Enhancing Customer Experience With Email Schemas

Delivering a great end to end customer experience doesn’t just stop when your customers complete their checkout process. Every communication you have with them thereafter matters. Anything that can be done to make their continued interactions with your brand better is something worth implementing.

**Enrich Emails To Your Customers With Schemas**

Just like the extensive list of Schema types that can be applied to a website’s HTML markup (something we’ve looked at here), there is an equally complete list of schema types for emails which, in a similar fashion to the schemas applied to your website, allow you to stand out, but directly in your customer’s inbox rather than in search results.

Standing out in a crowd is a great thing, and there is no place more crowded than a person’s inbox.

– Seb Ashton

What is Possible with Email Schemas?

There are three main categories of schema for use in emails. These are:

  • Orders,
  • Promotions
  • Reservations

These then break down further into more specific types and, in the case of Orders, allow you to markup shipping updates. However, it’s the possible actions that will make your emails stand out in a customer’s inbox.

With an action it is possible for a customer to perform some basic tasks without leaving their inbox. Tasks like track a parcel, review a product, or viewing their order details.

Integrating Schemas into Your Emails

Integration into a HTML email is very similar to integration within a HTML webpage.

You can either write the required attributes into the markup inline, or wrap all the required information in a block of JSON. The JSON approach is probably more preferable in the context of email, as some templates can be very complex, and integrating the micro data with your visual content will get very complex, very quickly.

To ensure your new email microdata is correct, Google provide a markup tester. It’s the same one you may have used for your website, although you’ll only be able to use the direct HTML input.

Once you are satisfied that your email markup is correct, you are only one step away from it appearing in your customer’s inbox, which is registering your markup and actions with Google.

Pros and Cons

Microdata in email is currently only supported by Gmail, and not in either Yahoo! Mail or Outlook so, with that in mind, you might want to hold fire on investing too much time in implementing the full suite of available markup.

However, owing to the fact that Schema.org is a joint venture between Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, it’s very likely that integration on those platforms isn’t too far away, and if you have a high number of Gmail users in your customer base or on mailing lists, schema markup in your promotional emails will increase your conversion rates and help you deliver a greater experiences for your customers.

About the Author

Seb Ashton

Former Lead Software Engineer at Made Tech. Pixel pushing, caffeine addicted, end to end web developer.

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