Some of you may despise ads in your email...some of you may have not noticed them. Myself, I welcome them. I don't necessarily click on them often and they may not be the most relevant ads I could be seeing, but Google is promising a roll-out of better, fewer ads for everyone in the near future.
The Old Ads
I do not have all of the technology aspects behind how Google is currently and has been showing ads, but from what I can gather, it is heavily based on terminology used within emails. For example, I may receive an email from my wife asking me to pick up some things at the store...maybe a light-bulb. I may see an ad from GE on their newest innovation in light-bulbs. In a way this could be relevant, but I am looking for a quick fix. There might be ads that would be more relevant to me such as a coupon. Solely basing an ad on words used in an email is not extremely decisive.
Take this below ad for example. I have been gardening for a few years and around this time of year I get A LOT of emails from Gurney's and Spring Hill Nursery. Too many. This ad was shown despite the fact that I have been deleting everyone of these emails before reading them.
And the following ad showed up after I sent a test email containing text about a green Ford Fiesta.
I then got a test response that said, the Fiesta is nice, but have you seen the new Hyundai Sonata? The following ad then showed at the top.
These ads were all somewhat relevant...but I then wanted to see what happened if I said, "no, I hate Hyundai Sonatas!". Don't worry Hyundai...I don't, I drive one and love it. I did want to see what happened to the ad. What happened...I no longer see the Hyundai ad. Nowhere to be found! Definitely a step in the right direction, but when I am actually in the email, why do I see these ads about ink cartridges? Am I seeing these because I used the word "green" in my email and have gotten emails in the past about Databazaar? Regardless, I am viewing the current email about green Ford Fiesta's and Hyundai Sonatas, nothing to do with ink. This is an instance of what could, and will likely be improved. Don't get me wrong. I am not mad. To be honest, these irrelevant ads don't even bother me. But it will definitely be an improvement when more of the ads I see are relevant to my interests.
Unfortunately This One is Extremely Non-relevant
The Better Ads
What makes them better is what determines when and why to show an ad. If you receive a bunch of emails about a KitchenAid stand mixer, you could see ads for sales on KitchenAid stand mixers. If you get a bunch of those emails, but mark them as spam, you wouldn't be shown these ads. Even better, they will take geography into consideration. Instead of just a simple ad about KitchenAid stand mixers, the sale ad or coupon ad could be from a small kitchen store a block away from me. So not only is this ad something I am probably interested in, it is actually local! This is good for advertisers and consumers. If you aren't showing your AdWords ads across the entire Google Network, maybe you should reconsider.
Don't Hate the Ads
Give them a shot. Start paying attention to them and maybe even click on one when it sparks your interest. I am happy that Google is striving to show me extremely relevant ads...it makes my life easier. People have the same misconception with sponsored ads in their search engines, but trust me, there is more that goes into making these ads relevant than you think.
If you are still unhappy with relevant ads that can provide a benefit to you, you can opt out. Check out the video from Google regarding the "Better Ads".