Gmail Decoded

By OctaneGo, September 10, 2014 | Tips & Resources

The past faced change has thrown newer challenges for marketers. One can say it has been a roller coaster ride for both marketers and consumers and finally the dust is settling down. This blog tries to address such changes and may be seen as a mid-year round up of Gmail changes for you. We are specifically addressing Gmail’s 3 biggest changes in the past year: Feedback loop (FBL) and Unsubscribe link, Action Buttons and Gmail Style-tag.

Gmail’s FBL and Unsubscribe link:

Google is a tough task master when it comes to user satisfaction; therefore, keeping this line of thought in mind they created FBL and unsubscribe mechanism in Gmail. Whenever a mailer reaches the inbox an unsubscribe link pops up on the top of your mailer only if you have SPF/DKIM in place. Please note that SPF/DKIM is a mandate for better deliverability.

FBL is an initiative from Gmail to track spam rates, currently it’s in the pilot stage and only ESPs who are the member of M3WAAG organisation can setup FBL for their client/clients (Octane is one of the select few). Based on inputs from the selected ESPs, Gmail analyses the previous sending history of the IPs and based on this reputation furnishes further details on how to setup FBL. These two initiatives by Gmail have helped most ESPs to improve their deliverability.

Gmail’s Action Buttons:

Action buttons are Gmail’s latest addition to make its users like it even better. How? A user can take action on an email without even opening it. Emails have action buttons right next to subject lines. These action buttons can be about a user confirming an RSVP for an event, one click track of a product shipment, subscribing to a newsletter in one tap or even a review of a restaurant or a movie. This improves call to action (CTA) for marketers and ease of convenience for users.

These action buttons are not simply present on Gmail; marketers have to collaborate with Google to get these action buttons for their mailers. This can be a long laborious process where Google tracks IPs and confirms reputation (aren’t black listed) and that proper SPF/DKIM are in place.

action-buttonGmail Style-tag:

Now there is a newer way to increase interactivity in your mailers which is not a GIF image; it is through Hover Boxes and Roll Over images. So how does this work? You have to code your mailer in a certain way. When a user moves his/her mouse on say a text box, the background colour of the box can change or for example when the user moves his/her mouse over an image, the image rollover can provide a 360 degree view of the product in the mailer itself.

style-tagHow to create these boxes? Here is the HTML code.

codeHere is the code, please try the last line

It is commendable that Gmail is trying to build new functionality for a better user experience and in the process it is removing road barriers. We at Octane track such developments 24×7 and it is our pleasure to share our insights and expertise on such issues. Hope this mid-year Gmail round-up has helped you keeping getting an overview on Gmail’s most recent advancements. Please do write to us if you need help implementing the activities stated above and do share your feedback or questions on this blog at

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