complement to your subject line, highlight the value of your offer! For instance, you can say things like “Free Shipping”, “25% Off” or “BOGO”.

Discount Code

Display a discount code for your deal! However, Gmail automatically inputs the word “CODE” in front, therefore, if your offer doesn’t need a code, you should leave this blank.

Offer Expiration

Let your subscribers know when a limited time offer or sale will end by specifying an expiration date! This will show an “Expires in _ days” notice next to the subject line, therefore creating that sense of urgency to increase conversions!

Above all, you’ll now have two opportunities for your email to be featured in a bundle: once when your email is first sent, and again three days before your offer expires!

How To Get Your Emails In Gmail’s Promotions Tab

Firstly, there is no guaranteed formula to get your email featured at the top of the inbox in a Gmail bundle. Furthermore, only emails annotated with HTML markup are eligible. This can be done by adding some custom JSON code to the body of your emails. However, If you aren’t familiar with writing JSON code, you may use a tool like Litmus’ code generator to get started.

FireDrum Makes It Easy For Marketers To Use Enriched Previews In Gmail’s Promotions Tab

Does the prospect of editing HTML emails and JSON code sound too technical for your liking? No worries! FireDrum is the first email marketing provider to add Gmail promo tab annotation support to our drag and drop email builder.

Simply upload your logo, promo image and fill out a few fields, and your email will be annotated automatically!

Looking for Help Implementing Gmail Email Annotations?

We’re constantly exploring new ways of helping our clients grow the success of their email marketing efforts.
Give us a shout for assistance or for more information on Gmail's Promotions tab feature! And of course, a demo on how to use the new feature with FireDrum!

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