Editor's note: "The First 90 Days" is a series about how to make 2016 a year of breakout growth for your business. Let us know how you're making the first 90 days count by joining the conversation on social media with the hashtag #Inc90Days.

We're deep into the first 90 days now. But your work isn't done yet.

Your website, customer insight tools, and business productivity apps are just a few technologies that will increase sales and set you up for unbelievable success. But these aren't enough. You need to adopt more technologies if you're serious about growing your business in the coming months.

Today, let's talk about how Gmail Ads can grow your business. Here are five reasons why your business needs to start using Gmail Ads.

1. Reach Customer Where They Spend Tons of Time

Email marketing is a vital channel for every business. According to a survey by Chief Marketer, 87 percent of companies do email marketing - and I'm honestly not sure why those other 13 percent aren't doing it.

After all, Google has revealed Gmail now has more than 1 billion monthly active users. And people are pretty much addicted to their inboxes - they check their emails when they wake up, throughout the day, and before going to sleep - all told, many people are spending more than 6 hours in their inboxes every day.

Clearly, this all means Gmail Ads a huge opportunity for your business to build brand awareness and reach leads and prospects.

2. Gmail Ads Look Organic

So what is a Gmail Ad? It's a type of ad that appears in the Promotions tab of people's personal Gmail inboxes. Like this:

Gmail Ads used to have a yellow background color and show company logos, but dropped those two features last month as part of a facelift. Now Gmail ads look and feel more organic and seamlessly blend into people's inboxes.

Your ad will get a ton of impressions, but you only pay when people click on your ad. And the more people who click on your ad, the less you'll pay.

The number of people who open your ads is the difference between $0.10 a click versus $1.15 per click. A higher click-through rate results in a much lower cost-per-click, but a lower click-through right means a MUCH higher cost-per-click.  

So how do you get those costs down?

3. Increase Open Rates With Killer Email Subject Lines

The secret to Gmail Ad success is in using amazingly clickable email subject lines.

If you've done any type of email marketing (using email marketing software or a service provider), you have a library of sent emails. Look through your data and figure out which ones got the highest open rates. These are your unicorns.

Focus on the top 5 percent of your best performing subject lines. Reuse these subject lines in Gmail Ads!

If your subject lines were organic unicorns, then it's highly likely that they'll also do amazingly well as a Gmail ad. If a subject line open rate sucked before, it will suck again as a Gmail ad. Your own data has proven that few people clicked on them. Don't waste money on these losers.

4. Good ROI

Email open rates are generally around 5 to 10 percent. Based on some early data, we saw an average click-through rate of around 10 percent at an average cost of $0.10 per click, and conversions were solid.

Gmail Ads are a simple way to get your emails in front of people. While it's not free, as we've already seen, it can be reasonably cost effective when done right.

Also make sure to check your Gmail metrics - Google will tell you the number of saves, forwards, and clicks to website your ads generated. This data can help you figure out what's working and shape future Gmail Ads.

5. Genius Keywords Targeting Ideas

There are two insanely smart and powerful ways to target people through keyword targeting with Gmail Ads.

First, there's remarketing - your most powerful tool and an essential technology for driving business growth. Although remarketing in the traditional sense isn't available within Gmail Ads, there is a clever hack to get around this.

Do keyword targeting on your brand terms. This will help you reach people who are already in your funnel, including people who have received but haven't opened your regular emails (remember, if open rates are 5 or 10 percent, that means 90 to 95 percent of people aren't seeing your messages!). Keyword targeting will help increase Gmail Ad clicks and reduce your costs.

Second, you can also target the trademarks of your competitors. With the right offer, you might be able to steal some sales by targeting people who are in the market for a competing solution.

Conclusion

Like Facebook Ads, AdWords, and video ads, Gmail Ads is a technology you need to adopt to grow your business. If you want to reach people where they spend ridiculous amounts of time, then you should seriously consider using Gmail Ads.

Gmail Ads look more organic than ever. They're dirt cheap - as long as you use extremely effective subject lines that attract tons of clicks, which will reduce your costs. Plus, you can target people who are already in your funnel or almost ready or ready now to buy a product or service you sell.

Published on: Mar 7, 2016
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