Email and voice assistants

Voice and Email – An Odd Couple: Email’s Place With Voice Assistants

As an email developer at Response Labs, my job is comprised of two main parts: email development and watching industry trends. The latter piece actually contains two parts, the first being watching for new coding techniques and trends as email service providers slowly adopt more web standards, and the second is watching for changing trends in how current and new generations of consumers consume email. This is what led me to the article on Email Monk’s blog titled “Tracking Down the Role & Efficacy of Voice Assistants in Email Marketing.”

 

Introduction

In this article, Email Monks explore the current capabilities and limitations of voice assistants as they pertain to email marketing. What I found interesting in the article was even though voice assistants have progressed significantly since their inception – you can now literally order anything from the comfort of your couch – they don’t appear to know what to do with email other than read it aloud.

Bummer.

From a marketing standpoint, however, it makes sense that voice assistants would have limitations when it comes to marketing emails. I’m making a designation here because voice assistants are a big help for regular emails from say mom and dad. These simple messages with a few lines or paragraphs of text are perfect for being read aloud as you go about your day. 

Marketing Better Emails

Marketing emails, however, are tougher because they have evolved from simple plain text emails – like mom and dad would send – to complex and visually enhanced interactive forms of digital media (caveat that yes, not everyone gets the ‘pretty message’ and may opt to receive the text version of your email, in which case the voice assistants are quite useful!). So, voice assistants fall short because now instead of reading a few lines of text, they have images to describe alongside copy and call-to-actions to read. 

The article does outline how you can take advantage of voice assistants with your email markup, but these tips also apply to marketing emails in general, so for now, it seems like voice assistants will still need some training on how to be useful for marketing emails. Until then, they can definitely be useful for telling you about mom and dad’s latest trip to their favorite diner!

Tim Hart
thart@responselabs.com
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