A large share of the email traffic that is leaving companies belongs in the category of transactional messages. A confirmation of a purchase, a report of the check-in at the airport, a memory for a yearly maintenance.
These are just a few examples of service messages that can automatically be sent by an email marketing platform if it is triggered by an event or action. A new feature in Gmail attracted our attention. It offers us a nice view into the future.
Using the new Events feature in Gmail, users of this email client will never have to copy and paste dates like flight data, concerts and performances, hotel reservations into their agenda. Gmail Events will automatically add all this data, starting from the incoming email, on each device that is attached via Gmail with its very own Google Calendar. This way the email client becomes more of an operational tool that is fed by the content of the message.
Not only the date and time is shown in the calendar, but also the link to the corresponding detail data that should be included in the calendar item is stored. This makes it easier to look up a few things when the time comes, or if you want to know the right conditions when you reach the location. An update email with possible delays on the flight, will automatically become visible as well. The possible applications are, of course, in terms of transactional messages, very extensive.
But obviously an email marketer can take this functionality even further. Why not send a message with the birthday of a partner as an event, along with her wishlist in the e-shop? Why not also include Valentine and Saint Nicholas with a link to a coupon for an appropriate gift? Why when you buy an electronic device not also a memo in the calendar for an extended warranty, roughly a year after the purchase?
Triggering an action
Of course, this technology is still in its infancy phase. At Google, they obviously are a forerunner in this field. But the development is all the more interesting as an email client can interpret the content of a message. Reading semantically is the digital trend of the future. It sounds a bit like science fiction, but we must not close our eyes to this evolution.
What if the email client soon fulfills a bit the role of a personal assistant that not only books appointments into your diary, but at the same time reserves the restaurant and based on your preferences signals a specific offer. It is no more than building on what Gmail Events already realizes today. A trend to keep an eye on! Because other email clients will follow soon!