Technical

An introduction to email mark-up

by on 9th October 2015

We’ve just released another exciting update to our Schema.org guide, which now includes details on email markup. If you’re just looking to get stuck in, please head on over to the guide here, otherwise read on to find some of the highlights and opportunities that this mark-up provides…

Why should you care?

Gmail surpassed 900 million active users in May 2015, and of those, 75% are active on mobile. With such a huge adoption rate there is no doubt that Gmail users already form a growing (if not significant) proportion of your subscriber / customer base, and so any opportunity to increase user engagement is worthwhile.

Email mark-up allows users to carry out actions directly in Gmail such as write a review, track a parcel, or view an order. These are displayed as stand out call to actions in the UI:

image-1

These features can be expanded further either by selecting the dropdown or clicking through to the email itself:

image2

And…

Whilst this presents a great opportunity for current Gmail users, Google have been restricted in what they can release without alienating an existing user base. As an attempt to understand the future of what an email client should be, Google Inbox was released and you should be excited!

Hello, Google Inbox!

When you log into Inbox, you’ll first notice that it’s more visual and spacious than Gmail. Emails tend to take up a little more real estate with an increased padding, but mark-up plays a significant role with the potential to take up the full screen:

9-inbox-2

Smaller view actions are cleaner and lead to their own visual cards:

7-inbox9-inbox-1

Flight cards pull through related images and again take up more real estate:

10-inbox-110-inbox-2

With Inbox also supporting multiple tickets:

10-inbox-multipletickets

Inbox comes with baked in features that rely on specific data points such as ‘snooze until day of reservation’…

2015-10-09_1001

This is typically based again on email markup, but Google is creating these cards in some cases just from analysing the content of an email.

The adoption rate of Google Inbox is steadily growing, but yet still a small fraction of all Gmail users. Right now, Inbox is an exciting glimpse into the future and highlights a growing reliance on structured data to power more visual elements or features in Google’s evolving email client.

Our guide includes details on implementation for the following types of supported email markup in Gmail & Inbox:

Like this? Sign up to read more