“Alexa, read my emails…”
Email is one of the most widely used forms of digital communication. With 54% of consumers using a voice assistant at least once a day, it’s no surprise that virtual assistants are implementing the ability to read emails.
Last December, Alexa lead the charge by announcing that consumers can now check their email using Alexa’s new capabilities to read and delete emails in a Gmail, Outlook, Hotmail, or Live.com inbox. Using this new Alexa function, consumers can access the ability to have their emails read, composed, sent, or permanently deleted. Much like you have been able to do with Siri for quite some time now, Alexa reads the (1) sender name, (2) subject line, and in most cases, (3) the preheader text—then the recipient gets to choose if they want to “read, reply, delete, archive or next.”
But what does this mean for you, the marketer? For one, the ability to have a voice assistant read your emails should put a renewed emphasis on subject lines and copy, especially if you want to prevent your marketing emails from being deleted.
Email Subject Lines
If it hasn’t been challenging enough, coming up with attention-grabbing subject lines may become more competitive to staying in recipients’ inboxes. The pressure is on for marketers to come up with well-written subject lines, as most users won’t see any text or images and will have limited information to determine whether to save (or delete) the email for later consumption on a desktop computer or smartphone. Keep in mind that emojis mean nothing to Alexa! Strive for subject lines that are catchy and informative—and remember that your visual cues (formatting, emojis, etc.) will be irrelevant. You want the recipient to either keep reading or save for later, so build a subject line with that in mind.
Email Copy and Content
If you can get your recipient to command Alexa to “read” the email, you’ll want to be sure your email’s copy and content is reading friendly. How do you make this change work with your email marketing efforts? Here are a few ideas:
- Once you pass the initial deletion process, the content of the email should be useful, provide simple, useful and reliable content that can carry a tone that fits with your company’s brand.
- Include interactive email content. Those that help answer frequently asked questions. Use voice command complete a purchase, pay a bill, or gather information or connect immediately to a representative.
- Focus on the little things. Optimize for hearing, not reading, and stay away from acronyms.
- Always test. Subject lines are the pathway to staying in the inbox and being read, and every audience is different. Running A/B tests on subject lines will help increase your chances to getting into the inbox and having your email engaged with. Learn more about testing everything–including subject lines–here.
Ready to get your subject lines voice-assistant-ready? Click here to download a helpful Step-by-Step Guide to Testing Subject Lines.