As the world becomes increasingly digital, marketing efforts are also effectively shifted from traditional channels to online platforms.
Email marketing, in particular, has been a go-to strategy for marketers looking to reach their audience cost-effectively and efficiently. However, with the rise of voice assistants, a new form of email marketing is emerging: voice-based email marketing.
Voice-based email marketing allows users to send and receive emails using voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, and Apple’s Siri. This new channel presents unique opportunities for brands to engage with their audience in a more natural and conversational way.
By leveraging the strengths of voice assistants, brands can create more engaging and personalized email experiences. However, like any new technology, voice-based email marketing also presents some challenges.
This article will discuss some of the opportunities and challenges of voice-based email marketing. We’ll also provide insights and best practices on using this emerging technology to your advantage.
How the Rise of Voice-Based Technology Is Impacting Email Marketing
Voice-based technology has come a long way. In 2013, it saw significant improvements due to a combination of factors such as greater word accuracy and the impact of deep neural networks, making it a pivotal year for the industry. The technology evolved exponentially, and speech recognition systems already had an error rate of less than 5% by the end of 2019.
Over the years, voice technology has significantly improved, and consumers across the US have embraced it enthusiastically. In fact, research shows that by the end of 2022, 62% of Americans will have some form of voice-enabled speaker device or chat technology.
The gradual replacement of smartphone and computer interfaces by voice technology and voice-based interfaces has dramatically changed how customers encounter marketing content. As such, voice-based technology has become a real asset for email marketing strategies.
The technology requires email marketers to adapt their email content for voice-enabled devices by creating concise and easy-to-understand texts that voice assistants can read out loud. Marketers must consider the tone, structure, and language used in their emails to ensure they are optimized for voice-based interactions.
Unlocking the Potential: Advantages of Voice-Based Email Marketing
Companies in all industries worldwide are investing in technology to communicate better with their audiences. For instance, recent studies show that around 33% of medical clinics are now investing over a thousand dollars a month in specialized communication software just to stay in touch with patients and customers directly.
Such brands can use voice-based email marketing to their advantage. Here are some of the benefits of using this technique:
- Improved accessibility. Voice-based email marketing makes it easier for people with visual or physical impairments to access and interact with email content, increasing inclusivity and accessibility.
- Personalization. Voice-activated email campaigns can be customized with personalized voice messages, creating a more personal and engaging experience for the customer.
- Convenience. Voice-enabled devices allow customers to interact with email content hands-free and on the go, increasing convenience and accessibility.
- Increased engagement. Voice-based email marketing can help businesses increase engagement with their audience by providing a more interactive experience.
- Brand building. Using voice technology in email marketing can help businesses build their brand images and differentiate themselves from competitors.
- Better analytics. Voice-based email marketing can provide businesses with better insights and analytics on customer behavior, helping them optimize their email marketing campaigns for better results.
Overcoming the Hurdles: Navigating the Challenges of Voice-Based Email Marketing
Voice-based email marketing is a relatively new but rapidly growing marketing channel that offers unique opportunities for brands to engage with their audience. However, with any emerging technology, some challenges must be navigated to leverage its full potential successfully.
Some of the challenges include the following:
Limited Visual Elements
One of the main challenges of voice-based email marketing is the lack of visual elements. With traditional email marketing, brands can use images, graphics, and other visual elements to enhance their messages.
However, with voice-based email marketing, you must rely solely on the spoken word to deliver your message. This can be particularly challenging if you rely heavily on visual elements to convey your brand message.
The solution: Consider using descriptive language to paint a picture in the user’s mind. Additionally, you can use sound effects or music to enhance the user experience and make the email more memorable.
Limitations of Voice Assistants
Another challenge of voice-based email marketing is the limitations of voice assistants. While voice assistants have come a long way in accuracy and understanding, they still struggle with certain types of language, particularly technical or complex texts. This can make it challenging if you need to deliver technical or detailed messages to your audience.
The solution: Use simple and clear language in your emails. Avoid using technical terms or jargon that may be difficult for voice assistants to interpret. Additionally, consider providing supplementary materials or resources for users needing more detailed information.
Privacy concerns are another challenge of voice-based email marketing. Some users may be hesitant to engage with voice-based email marketing due to concerns about the privacy of their personal information. Some users may also be uncomfortable with the idea of voice assistants listening to and storing their conversations.
The solution: Be transparent about your data collection and storage policies. Ensure users understand what information you are collecting and how it will be used. You could also allow users to opt out of voice-based email marketing if they prefer not to participate.
Lack of User Control
The final challenge of voice-based email marketing is the lack of user control. Unlike traditional email, where users have control over when and how they read their messages, voice-based email marketing requires users to be in a specific location and have access to a voice assistant. This lack of control may make some users hesitant to use voice-based email marketing.
The solution: Allow users to receive emails in multiple formats, including traditional and voice-based emails. Additionally, provide users with the option to control when and how they receive voice-based emails. For example, users may want to receive voice-based emails during specific times of the day or on specific days of the week.
Best Voice-Based Email Marketing Practices for Brands
To make the most out of voice-based email marketing, brands need to implement some best practices that have proven to be effective in this new channel. These practices will help you create engaging, personalized, and effective voice-based email marketing campaigns that resonate with your audience.
Here are the best practices to follow:
- Understand your audience. The first step in successful voice-based email marketing is to understand your audience. Take the time to research their habits, preferences, and behaviors to tailor your message to their specific needs and interests.
- Craft a compelling message. Your message must be clear, concise, and compelling. Since you don’t have the benefit of visual elements, it’s important to use descriptive language and create a narrative that captures your audience’s attention.
- Optimize for voice assistants. Voice assistants are the gateway to voice-based email marketing. Ensure your message is optimized for the most popular voice assistants, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Use natural language and avoid complex or technical terms that may be difficult for voice assistants to understand. Test your message on different devices to ensure it’s compatible with all major voice assistants.
- Offer value. Your audience is busy and bombarded with marketing messages on a daily basis. To stand out, you need to offer something of value. This could be exclusive content, a special offer, or personalized recommendations based on their past behavior.
- Use a conversational tone. Voice-based email marketing is all about creating a conversation with your audience. Use a conversational tone and avoid corporate jargon or marketing-speak. This will help build a connection with your audience and make them more likely to engage with your message.
- Track and analyze results. As with any marketing campaign, it’s important to track and analyze your results. Use analytics tools to measure engagement, conversion rates, and other key metrics, and use this data to refine your messaging and improve your campaigns over time.
While this emerging channel has the potential to create more personalized and engaging interactions with customers, voice-based email marketing also requires a strategic approach and a thorough understanding of your audience.
By following these best practices and staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies, brands can successfully navigate the challenges of voice-based email marketing and leverage this channel to build stronger relationships with their audience.
Voice assistants continue to play a larger role in our daily lives, and voice-based email marketing is sure to become an increasingly important tool in every marketer’s toolkit.
Lee Li is a project manager and B2B copywriter from ShenZhen, China, and is currently based out of Singapore. She has a decade of experience in the Chinese fintech startup space as a PM for TaoBao, MeitTuan, and DouYin (now TikTok).
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