You might have asked Siri or Google to find a nearby restaurant, check the weather, play your favourite song or find your favourite football team’s score. These are commands we are all familiar with and use in our everyday life.
However, today voice assistants can do much more, for example check your emails, read your emails and even perform a number of actions on the emails. Apple stated that Siri is actively used on over half a billion devices, while Amazon has sold more than 100 million Alexa devices.
So what does this mean and what impact can this have on the world of email marketing? So far, email marketing has been a visual medium, quite static too with little support for video and audio. The Campaignmaster team spend hours researching and debating what layouts, images, background colours, font colours, font sizes and typography to use. To a voice assistant this doesn’t really matter.
Is this the end of email marketing as we know it? No, of course not. In the past we have always stressed the importance of making emails more accessible; accessibility equals a higher conversion rate.
Email marketers are adaptable. We accommodated smartphones when they became popular, and we ensured our templates were mobile responsive. When Apple released their smartwatch, we ensured the text version of our campaign was clear to read on a smaller screen.
Voice assistants gives us another chance to be more creative, adaptable and use voice to our advantage.
Please keep note that voice assistants are still relatively new and we expect changes and improvements in the upcoming years. Currently, we have two type of devices:
- A screen with a voice assistant – like the IPhone and Samsung Galaxy
- Smartspeaker only – like the Amazon Echo and Google Home
It’s also good to know what you can and can’t do, for example with Alexa you can request to:
- Read your emails
- Reply to your emails
- Delete your emails
- Archive your emails
With Siri you can ask “read me my emails”, Siri will proceed to read the first 25 subject lines and the sender’s details. To get the full text of the email you will need to ask “read my last email” and Siri will read your emails starting from the top of your inbox.
Thus it’s more important than ever to make sure your campaign details (from name and from address) are instantly recognisable by the recipient. With Campaignmaster, you can edit and personalise the campaign details. Also all replies are redirected to an email address of your choice. Replies to emails will be the best way for us to measure voice assistant interactions.
Image heavy emails will suffer too as the voice assistant will skip past your images and ignore the image alt text. It’s more important than ever to have a healthy balanced of image to text ratio. We recommend 60% text and 40% images. Emoji’s on the other hand will be recognised and described back; “Smiling face emoji”.
For people with disabilities or who are visually impaired, voice assistants are essential allowing them to access content otherwise they may not otherwise be able to access. Therefore, it’s important to make sure your text is clear and you have double checked your grammar and spelling.
Based on the above, should we consider voice assistants when creating our emails? Earlier this year research estimated there are more than one billion voice searches per month! With the popularity of voice assistants, it’s no doubt improved AI (artificial intelligence) and functionality will improve how emails read back. We envision a day where articles are skipped and more actions performed using just your voice.
We are still some time away from this, managing your data, design and mobile optimisation should be prioritised ahead of voice assistants. Its clear email is becoming more accessible as in the last 10 years, we went from accessing emails on our computer, to our smartphone, to our smartwatch and now via voice.
For a personalised demo on our email marketing platform send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our friendly reps will be in touch.