Some thought that the importance of email would decline over the years. However, email marketing is still as popular as ever. In the meantime, there have been plenty of changes across different social media channels, for example, dealing with the decline in Facebook’s newsfeed organic reach or Instagram and Pinterest changing algorithms. These frequent modifications make it harder for businesses to reach their target audiences.
In contrast, email marketing is still one of the most stable (for good and bad) marketing platforms, and it is here to stay. Thus, today we would like to talk about the potential future of email. What could email marketing look like with voice assistant technology securing its place in the market?
The Power of Voice in Modern Home
Voice assistants, such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri are becoming increasingly popular in our households. According to Statista, 65% of 25 to 49 year-olds used voice assistants at least once a day.
Predictably, this has opened a new channel for modern marketing. Brand recognition and reach with the power of voice, rather than image, will be vital for successful marketing through voice assistants. Google reveals that 52% of owners of their voice-activated speakers would like to receive information about deals, sales or promotions. 48% of them want to get personalised tips to make their lives easier. The respondents would also like to get information about events, find specific business information, and access business customer support.
Yes, voice technology has also started to somewhat shape email marketing: some smart speakers now have skills to access our emails. Though still quite limited, they can do the essential functions: read, reply and delete our emails, as well as switch to the next message. Maybe in the future, smart speakers will be able to read and understand a much wider range of languages too.
Promotional emails contain many images, and voice assistants do not see them. For marketing through such smart devices, email content, the text itself, is your power. It is the voice of your email. For example, no full stop in your email means that the assistant will continue reading the text as one long sentence.
Moreover, as the images are not actually downloaded, the tracking pixel is not either. It means that, currently, we cannot track such email opens. However, no need to panic yet – these are only the first steps of voice tech into email marketing. Given enough time, voice assistants could make a significant impact on email marketing.
Smart Speakers: A Lot of Potential
A few years back consumers started mass-adopting smartwatches with innovative email functionality. Now it is expected for a smartwatch to notify about an incoming email, text or call. While voice technology will focus on text, other smart devices will most likely continue to develop their visual functions, such as image quality or even video capabilities on wearable devices. Technology moves fast!
In the future, your personal voice assistants will probably be able to do much more with your emails, for example, virtually sort your messages by priority, the sender, email type and maybe even by your engagement with a particular brand. You will most likely be able to mark some brands as favourites so your voice assistant could instantly notify you about an incoming email from your favourite brand.
The future voice assistant technology will probably allow you to act on the calls-to-action placed in your emails. For example, you are being advertised an item that you would like to buy, so you give instructions and add it to your cart, and make a purchase straight from your email rather than through the native shopping platform.
It is also likely that you will be able to complete many other tasks through your emails – for example, to request a callback from an email sender or book appointments. It would be a fantastic achievement, especially from the accessibility point of view. The possibilities are endless.
Marketers and developers will need to think about how to make the channel more friendly for promotions and even sales. However, even now the sales numbers placed through voice assistants are increasing. Amazon has recently revealed that the usage of Amazon Alexa for shopping purposes in 2018 more than tripled in comparison to 2017, so there’s lots of potential for growth.
Tech is Changing; Email is Too
There’s no going back – technology change is non-stoppable. Smart speaker demand should continue to grow, together with their functionality. They might change their appearance or become integrated into other consumer technology, but such smart tech has already made a significant impact on consumers.
65% of Amazon Echo and Google Home users cannot imagine going back to the days of not owning a smart speaker, GeoMarketing informs. New technology, such as wearable tech or smart speakers, present new marketing opportunities as well as challenges. As most of these gadgets have or at least plan to have some email functionality, email marketing reach will continue to increase.