The signals used for Gmail’s priority inbox will soon be employed to tailor advertising in the app to more match users’ interests. The company says it will also be testing offers and coupons from local businesses in Gmail.
The system will use Gmail user’s habits — whether they read messages quickly or mark them as unimportant, for example — to determine whether the topics covered by the emails are of interest. For example, if a user opens every message related to cast-iron cookware, but sends to spam or deletes everything that references gardening supplies, they’ll soon see more ads about the cookware and none about garden trowels. Users can opt-out in their settings, if they’d prefer not to see these more personalized ads.
Additionally, Google says it’s testing serving offers and coupons from local businesses to Gmail users. Though the company didn’t elaborate, the new ads are likely to be associated with its Offer Ads, which let advertisers add coupons directly to their sponsored search listings. They could also be related to the company’s Groupon clone, Google Offers.
The effort is a part of Google’s attempts to make ads in Gmail more relevant and effective. The company has already cut down the number of ads in the application by more than a third, and hopes that the personalization also increases responses.
Only a few Gmail users will see the new ads now, but the company expects to roll them out to more users over time.
Hat tip to Google Operating System for originally reporting the news.