Do you remember Gmail actions? Google presented them about 7 weeks ago. Actions are based on schema.org markup in emails, which allows email clients or even search engines to better understand what emails are about. Email clients then can use this information to improve the user experience.
Buttons in subject lines
For example, Gmail now renders clickable buttons next to the subject line for some message types. These include messages that are marked up as event or review invitations.
With action buttons, the recipient does not need to open those emails anymore. He does not need to leave the inbox and visit a website (except for Go-to-actions). Instead, he can perform simple transactions, such as confirming a webinar or writing a short review, just by clicking in his inbox overview. In the background, Gmail sends the request to the webpage.
Actions and DOI
Another way you could use actions would be to simplify your confirmation email. I have written a lot about double opt-in and its challenges in the past. It’s inconvenient for the user, especially, if the process is poorly designed.
Those nifty buttons can make things easier in Gmail.
The gif animation below shows …
- What the action button in the confirmation email looks like,
- How the user interacts with the button, and
- The arrival of the welcome email.
The markup code is simple. It’s just added to the regular html. In my newsletter, it looks like this:
<span itemprop="description" content="We need to confirm your email address."></span>
<span itemprop="action" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/ConfirmAction">
<meta itemprop="name" content="Confirm Subscription">
<span itemprop="handler" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/HttpActionHandler">
<meta itemprop="url" content="https://[CONFIRMATION_URL]">
<link itemprop="method" href="http://schema.org/HttpRequestMethod/POST">
However, senders need to apply for a whitelisting before they can take advantage of Gmail actions. The double opt-in example above works with MailChimp, who are a launch partner of Gmail actions. Furthermore, Actions are not yet available for all inboxes. Google rolls out this feature slowly.
I hope, other webmail providers will follow Gmail. Schema.org is an open standard. Let’s see!