I read this great article online sometime back which made big sense in current scenario. A lot of people I know have started to use GMail as their primary mail service. And most of them do not move due to the much hyped 1 GB mail capacity thingy. The primary reason was as usual, the capabilities of the free webmail service. It beats most alternatives out there with Google Mail Search, Conversations and of course the speed of using the interface.
But Email marketers have this small problem. GMail has content sensitive advertisement system, which means that the mail service show ads which are relevant to the content of the mail. So, if the mail talks about tennis match appointment, the ads would be related to Lawn Tennis like Racquets and Balls and so on. Similarly, if you are talking about 1 particular brand of products the system might show ads of other brands on its advertisers network who manufacture similar product. Here comes the problem.
Email marketers have got this invisible competition in GMail. They send mails to GMail users, and along with the promotional mails, there is this very high chance of appearance of a competitors advertisement. This does not reflect well on the clients. There are 2 possible bad effects on the users. First they get a possible spam mail, and they are served polite, good looking advertisements along with these mails. Who takes the favorable view from the user is anybody’s guess.
So, what alternatives do Email marketers have? Either they filter out GMail users from their mail databases which means services might start to ask for mail IDs other than GMail IDs from their registering users which seems very unlikely. The other alternate is using complete image based mails. Since GMail computers cannot read the content in the images, competing ads do not stand a chance to appear alongside them. Again a poor solution considering all major mail clients and web mail services allow the user to have images inside emails disabled by default.
This means a major rethinking would be required by these online marketing companies when GMail goes public and everyone can get himself a GMail account. For the normal user, it gets better as they might get a mail ID which web marketing people would dislike to target.