Google "Quick Actions" Put Clickable CTAs in Subject Lines

    by Ginny Soskey

    Date

    November 12, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    175898950_narrowWhen people receive your emails in their inbox, there are quite a few steps they need to take before they engage with the content of the email.

    First, they receive the email in their inbox. Then, they notice the email and open it. Then, they click on something inside. Then, they land on your website. That took a while -- and most of your audience probably dropped off after the first or second step in the process.

    Wouldn't it be great if you could somehow shorten that whole process so more people could have the opportunity to end up on your website through your emails? Yup, sounds like a marketer's dream.

    Well, that dream is becoming a reality with Google's quickly expanding "Quick Actions" buttons for Gmail. Basically, these buttons are little calls-to-action that appear at the end of your email subject line like this:

    google_actions

    Then, when you click on them, you can take an action without leaving the comfort of your inbox. Let's say I wanted to RSVP to one of the above invites. Here's what my inbox would look like:

    RSVPScreenshot

    Before, Google had only a few types of buttons: You could RSVP to events, track flights, and review companies, to name a few. And if marketers wanted to include any other button times, they had to create custom buttons with special markup ... yup, it was highly technical. 

    Yesterday, Google added a bunch more types of Quick Actions. Now you can view YouTube and Vimeo videos by clicking the Quick Action, "View Video." Or open up a Dropbox or Google Docs folders and documents to collaborate with your teammates on a project. Or, you can change up your dinner reservation with OpenTable, among other things. (Adding a custom Quick Action button is still possible through the Google Developer Site.)

    Okay, I know that you guys like hearing about new products and whatnot here on the HubSpot blog, but I know what you're waiting for: So what? Why do I need to know about Google Quick Actions? Because it could have a pretty big impact on the way you run your email marketing campaigns. 

    What Quick Actions Mean for Your Marketing

    Let's be real: Lots of people have been complaining about Gmail lately. With the addition of Gmail tabs, lots of us freaked out. Gmail tabs was the end of email marketing! Ahhh!

    Not so fast. These Quick Actions are actually an awesome opportunity for marketers. Since lots of marketers aren't using Quick Actions yet, those that do will stand out visually in the inbox -- regardless of whether you end up in the Primary or Promotions tab. 

    Besides it being the next hot tool for you to implement in your email marketing, this tool could also change how you measure email marketing success. Lots of people are incredibly concerned with open rates -- and while they are a metric that's indicative of success when considered comparatively, it has never really been a great metric to rely on. If you can put your CTA (the Quick Actions button) right next to your email subject line, you'd have one less reason to worry about open rates. Instead, focus on clickthrough rates -- like you should be already -- of Quick Actions and within the body of your email. 

    And as the importance of tracking open rates declines with Quick Actions buttons, two email marketing elements become even more important: a good sender name and an engaging subject line. Make sure your sender name is recognizable and trusted by always sending high-quality emails. For the subject line, make sure you're following these best practices to make your subscribers want to click on your Quick Action -- and be sure to run A/B subject line tests to see how you should tweak those best practices for your audience. Sender names and subject lines have always been important, but with Quick Actions, they'll become the crux of your email marketing strategy.

    Overall, this is a really cool feature update that has tons of positive opportunities for marketers. If you want to implement it in your own emails, call up your company's developer because implementing it gets pretty technical. Hopefully, Google will start making these Quick Actions more accessible to marketers. They'd benefit our subscribers and our clickthrough rates -- something we all want to do with our emails.

    How would you use Google's Quick Actions in your email marketing? 

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