Gmail for Business and Email Marketing

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Google's web-based e-mail service, better known as Gmail, has grown in the past decade to become one of the world's most popular e-mail services. From innocent beginnings in 2004, this free, advertising supported service has close to half a million registered users and is currently available in seventy-two (72) languages.

Created by software developer and entrepreneur Paul Buchheit using the Java programming language and Javascript, Gmail offers a more conversational feel to e-mail communication than many of its main competitors.

As a result, its appeal extends from individual solopreneurs and home-based businesses, to medium and large-sized corporations.

So, what makes Gmail so special? Below we discuss features and benefits that current users likely have grown accustomed to in the past decade.

Google's Revolutionary Inbox

Inboxes can be overwhelming at the best of times. As a business person, it's necessary to opt into the latest newsletters, but before you know it, you find it difficult to choose what to open, let alone what to read. With Gmail, customizable tabs give you a quick look at subject lines by topic (e.g. Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates, Forums) and helps with tracking.

The 'drag and drop' feature lets you move messages across tabs, and the starring feature will highlight important messages in the primary tab to ensure you don’t lose sight of it. You may opt to have a sender always appear in a particular tab.

With these tabs in mind, business owners who use email marketing as part of their online marketing mix may want to instruct their new subscribers to filter their emails into the primary inbox.

A Better Compose

Gmail's Compose feature lets you write correspondence while keeping an eye on your Inbox. It is a fast, easy to use facility and packed with features like:

  • Small compose windows that open up for writing, instead of one that covers the whole screen. This allows you to watch your Inbox for important new messages, and scroll through older messages for referencing.
  • Ability to “Pop Out” and “Pop In” multiple compose windows, in case you are coordinating team messages or what to handle different tasks concurrently.
  • Easy to use icons bar to control text, font, attachments for both PC and Mac users.

Storage Features

Google's current drive storage policies give users 15 gigabytes of free storage that can be shared by your Gmail attachments and e-mails, Google Drive, and Google+ Photos content (note: paid plans are also offered. For example, $1.99 per month for 100 GB; $9.99 per month for 1 TB  of storage).

For most solopreneurs, bloggers, and online business startups this is plenty of space.

Gmail Embraces the Mobile Revolution

In 2014, the Gmail mobile application was downloaded for the billionth time on Google Android. It reflects Google's commitment to Gmail's cross-platform accessibility. Gmail Mobile allows you to search your e-mails to help you quickly find what you need. It also offers real-time notices that ensure that you don't miss anything important.

Like the desktop version, you can switch between different labels, as well as different Gmail accounts.

The new Inbox (see above) is available in Gmail's official mobile apps on Android 4.0+ devices, the Apple iPhone and the iPad. The primary tab is shown when you open your email with easy access to the other tabs.

With the increasing trend toward smartphone use and mobile commerce, email marketers should be sure they are optimizing email marketing for mobile devices and following these mobile email marketing best practices.

Other Useful Features

  • Video calls: Turn any conversation into a video call with up to 10 friends with Hangouts in Gmail. Then add apps and effects to put a smile on your face.
  • View attachments instantly: View files without leaving Gmail. You can even save attachments directly to your Drive to organize and share them in a single, safe place.
  • Google Hangouts: Bring conversations to life using photos, emoji emoticons, and group video calls for free. Lets you connect with family and friends across PC's, Apple, and Android devices.
  • Integration with Google Drive.

Conclusion

Gmail is one of the best web-based e-mail services available today, because it offers users a wide array of basic and special features that make online communication a breeze. As part of the extensive Google family of applications, you have the opportunity to seamlessly work across its video, mobile, storage, and other social media facilities.

Whether as your primary business e-mail tool, or as a complimentary service to better segment your daily communication, Gmail offers a safe, stable tool to further your Internet marketing and business networking needs.