Email interaction: tell it like it is

As humans, we are accustomed to dealing with yin and yang, good and evil, happy and sad. Whether in the tangible world or the digital world, one can expect for the good to always come with the bad. Recently, Facebook has announced that it is testing a “Dislike” button to convey the notion of disapproval and complement the Like button. 

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Whether Facebook winds up implementing the Dislike button or not, it’s clear that it understands the value in knowing the likes and dislikes of its members. Testing the Dislike button demonstrates that simple question and answer content has the potential to generate extremely valuable information, and email marketers can borrow from the polarity of these options. You don’t have to be Facebook to reap the rewards of this information; email marketers can also use a variety of techniques to learn what their consumers like and dislike.

Some consumers absolutely love what’s landing in their inboxes. Others may dislike it to the point of unsubscribing or complaining that messages are spam. Yet, these sentiments and points of input remain a mystery for many marketers. Fortunately, an email itself can be used to gather input related to the root cause of possible complaints and disengagement metrics.

First, email marketers must recognize that messaging and brand communication is not a one directional valve that drops information to the masses. Brands can tap into the true potential of the email channel while simultaneously empowering their customers to vote for the next promotional offering, the next product to stock up on, or the next cover of the catalog. These types of communications create an opportunity for subscribers to tell it like it is.

Using input data to determine a customer’s likes and dislikes enables email marketers to bring more innovation, interaction, and reality to an inbox. Email clicks provide a wealth of explicit and implicit input data from a consumer that immediately translates into an actionable data point. This triggers an automated touch point in the consumer journey, which allows email marketers to develop more use cases for inbox interaction and data gathering, providing a more meaningful inbox and overall brand experience. 

With email now open on mobile more than any other device, a Like/Dislike or Yes/No option is a fast track to capturing actionable data from consumers on the go. A quick input approach also works well on mobile push notifications, which makes all digital communications inherently more interactive.

Essentially, the beauty of one-click email is that it lets recipients have a voice – they can tell it like it is on the spot. Here are three examples of brands using one-click emails to prompt automated lifecycle messages based on the customer’s direct influence and proactively address issues that could culminate in the form of a block, complaint, or even an unsubscribe action.

1. TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor can gather valuable input via one question about travel destination preference.

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2. Shop Your Way

Shop Your Way uses coupon value to gather fast feedback.

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3. Amazon

Amazon asks for input on delivery status as a means to collect actionable data.

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There is virtually no limit to the type of data you can capture with these types of binary questions. The first step is to understand what kind of data you could easily capture. That enables you to deliver a more relevant message and customer experience. Next, build out a plan to collect this information over a series of messages and touchpoints, whether via email, mobile push notifications, or any other channel. Once your customers see that you’re using the data to create a better user experience, they will continue to participate in this type of progressive profiling.

Is your email program allowing your audience to share its sentiments? Are you putting this data into action with relevant, timely communication? If not, consider these possibilities and open up new lines of communication by encouraging your audience to tell it like it is.

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