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GMail Inbox Sidebar Widget for an Email Marketing Program

  • Post published:March 8, 2016

Monitoring and maintaining mass email campaigns and tracking individual customer data by each email can be cumbersome. It is for exactly this reason that a client of ours recently hired vteam #215 to develop a sidebar widget that could be used in conjunction with Gmail to improve their email marketing.

What is the Sidebar Widget?

The GMail Inbox Sidebar widget is a tool which reads an email’s hidden contents (produced via server technology like PHP) and gets information from the database about the email sender to ensure accurate and informed management.

The Widget was developed by vteams using the inboxSDK API which can be found here. The InboxSDK is a high level JavaScript library used to easily build browser extensions that interact with both Gmail and Inbox by Google.

The following technologies are used in this Sidebar Widget:

  • InboxSDK API
  • Chrome Extension
  • PHP 5.0
  • jQuery 1.11

How does it Work?

The Widget reads the unique Contact/Sender ID (The contact is the person who received the email from the program user in this case). When the User opens the email from the Contact the Widget reads a unique Contact ID (hidden in the message when it was first sent from the program). From that hidden Contact ID, the Extension uses a PHP API to retrieve the contact information and display it in the Sidebar with Contacts general Information for the convenience of the program user.

What Makes Up the Sidebar Widget?

The Widget has three major sections:

1- Contact’s General Information:

This section contains details of the contact such as Email. Name, Company, Phone, Title. It also tracks each contact’s score. Each time a contact opens the email, clicks on a link in said email, forwards the email or visits the host website through the email his/her score is increased.


2- Tracking History:

The tracking history keeps record of the contact’s activity such as:

  • Which of the Emails Contact has opened
  • Which links the contact has clicked
  • To whom the contact has forwarded the emails
  • Which of the pages the contact has visited through the email sent


3- Buttons:


i- OptOut Button:

This button allows the user to add any Contact’s Email address to a banned List. As a result, the system will not send any emails to the contact from that point onwards.

ii- Cancel Campaign Button:

This button allows you to delete and remove all campaigns/emails which are in the queue.