Is Voice Technology in Email Marketing Big Enough Already?
Article by Aditya Kathotia
Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Google Assistant – at a point of time, each of these voice assistants was new technology that users had minimum interaction with.
Fast track to the future and they’re no longer just another app people don’t use. These virtual assistants are now like personal assistants, helping people carry out daily tasks – from playing music to generating weather reports and reading emails.
Extra emphasis on reading emails as that’s what we’re here to talk about today – The role of voice tech in email marketing.
46% Americans use digital voice assistants, but is that to read mails?
Nearly half of Americans have used voice technology, with 55% of them saying the reason behind using it is to go hands-free.
That sounds well and fine but let’s not forget that 61% of those that do not use voice assistants cited lack of interest as a reason for not indulging in voice tech.
So we’re back to square one – are people even using voice assistants to interact with the mails they receive?
Yes, they are.
All voice assistants – be it Cortana, Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant – can read, reply, delete and archive mails. They can also switch to the next mail if you want them to.
Is that beneficial for email marketers?
That is up for debate.
Voice assistants for email marketing – potential powerhouse
In the year 2018, a total of 86.2 million units of smart speakers were sold and shipments increased by 95%. Moreover, the number of voice assistants is set to rise from 3.25 billion in the year 2019 to 8 billion in 2023.
Judging by these stats, voice assistants seem set to be the future of email marketing. Even Google’s stats reveal that 52% of voice speaker owners want to receive sales, deals and promotions information via their virtual assistants.
This is has the potential to work in favor of email marketers. You get the golden opportunity to have a ton of subscribers in your list who are otherwise too busy to actively read through mails.
Besides, you can use voice assistants for email triage as well, allowing users to sort mails to read later on another device.
Another factor that points to a voice assistant based future for email marketing is accessibility. Since every 1 in 5 people have a disability in the US, voice technology can help them carry out tasks they wouldn’t be able to normally. Like reading and replying to emails for example.
The case against voice technology in email marketing
Sure, voice technology has a lot of potential. But it has limitations. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies as of now. So if you wish to make voice assistants a part of your email marketing strategy, you need to be aware of the challenges it poses-
- A vital part of email marketing is the option to unsubscribe, which voice assistants can’t do
- Neither can they identify spam messages so that’s that
- Also, if you’ve taken the time to create a supremely interactive email, your subscribers are going to miss out on the awesomeness of it
- Users can’t reply to CTA
- They can’t be taken to a landing page either since there’s no web browser support on voice assistants
- – there’s NO WAY you can track your email performance if a voice assistant reads it; you won’t know how many of subscribers used their voice assistants to read your mail
Sounds like a whole lot of limitations, doesn’t it? You can argue that as of now, voice technology is not going to make a significant dent in email marketing. But you can still use voice tech to your advantage.
Presently, voice assistants are not evolved enough to replace traditional emails in any way. However, you can still use this technology to attract and engage your subscriber list in the way they want. Here’s how-
ü Create text-only emails instead of image-only ones as voice assistants are not smart enough to read out image-only emails
ü Write a captivating subject line to entice your subscriber into having the mail read out loud
ü Avoid inserting special characters and emojis in the subject line and ensure your sender is easy to recognize
ü Create a stellar copy that’s worth your audience’s time so they keep coming back for more
Voice technology right now is fraught with limitations as far as email marketing is concerned. However, it has the potential to grow, especially in terms of accessibility.