Gmail Annotations

Naomi West avatar
Naomi West@emailfromnaomi

Stand Out in the Promo Tab with Gmail Annotations

Gmail is the second most widely used inbox. It comes with many unique qualms, and quirks. The well-debated Promotions Tab is one of those quirks. Gmail Annotations give the Promotions Tab an edge that will allow brands to stand out with the launch of its latest release.

What Are Gmail Annotations?

Gmail Annotations, initially released back in 2018, are metadata that can be added to your email messages to provide more information about your email to the recipient. In simple terms, they bring in imagery into the feed view to make them stand out. They are exclusive to the Promotions Tab, meaning only those with the Promo Tab turned on can see them. And when you can see them, they are marvelous!

Image of what the promotions tab looks like with Annotations

How Can Gmail Annotations Enhance Your Email Experience?

For those that worry the Promotions Tab isn’t where you want your email to land, think again. Gmail Annotations are exactly what will make your email stand out amongst the noise

More Information

For e-commerce brands sending to a burnt-out email subscriber, a simple “a sale is on” subject line might not do the trick…but what if your subscriber could get a visual of what’s on sale without entering the email at all…boom, sale.


Gmail Annotations bring interactivity directly into the feed. Without needing to jump through multiple hoops to get to a product of interest, subscribers can click directly on whatever products interest them, and be taken directly to the specified URL within the email.

Increased Engagement

Gmail Annotations can lead to higher engagement and resulting conversion. Whether someone engages with your email as usual or clicks on one of your highlighted products, you have the potential to reach more users by showing more content.

How to implement Gmail Annotations

There are two types of Gmail Annotations. Both have unique code that, when included in the <head>, can pull details into the feed view. Pull these into your Parcel account, save the <script> portion as a snippet, and use them in your next email campaign!


Meant to show off sales, expiring promotions, and any bonus a subscriber might get by engaging with your brand.

Product Carousels

A swipe through of imagery!

For product imagery/promotions, each image needs to be the same ratio according to their docs, the supported aspect ratios are 4:5, 1:1, 1.91:1. For product carousels, each image must have a unique URL and use the same aspect ratio.

Where will Annotations take us?

Currently, Annotations are exclusive to mobile devices.

The possibilities of Annotations are endless. We're excited for brands to start leveraging them. Do we see web support in the future? Maybe!

Since their new release in mid-February 2023, they seem automated without the required code. But why? This is something Parcel will be keeping an eye on.

Why can't I get these to work?

After we initially published this blog post in line with the latest documentation from Google, we tested, tested, and tested, and couldn't get them to work. So we reached out to Google and here's what we found out.

  1. Annotations are currently only available for those on an allowlist. For security reasons, and to prevent the abuse of Annotations, Google is currently evaluating senders on a case-by-case basis to ensure they meet a specific standard.
  2. In reference to being unable to test these Annotations once on the allowlist, Google has said they have a system that detects whether an email is a mass email - so for Product Carousel to appear, an annotated email must be sent to a larger number of recipients. This means, no 1:1 testing, which is a bummer!
  3. The above features are currently in beta, if you are a brand that would like to request being accepted onto the allowlist, Google has shared that you can reach out to to request to be added!