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What are Interactive Emails & Why You Should Send Them?

Ever felt like you’re stuck in a one-sided conversation? Emails can be a lot like that, just talking about themselves without giving you a chance to speak. It’s like being asked for a favor but then having to do all the work.

But what if emails could be more like a two-way street? Imagine having a chat right there in your inbox, where you can share your thoughts without jumping through hoops. That’s where interactive emails come in.

Instead of sending you off to some webpage for a survey, what if the survey popped up right in the email? Or scrolling through products in your inbox just like you would on a website. That’s the magic of interactive emails, making your inbox lively.

Did you know that 32% of marketers are catching onto this trend? According to Litmus, interactive emails are gaining ground. To catch the wave, you first need to grasp what Interactive Emailing is all about. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to find out more!

What are Interactive Emails?

Interactive emails represent a dynamic and engaging approach to email marketing by incorporating elements that encourage user participation and interaction directly within the email content.

These emails leverage various interactive components, such as clickable buttons, forms, surveys, quizzes, and games, to provide a more immersive experience for the recipients.

The primary goal of interactive emails is to go beyond the traditional static content and transform the email inbox into a platform where users can actively engage with the brand.

Instead of merely reading or watching content, subscribers can click, tap, or hover to perform specific actions, ranging from providing feedback through surveys to making direct purchases by adding items to a virtual shopping cart.

Why You Should Send an Interactive Email?

Ever wondered about the buzz around interactive emails? Are they really that much better than the plain ones? Let’s dive into the pool of information and sort it out.

1. Improved Retention: Interactive features elevate your emails’ perceived value, anchoring your audience and minimizing attrition. The intrinsic value of interactive elements makes your content appear more worthwhile, contributing to improved retention rates.

2. Enhanced Customer Experience: Interactive emails aren’t just a communication medium but an experience. Elevating the overall user experience, these interactions imprint your brand in the minds of your audience. The fun, intuitive nature creates anticipation, turning your brand into something they eagerly anticipate.

3. Efficient Targeting through Customer Behavior: Behind every click lies a story, and interactive emails provide a detailed narrative. Tracking these clicks and interactions offers profound insights into user preferences. Armed with this understanding, you can segment your audience effectively, tailoring future newsletters for maximum impact.

4. Strategic Highlight of New Product Features: Launching a new product or teasing an upcoming one? Why narrate when you can showcase it through video? As exemplified by Dropbox, videos in emails make it effortless for subscribers to grasp your latest offerings, creating a richer and more immersive user experience.

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5. Visually Captivating Content: Puzzles, accordions, sliders, and carousels aren’t just eye candy; they’re visual magnets. Beyond engagement, these elements encourage swift content consumption, propelling users closer to conversion. The visual allure captivates your audience, making your emails stand out in a crowded inbox.

6. Creating a Strong Brand Image: Interactive emails redefine the user journey, making it valuable, effortless, and less time-consuming. This enhanced user experience contributes to a refined brand image, fortifying your position and fostering brand loyalty.

7. Better Targeting through Customer Behavior: Clicks and interactions in interactive emails aren’t mere data points; but strategic insights. Tracking these interactions offers a detailed understanding of user behavior, empowering you to segment your audience meticulously. This segmentation sets the stage for more targeted and impactful emails in the future.

Are these emails better, or is it just a trendy distraction?

On one side, the numbers tell a story. Studies show that 91% of B2B customers prefer interactive content, and interactive newsletters can generate double the conversions compared to static ones. But here’s the catch – only 15% of email clients support the technology for interactive content.

So, it boils down to why you want interactivity. If it’s just for entertainment or catching attention, static emails might do the trick. They can be catchy, entertaining, and creative, meeting your business needs.

The Different Types of Interactive Emails

Emails have come a long way from simple text messages. Nowadays, you can make your emails lively and engaging with various interactive elements. Let’s explore some of the most effective types that can transform your emails.

1. Image Carousels

Imagine having a bunch of pictures neatly packed into your email. Image carousels allow users to click through different visuals without leaving the email. It’s like a mini photo album right in their inbox. These carousels can even flip through images automatically, adding a dynamic touch to your content.

Just remember to use high-quality images to make your email visually appealing. Quality matters when you want your content to stand out.

2. Videos

What’s better than pictures? Videos! Embedding videos into your emails is a fantastic way to showcase your products or add some personality to your brand. People love watching videos online, so why not bring that experience to their email?

But here’s a heads-up: not all platforms support videos. So, always have a backup plan, like a thumbnail, to keep your email visually appealing for everyone.

3. Polls

Who doesn’t love a good poll? Polls are not just fun; they make users feel heard and connected to your brand. You can create all sorts of polls, from silly to serious, depending on your brand’s vibe.

The bonus? Polls give you insights into your audience’s preferences. It’s like having a direct line to their thoughts, helping you tailor your content for maximum engagement.

4. Add to Cart

Shopping within an email? Yes, please! Add-to-cart functionality lets users select and purchase items right from the email. No need for them to be redirected to a different page – it’s a smooth, hassle-free experience.

This feature works wonders during sales, promotions, or when launching new products. It adds convenience for the user and a sense of urgency for time-sensitive campaigns.

Now, let’s delve into the technical side – the nuts and bolts that make interactive emails tick.

5. Hover Effects

Ever noticed buttons changing color when you hover over them? That’s the magic of hover effects. They’re like virtual pointers that guide users through your email, making it more interactive.

