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Improving customer experience with Gmail’s Actions in the Inbox

A smooth user experience can make your customers appreciate your brand more. If you have a high proportion of Gmail users in your database, there’s some new technology that could make things easier: Actions in the Inbox.

What if there was a way to increase conversion rates to your emails in a way that makes customers happier with your brand? Actions in the Inbox can help your customers do some actions more easily and quickly. For now, this is restricted to Gmail. But as it is an open-source schema, other developers might pick up on it and we might start seeing it more widely.

So what can you do with Actions in the Inbox and what type of businesses should use them? There are four types.

One Click Action Preview

One Click Action Preview

Confirm with the click of a button

One-click Actions have a simple button interface and can be used for confirming or adding something to a queue. For instance, many businesses ask subscribers to confirm subscription to their emails. Instead of making the receiver open an email just to click on a link, senders could integrate a Confirm Action with the same result.

Useful for: businesses using a double opt-in process to emails, or any occasion that needs acknowledging a particular action.

Help customers share their impressions of you

As the name suggests, Review Actions are useful for asking your customers to review something, like a restaurant. You can set it to show a star-based rating, and you can also include text. It comes in a drop-down menu interface, and the response can be sent automatically to a third-party.

Useful for: Retail and travel brands, like hotels, restaurants, products

Review Action Preview

Review Action Preview

RSVP Action preview

RSVP Action preview

Start planning your event

The RSVP Action can be set to show a title, the date and time, location and number of confirmed attendees. Like the previous action, it looks like a drop-down menu. It’s useful for confirming attendance for an event, but it shouldn’t be used to introduce someone to an event as it doesn’t give enough detail to persuade someone to attend. One example would be asking your clients to RSVP to your Christmas party, after you’ve already sent them an email explaining all about it.

Useful for: event companies, private B2B events

Go-to Action preview

Go-to Action preview

Help them take the first step

Sometimes an action will require more steps than just clicking a button. Like when you want your customers to fill in a form. You can use Go-To actions for this to redirect them to the chosen page. Obvious examples are checking in for flights or reviewing previously placed orders.

Useful for: travel companies, airlines, delivery companies, ecommerce.

What is the effect on metrics?

The first apparent issue with Actions in the Inbox is that it’s going to decrease open rates. That also means that Gmail users won’t be exposed to more of your content, so use them with caution. All of your other contacts will open the email so including good content is still as important as ever.

Conversion rates should rise as it will be much easier for your customers to do what you want them to do. Consider the actions as a unique type of call-to-action. And all you have to convince customers to take them is your subject line, and your pre-header text (or part of it, if it’s longer).

Have you received any emails with actions in the inbox? We’d love to hear some examples!

All images used have come from the Google Developers page.

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