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BizReport : Email Marketing : April 21, 2010

GetResponse adds text to speech capabilities

A new offering from Implix's GetResponse unit could change the way marketers look - and consumers listen - to email. The company has launched text to speech capabilities, which give marketers the ability to 'read' ads to busy consumers. It can be used for advertising, within newsletters and other campaigns.

by Kristina Knight

getresponse.gifWhy bother with text to speech capabilities? Because it makes the ad format less intrusive. Rather than a consumer needing to be at the computer to read a message he or she can continue with other tasks while listening to the ad format.

According to Experian/Simmons, US consumers actually need 38 hours each day to complete all of their tasks. This puts multi-tasking on the forefront, which makes technology such as text to speech a good option for engaging people. How are they multi-tasking? They are watching television and surfing the web (34% increase in 2009), they are using smartphones to access email and headlines (32%) and 71% now say they prefer multimedia email to simple text.

"Today's target audiences are way too busy to get to email or have too little time to read through a message," said Susan Wing, communications manager for GetResponse/Implix. "We want to make it easy for the consumer to continue about their day, access their email and go about their business."

The platform works in the clouds so files are instantly downloaded once the consumer clicks. This cuts down on wait time, when consumers could just as easily click away from the ad. The platform reads only plain text, so when setting it up marketers have the ability to create a more conversational message.

"I think, like video, that text to speech needs to be used with discretion and for the appropriate audience," said Ms. Wing. "For example, if I'm a designer bag brand targeting women and I know these women are busy, adding voice to the message allows the consumer to engage without taking time away from her job, home and family."

Text to speech can use multiple mediums, but the messages do need to be short and friendly for the best results, according to Ms. Wing. To install, marketers need only click one button and the audio addition is made available within the email message.

"[Text to speech] brings more interaction to email marketing. It makes email more entertaining, reduces inbox fatigue and engages the consumer," said Ms. Wing.

The text to speech platform is part of a two-year exclusive partnership between Ivona and Implix. There are currently four voices: one male and one female American voice and one male and one female British voice. Plans are in the works to add more voices to the platform.

Tags: email marketing, email message, email platform, email relevance, GetResponse, text to speech

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  • r4

    That's good for marketers as this will bring more interaction to email marketing and they just need to click one button and audio addition is added directly to it.



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