Whether it’s highlighting CTAs or pointing to links, hover effects enhance clickability. For example, the B&Q email uses hover effects to simplify catalog navigation, creating a consistent and engaging experience.

6. Image Rollover Effects

Rollover effects take images to the next level. When you hover over them, the images dynamically change, providing a full-scale preview. It’s like virtually touching every side of a product before deciding to buy.

Quality matters here, too, so make sure your product images are top-notch. Rollovers can be your virtual shopping assistants, offering detailed info about each item.

7. Buttons

Buttons might seem small, but they play a crucial role in email interactivity. They urge customers to take action, attract interaction, and support the overall interactive vibe of your emails.

Check out Brightwave’s example – buttons working alongside hover effects create a festive experience, boosting brand awareness and client loyalty.

8. Gamification Elements

Who doesn’t love a good game? Gamification elements, like spinning wheels or solving riddles, add excitement to your email campaigns. It might sound complex to code, but the payoff is worth it.

People love the thrill of competition and rewards, making gamification a powerful tool in email marketing.

9. Interactive Forms and User-Generated Content

Forms within emails give your customers a voice. Whether it’s RSVPs, star ratings, or bookings, it’s a two-way connection between you and your audience. It’s not just feedback; it’s a chance to show respect for their time.

Interactive forms are like creating a community of highly engaged users, helping you grow, improve, and implement new ideas.

10. Interactive Sounds

Yes, sounds in emails! While it may seem passive, interactive sound elements can make a significant difference, especially for visually impaired users. Clicking on a sound enables a meaningful interaction, connecting the recipient with the sender in a unique way.

11. Videos and Animation

Numbers don’t lie – people love watching videos. Embedding videos into emails can be a game-changer, but keep it short and to the point. Don’t forget about captions since many viewers watch videos without sound.

However, remember that not all email clients support videos, so have a backup plan to ensure your message reaches everyone.

In a nutshell, interactive emails offer a plethora of options to make your content stand out. Whether it’s through visuals, videos, polls, or interactive forms, the key is to engage your audience in a way that resonates with your brand.

So, go ahead, experiment, and make your emails more than just messages – make them experiences!

Interactive Email Best Practices

When you’re crafting emails that grab attention, think about making them interactive. But how can you make sure your interactive emails hit the right note? Let’s break down some best practices for this.

1. Focus on One Thing: Firstly, don’t try to overload your emails with too many interactive elements. Imagine if your email took forever to load – nobody wants that. Stick to just one interactive element per email. It could be a poll, quiz, or a cool video showcasing your latest product.

2. Have a Plan B: But what if your recipient’s email client can’t handle the interactivity? You need a backup plan. Always include essential information in the HTML so that even if the cool stuff doesn’t load, your message still gets through.

3. Test, Test, Test: Now, before you hit send, do some A/B testing. It’s like trying out different outfits to see which one looks the best. Check how your emails appear on various devices, ensuring they look good and work well everywhere. Check everything. Ensure your interactive elements play nice with different email clients. You don’t want surprises when your emails reach your audience.

4. Make Friends with Compatibility: All elements in your email should get along. Fonts, colors, everything should match. If not, your email might end up looking like a messy painting – not the impression you want.

5. Examples Speak Louder: Take a look at how others have aced interactive emails. The BBC condensed documentaries into interactive accordions. H&M got product reviews right in the inbox. Google Store lets you shop right from the email. Email Monks even turned Halloween into a game. Learn from the pros.

6. Keep It Simple: If you’re new to interactive emails, start with simple but effective tricks. Add a hover effect – it makes your email look fancy. Make your emails accessible by adding features like high-contrast switches. And always design with mobile in mind – because everyone’s checking emails on their phones these days.

7. One Element, One Email: Remember, less is more. Each email should focus on just one interactive element. Don’t distract your audience – keep it centered on your main message.

8. Accessibility Matters: Support your interactive elements with descriptions, good color contrast, and video transcripts. This ensures everyone, regardless of abilities, can engage with your content.

9. Always Have a Backup: Create a fallback version in case your interactive elements fail to impress certain email clients. You want your emails to work no matter where they land. Don’t force unnecessary actions. If you can deliver the experience right in the inbox, do it. Don’t push users to click or download unless it’s absolutely necessary.

10. Purposeful Interactivity: Don’t go interactive just for the sake of it. Think about your campaign’s goal and how interactivity helps achieve it. It’s a tool, not a decoration, for every email. Avoid being repetitive. If you use the same interactive elements every time, they might lose their charm.

11. Watch Out for Overreliance: While AMP is cool, don’t bet everything on it. HTML and plain text are your steadfast friends. Don’t go crazy with interactive elements. Stick to one core element per email. Too much interactivity might overwhelm your audience.

By following these tips, your interactive emails will not just look good but also engage your audience effectively. Now, go ahead and craft emails that people can’t resist clicking on!

Final Thoughts

Remember when emails were just plain text? Now, businesses use interactive elements to captivate subscribers, taking email marketing to new heights.

These emails not only surprise recipients but also boost click-through rates, a common struggle for email campaigns.

Before diving into interactive emails, consider their unique value. If interactivity brings a distinct experience, it’s worth the effort. Just be cautious not to use it for the sake of it.

Keep it cool, keep it meaningful. Cheers to the email evolution!

Further Reads:

How To Write an Influencer Outreach Email? (Templates)

Email Etiquette: 17 Important Rules To Write A Professional Email!

How To Boost LinkedIn Marketing & Networking Skills?

Newsletter Advertising: Types, Benefits & Importance!

23 Email Marketing Terms You Should Know

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