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Trend: Email Opt-in Forms Appearing in Search Results.

Google places optin form directly in search ad, eliminating the need to visit advertisers’ site.
From an email marketing perspective, list growth has and always will be a top goal. We have covered numerous list growth tactics here in Trends and Takeaways, the good and the bad. Even still, it’s always exciting when something cutting edge like this surfaces. Not only is this concept extremely efficient, combining an advertisers preexisting Google ad with an optin form, it also simplifies the process for the subscriber. Users no longer have to worry about leaving their current page and visiting an advertiser’s landing page. As long as they’re logged into Gmail, the form will auto populate their basic information and with just one click, they’re signed up. It looks like quality and efficient list building practices are finally coming into the mainstream and it’s promising to see a big name like Google facilitating it.

Takeaway: It’s still early, but keep an eye out for this game changer.
Normally we stick to proven and executable trends here, but we just couldn’t help ourselves with this one. Obviously it is in its testing phases and there is little hard data to analyze, but judging by the big names who have jumped in to test, I think this format is here to stay. This trend, when and if it takes off, will inevitably change the way we look at search marketing. Where cost per click, cost per impression etc left marketers confused when calculating their ROI in the past, cost per acquisition will be the tangible game changer. Marketers will be able to quantify their results and see exactly what it costs to build their lists.

How To: Take baby steps.
There are a few downsides here, one mainly concerning non Gmail users. The simplicity of this tactic lies mostly in its ease of use for web searchers. As long as they are logged into their Gmail account, their information is populated for them, enabling them to optin with just one click. However, searchers who use other email providers will have a different experience, having to enter their information manually in another window. It’s hard to say whether this will have a negative affect or not, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind.

Analyzing the results of any future search campaign will come down to the understanding of one thing: email addresses gained through search optin pages are not guaranteed to be as valuable as those gathered from more traditional methods. Knowing this, marketers will have to be mindful of the differences between previous subscribers and those who opt in through a search ad. Search subscribers will require separate customized follow up campaigns. Because their optin method was near effortless and understandably less memorable, they will require immediate and recurring follow up. So, as with any other marketing campaign, preparation will be key. An effective drip campaign will help nurture these new subscribers and entice them to engage. For the mean time, until more is known about this optin method, all we can do is keep our eyes open and test.

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