Gmail Sponsored Promotions

Gmail Sponsored Promotions (GSP) is a type of advertising form provided by Google. It is advertising which is displayed directly in the Gmail user’s inbox. The intention is for advertisers to benefit from the users’ special attention.


Google’s Gmail is one of the world’s most popular mail services. As early as 2012, more than 400 million people used Gmail for their email. Since advertisers have been able to place Gmail ads, that is advertising within the Gmail account, Google is likely interested in expanding its advertising business as part of its mail service. Google’s advertising customers have been able to use Gmail Sponsored Promotions since 2014 in order to potentially reach just under half a billion users with their advertisements.

How it Works[edit]

Gmail Sponsored Promotions are different from traditional ads within the Gmail interface because they are shown as emails in the inbox. GSP is not delivered on the display network of Google, but via its own UI.

All Gmail Sponsored Promotions created by the advertiser are placed based on an auction process similar to AdWords text ads. When campaigns are created, the advertiser can specify both targeting and bids for the ads. Ad space is paid according to the CPC model.

Unlike traditional ads served by Google AdWords, the user sees a Gmail sponsored promotion 10 times a month at the most. Therefore, this form of advertising is believed to be less obtrusive.

Only advertisers approved by Google may advertise on GSP (as of August 2014). The following KPIs can be obtained on the GSP dashboard, independent of an existing AdWords account:

  • Ad display frequency
  • Number of ad clicks
  • Number of clicks within the ads and resulting site visits
  • Cost per click
  • Conversions made after a click
  • Number of forwarded or stored ads
  • Spent budget

Display Positions[edit]

Gmail Sponsored Promotions are delivered to two locations in a user’s Gmail account.



Each Gmail account is basically divided into three preset folders, General, Social, and Advertising. GSP are mail which can be found in the "Advertising" folder. Users can open these messages as usual emails and respond to them.

Right side column[edit]

When a user opens an email, the Gmail Sponsored Promotions appear in the right column above the usual Gmail ads. The display in the right column consists of a 15-character sender (usually the domain or their name), a subject (quotation text) of 25 characters or alternatively a logo of the provider, a body text with 100 characters, and a URL with a maximum of 25 characters. Once the ad is clicked, it opens across the full width of the inbox. Compared to conventional Gmail ads, another GSP feature is that users can forward the ad message like an email. When you click the link in the ad, you will be directed to the advertiser’s landing page.


Similar to display campaigns using the AdWords system, targeting criteria can be integrated in Gmail sponsored promotion. Targeting can be based on demographic factors, geographic factors, and the device used.

In addition, Gmail Sponsored Promotions can be customized with other user-related factors.

  • User interests: The system will copy the interest groups from the AdWords system
  • Domains that send the emails: In this case, Google uses specific domains with newsletter subscribers as target groups.
  • Keywords: Advertisers can specify keywords for targeting. Google matches them with the last 300 emails that the user has received and delivers the appropriate GSP.
  • Purchases: The customer’s most recent purchases are used as a targeting criterion.
  • Jobs: GSP can also be aligned with a professional group of registered Gmail users.

Benefits for online marketing[edit]

Targeting is important for the success of online advertising campaigns in order to avoid high scattering losses. Gmail sponsored ads promise advertisers precise targeting success and prominent placement within Google’s mail program. Due to the enormous number of users, GSP is particularly suitable if you want to reach a large number of people fast. Through Google’s simple ad administration, advertisers can advertise with a small amount of technical effort.

Web Links[edit]