What are Common Examples of Interactive Emails?
Interactive emails are emails that allow for email templates to display engaging and dynamic content that can creatively capture the attention of the target audience. For many email marketers, this marketing technique is quickly becoming a go-to technique for both aesthetic and engagement reasons, and thus it is important to understand the various types of interactive emails.
Interactive email templates will continue to be in higher demand as they aim to engage with the readers on different levels and provide new opportunities for delivering content that is valuable to the reader. The discovery element of interactive email templates allows for the reader to feel as though they are in control of the content that they’re consuming which, in turn, provides agency and increases engagement. Below is a breakdown of the different templates and examples that work best in the interactive format. While this isn’t an exhaustive list of interactive elements, it provides a comprehensive overview of interactive email examples that may work for most marketers.
The appeal of interactive emails is the aspect of discovery. When an interactive email is opened and the content presents itself as engaging and vibrant, the reader is further intrigued to interact and engage with the content on another level. Animated objects can cater to the interactive experience. For example, most email template applications feature an adjustment that allows for call to action buttons included in the email to change colors when the cursor hovers over it. This is a subtle animation but it allows some interactivity to occur which can revamp an otherwise flat email design template.
If various products, for example, a selection of clothing items or vacation locations could be viewed in further detail, a great interactive template would be an image carousel. Having visuals within email templates are a strong addition in providing engaging content to the reader. The visuals allow for the reader to become more involved in the content and with a carousel, the reader has the ability to scroll through to view more photos. This allows the recipient to see more than the typical single image that is added to an email template, which in turn is likely to generate increased engagement in the template’s contents.
An interactive email is not solely utilized to sell a product or service but to fundamentally engage the reader. Including a miniature game or puzzle in the email template is a great way to build consistent engagement. These games can feature content based around the brand, products or services that the user is pushing.
GIFs or “graphics interchange format” is an extremely popular type of image format that resonates like a video. While standard videos may be heavier in size, GIFs are the extremely low bandwidth version of full videos. GIFs are most ideal for email campaigns are small files. GIFs typically last 2-15 seconds, (but can last must longer), which makes them ideal for showcasing concise animated content. Another added benefit is the fact that GIFs do not use audio to convey the message they carry, making them easy to consume on all types of email providers. GIFs are used throughout many social media applications which communicate a trendy and current component that readers will be able to recognize.
A great visual feature within an interactive email template is an image rollover. Similar to the animation of the call to action button, this feature can allow for the reader to hover over an image and either zoom in closer to view the product in detail or to switch from a photo to a static graphic. Whatever the secondary action may be, this feature is a great way to surprise the reader and provide more detail at the same time. The image roller is a great opportunity to reveal a coupon code.
While animated GIFs are a trending visual component, an interactive email that features a standard video is also a great way to generate engagement. Without having to click through to open an additional browser, readers can simply click to start a video that is already embedded in their inbox. This reduces friction to consuming the content or watching the video.
A great way to gain any feedback from readers is to include a survey directly within the email template. Featuring the survey in the directly email increases the chances for engagement and responsiveness, as opposed to including a link and relying on the reader to actively open a new browser tab in order to participate. Surveys will reveal key insights from the reader, by asking them for their perspective or opinion, making them feel valued as a subscriber. Surveys can be brief with a simple prompt and a few very short choices, or longer and more involved. To allow for an even more engaging survey is to present a poll and to display the results once the reader has made their choice. A great example of the in-email survey is the Google Forms survey.
For an online retail business, it’s not always easy to entice customers to go through the site to make the final conversion of purchase. A method to simplify this transaction for both the business and the customer is by including items in a shopping cart format in an email reminder. Or, the business can feature discounted items in the email template and prompt the user to add those items to their cart through the interactive email. The reader can then click the link that will take them directly to their cart, with the items included, and seamlessly complete their purchase. This eliminates extra steps and proactively engages the reader to easily make their purchases.
Interactive email templates are not only about engaging the reader with fun and colorful features, but about efficiently presenting information within the email template to eliminate the reader from opening additional browsers. Depending on the objective of the email campaign, a menu might be needed to provide additional information or options surrounding the topic. Thus, it is important for the user to understand best practices for creating a menu or an “accordion” that can show or hide multiple options. Including menus in an accordion is quite popular when it comes to designing email templates for mobile email design. This feature mimics much of the setup that most mobile applications have incorporated which ultimately increases the convenience to engage with the reader.