Just want to jump right in? Head to over to peakinbox.com/earlyaccess
As email developers, the most exciting moments for us are when new technologies emerge and invite us to imagine the future of email.
After more than two decades of experiencing the cycle of curiosity, excitement, and eventual disappointment (Hotmail Active View, anyone?), we are truly excited about Gmail Annotations. It’s different, and we hope it’s here to stay.
How does Gmail decide who sees Annotations? How can we test their impact? Do they have any impact at all?
Days of solving problems like these are the ones we love most, and Annotations promises many more of them ahead.
As developers, we regularly put our brains to work breaking, rebuilding, and taming technology. We began this journey with Annotations in November 2018 and, as time went on, we started to wonder what else we could do with it.
That’s when it struck us to do live real-time A/B/n testing using our own analytics and testing tool, PeakInbox.
PeakInbox is the result of months of solid, thoughtful development. While Gmail has been working on deploying Annotations to Gmail web, we have had time, ahead of even a soft launch, to refine the tool.
Now, we’re ready to share PeakInbox with the world. Starting today, anyone can try PeakInbox for free as a part of our Early Access program.
PeakInbox is the only tool that can perform analytics and testing of Gmail Annotations. It tells you exactly how many of your email recipients saw the Annotation image and then opened your email, giving you insights you can use to refine your Annotations and drive more engagement.
Once Gmail brings Annotations to the web interface, you can run a basic lift test (segment your @gmail.com email addresses and send to 50% with an Annotation and 50% without) to assess the impact of your Annotations.
Having used PeakInbox for a few months now, we’ve seen large variations in when Gmail shows the Annotation and when it doesn’t — even for the same sender. If Gmail doesn’t show your Annotation (and you don’t use PeakInbox), data from your basic lift test might look like this:
|50% @gmail.com – Control||300,000||60,000|
|50% @gmail.com – w/Annotation||300,000||60,000|
You would conclude that Annotations isn’t helping your email marketing program — but it’s possible that, in your test cohort, the Annotation never actually showed up for anyone. In other words, you didn’t actually test anything.
This is where PeakInbox comes in. It tells you exactly how many of your email recipients saw the Annotation image (“Annotation Impressions”) and then opened your email. Your test results with PeakInbox might look something like this:
|Audience||Sent||Annotation Impressions||Annotation Opens||Unique Opens|
Will Annotations work for everyone? We doubt it. But you have to test for yourself. Join our free Early Access program today at peakinbox.com/earlyaccess to get started.
Thanks for joining us on this adventure!
Brian Sisolak & Brian Vallelunga