E-mail, JSON-LD, and Structured Data

Implementing schemas on websites are a great way of enriching structured data, and has been for the past few years. Schema by no means is an easy task to implement especially if you have no web development background. Recently Google has announced another format of implementing schema utilizing the javascript format “JSON-LD” to make implementing a bit easier. Many web marketers have had success implementing JSON-LD within websites. What is even more impressive are marketers are pushing the envelope, utilizing the new schema format in advanced ways to provide rich insights. We have seen semantic data that can be dynamically pushed from Google Tag Manager to a website, thus sending the data to Google Analytics for measurement. However what is not as well know is implementing JSON-LD within your e-mail marketing campaigns to provide a better user experience and rich data.

Unlocking the Full Potential of E-mails

There is a new generation of digital marketers that feel e-mail marketing is old school. However, e-mail marketing is still one of the preferred digital marketing techniques used to date. Email is an important part of how we get things done.

RSVP Action

We check our e-mails hundreds of times a week. We plan trips, organize events, check-in with flights and much more. For a while Google has made it apparent that they are moving towards enriching all data as much as possible. Why not emails right? Adding schema.org markup to your e-mails will create a better user experience by adding quick actions, check-in times, reservation actions and more. Google’s Inbox, Search, Calendar, and Google Now all use structured data. You can now start enriching your data as well!

Apps Script

To start it is best to test your schema e-mail markup by sending an e-mail to yourself. First visit scripts.google.com. You will be redirected to the information page if it is your first time. Begin by clicking on Start Scripting which will bring you to the script editor. From there create a script for Blank Project.

Next you will want to replace the code that is in “Code.gs” with the following:

Email Markup

Next you will want to select File > New > Html file. The important part here is to name the file “mail_template” which matches the parameter in the javascript shown in the picture above. Replace the content of the HTML file with the following, however just remember to change your own “URL” and “target” to whatever you would like for test purposes.

Email Markup2

Testing the Structured Data

Remember in math class, when the professor always talked about “checking your work”? Well that is a rule I still commit to, day in and day out when it comes to script. JSON-LD, scripts, and coding can work well when it wants to. However all it takes is for one misplaced comma and the script will not fire correctly. Therefore we need to check our work. To test we need to save the project. Next select the tab “Code.gs” which is on the left side of the script page. Here you want to make sure the function “testSchemas” is selected in the “Select Function” dropdown menu.

Email Markup3

After you run the script you’ll be asked to grant authorization. After that you will need to re-run the script. At this point you should check your inbox. You should see an e-mail from yourself with a “Go-to Action” button like I have shown below!

Email Markup4

Registering with all mighty Google

So now that you have that down, its time to register with Google which is a pretty simple process. Currently Google lets you send e-mails with scripts embed to yourself strictly for testing purposes. However, if you would like to start using this for your users in your e-mail marketing campaigns you will need to register with Google and follow their steps. Its pretty easy. Head on over to developers.google.com to set up the registration process!

Whether you are email marketing for a large business that needs to send out reservation e-mail markup to your next event; or an individual on a job search that would like to increase his/her CTR to their resume in emails. Everyone can benefit from JSON-LD structured e-mail markup.