The Future of Email is in the Schema
Email marketing is a big deal, if you haven’t figured that out yet then you’ve probably gotten outside more than the Adster team has. It’s a very direct way to get info out to current or prospective clients. And it’s about to go through a major change. Last month at Google I/O, Google introduced Schema markup in Gmail. Now although it’s not completely implemented it could represent a huge change in how things are done, and hopefully sooner rather than later other email services will implement it as well. Basically what happens is this schema markup creates buttons that are calls to action for just about anything you want. These calls to action will appear as a button on the right side of the message in your inbox view. There are a few built in that I think are going to be absolutely essential to implement. Reviews, Interactive Cards, and Go-To actions.
One of the more challenging things especially for local businesses is getting reviews, and they don’t even have to be all positive. These actions are still in something called API preview, and reviews hasn’t even been implemented into Gmail as of yet, with it only supporting reviews for movies, restaurants, services, and products. One thing you can count on though is this expanding. Let’s stick with the restaurant example as a local business for now. So here’s what happens. You want to get some authority on your site, by getting people to review. You’ve tried to mention it to everyone you serve, and it’s still not delivering results. You have a mail list that you use and ask for reviews but people don’t seem to notice. The reviews markup takes a lot of the pain out of it. Allowing you to create a button that presents a quick dropdown giving customers the opportunity to review you without ever having to leave their email. It also lets you set where you want your reviews to appear
If you’ve ever used Google Now, you’ll know what’s coming. This is like Google Now integrated even further with Gmail. so it’s really cool. Right now the only card that is in the documentation is for Air Travel. Notifications on boarding and stuff like that. I would imagine this won’t be the only one in the future. I use Google Now every day. So having something like this is going to be the most exciting thing for me. At its current state it’s not really for local businesses, (it’s geared at airlines) but the possibilities with this, sending boarding passes to your phone, etc. is insane. Can you imagine emailing out coupons that can allow the person to either use it online or have it available on Google Now whenever they need it? Sign me up!
This is meant to any other conceivable action that you could ever want to implement that Google hasn’t built support for yet. If you want to link to specific page on your website or do a deep link into your applications or websites straight from an email (devs I’m talking to you). Taking advantage of this and linking to very specific areas is essential for getting some content that wouldn’t be noticed, front and center to your clients, without sending an excessively long email. Let’s say for example a company wants people to be aware of a terms of service. You can the message subject as something such as “‘Your Company Name | Changes to Terms of Service’” and then at the right side, the Go To Action button could read “View Changes”, and link directly to a new Terms of Service page. Or if it’s inside the app, it can switch into the app on your phone, or computer.
With the schema markup coming, and more actions likely to be added, the future looks bright for email marketing. And I should mention if you’re reading this and you’re worried about how much spam you’re going to be getting I wouldn’t worry too much. This will more than likely become one of those quality markers will take into account, making its spam filters even smarter. As with any of my articles, I enjoy taking a look into the what if, and what could be coming. I see huge potential into where this could go, and I’ll be keeping my peeled for any updates.