Microdata has had a strange history when marketing is concerned. We all ride under the assumption that we can market by looking at one billboard or one sign and talk about whether it aesthetically appeals to the audience. We are bound to be limited to that view, considering everything, because marketing is a relatively younger discipline. Now amongst its varying requirements, one thing that a marketer must ensure to accomplish is a solid relationship between themselves (as a business) and their audience.
The secondary element to this development is distribution. Knowing your channel and getting a product optimally through each channel is also one element that a marketer has to be very familiar with. Jump forward through the timeline a little and here we are back in the not so cozy world of digital marketing, where the same principle apply but end up getting tangled in so many details. Channeled marketing in digital sense is a lot more contextualized as Email marketing which many experts prefer to deal with as separate from SEO.
So let us get one thing completely straightened out, the bridge between the two (if there ever was one) is now almost non existent. The optimization of email marketing has been a study that has turned a good number of heads, which is exactly where Schema.org comes in with email markup. I am not here to talk to you prematurely about how Schema.org works or what exactly is email markup. There are enough tutorials that will get around talking about that. No, Schemas work is truly a utility if you want your emails, to be interactive. There are two sides of the debate, is email markup going to shoot your conversions through the roof? But more importantly does interactivity really play an all important role in conversions?
Less opening, less time
Calling to Action..differently
Remember how SEO experts talk about the importance of Call To Actions so email marketing first included impressive fliers that mentioned great deals or a fantastic new service being opened. That was impressive right? Markup allows those CTAs to evolve, mix the microdata of your content within your email and it allows the recipients to immediately understand what your email is all about. If it is an event invitation then they can RSVP to it, if it is a poll then they can answer it without landing on the page. The possibilities are almost endless.
Non Opening Conversions
These conversions are Non-opening conversions because your visitors or audience have not actually visited your website through the email. The interaction has taken place with your offer or your intended campaign. So you either get the conversion or you do not which is an interesting debate on the efficacy of the content: whether it is generating a lead or not, or if it is simply being too quick for its own good.
In fact it can even get you conversions without having to open your email according to Edward Touw.As a marketer, theres positives and negatives to this. It is a positive because your seasoned subscriber knows you so they can decide whether to RSVP or not, whereas a new subscriber or recipient may simply do so in ignorance. The smart digital marketer will understand the distinction between the twowhich is exactly where I input my warning. In places, the organic traffic to your website and conversions are only possible if you allow the recipient to click, open and follow through to your website. Mind you, the markup can still be customized to achieve that superbly.
Is interactivity needed for conversions?
The question answer itself right? Interactive content means your recipient is engaging more with your campaign, is more of an active participant which can only spell good things for your conversion strategy. Unfortunately, the reality is not as black and white as you would like to believe. There were over 350 million users available in Gmail as of 2012, which is a very important statistic. If you’re a Gmail user like many others make sure you are up to speed on all the Gmail tips and tricks. Because it is easy to be attracted to spamming these users, Google took serious steps in optimizing the email procedure and removes spam. Thus far this is all following well enough right?
The problem surfaces within markup when certain email styles become counter productive to the policy Google follows, hence earning a one way ticket to the spam folder, but the sender might be more or less oblivious of this fact. So the format of markups that are a no-go zone for Google is still a grey area, which is saying something because Google still has not standardized Schema for its purposes. You need to register to avail its services.
But what do we mean when we say interactivity?
Kristi Hines presents a few actions to us which are all covered easily by Schema.orgs markup.
- 1- RSVP
- 2- On-Click
- 3- Review
- 4- Go-to
The last of these actions allow the recipient to be taken to your website without having to open your mail. Again from a conversion perspective, this might be useful and at the same time has the potential to be abused by spammers.
In all likeness however, I certainly find the act of opening a mail, searching for the URL and then going to the website a tedious one, all of that depending on the fact if I take interest in the newsletter. With this analysis in mind, the markups possibilities are good ones and they certainly do allow your recipient to interact with your website without actually being on your website. As stated above though, this markup is a practice which comes with its own set of chains. So with all this said, if you do plan on using this tool: then do so with a proper content strategy in mind. Thats one fact though which is unchanging for any kind of tool within digital marketing. Cheers.