The Potential of Email Metadata

Recently, we cast metadata as a villainous foe who can compromise the privacy and security of your kitten fart email discussions. However, like Nicolas Cage, metadata can play more than one type of role. Metadata as a villain is terrible (think The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) yet metadata can be your Oscar winner (think Leaving Las Vegas).

Metadata is simply a fancy word for information about stored data. In our previous article on this topic we discussed metadata about emails that you’ve sent. This article focuses on the positive uses of metadata within emails that you can sent to clients.

Metadata should be thought of as a tool that can either be used for good or for bad purposes. It is not, in and of itself, sinister or evil. Having already covered the bad, this article focuses on the good.


Imagine that your subscription to Time, The Economist or The Nicolas Cage Fanzine is coming to an end and you receive an email notification. This helpful email provides you with a link to follow so that you can continue marvelling at Nicolas Cage’s baffling brilliance, awfulness and/or cluelessness. Usually this is a bit of a hassle as you get taken to new tab or window where you have to sign in to your account, before navigating to the subscription renewal page. This process is longer and more complicated than it needs to be but, by harnessing metadata, you can change all of this. You can include ‘Actions’ which will allow your users to interact with your product or service from the comfort of their inbox, without having to be sent to a website.

There are four types of actions that can be integrated into Gmail thanks to metadata:

  • One-Click Actions. These can be used when a user needs to confirm a pre-defined request, such as confirming their registration for a site or service.
  • RSVP Actions. As you can imagine, this can be used to respond to event invitations from the user’s inbox.
  • Review Actions. If you want to make it easy for users to review your app, service or product, you can create a numeric rating and/or a textual review for the user to submit from Gmail.
  • Go-To Actions. This type of action can take the user to a webpage where they can follow multiple steps or input significantly more data than possible from their inbox. Essentially, this is for more complicated responses, such as checking-in and selecting a seat for a flight.

Want to know more?

If you want some more information about Nicolas Cage or want some help to enhance your emails and increase engagement by lowering barriers, then contact a member of our team.

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