Critics have been trying to make a case for a while, but email marketing is far from dying.
In fact, despite its roots in the earliest days of Digital Marketing, this strategy has never stopped evolving and surprising users and companies.
In this article, we’ll present the latest possibility for email marketing: interactive email marketing.
Keep reading to understand how interactivity can contribute to your audience’s engagement and your marketing strategy results!
What is interactive email marketing?
By definition, an interactive email marketing campaign is simply an email marketing campaign in which the production and distribution of content include interactive content.
In turn, such interactive content requires direct involvement on the part of a user to be fully viewed or made use of, such as moving the mouse cursor over an image, clicking a link, filling out a form, making a tweak, and much more.
The concept behind these materials is to encourage their audience to take an active stance towards the content being promoted by a company, plus a more engaging, light, and fun user experience.
What are the benefits of using interactive materials in your campaigns?
The main advantage of interactive email marketing campaigns is its large engagement boost.
This naturally contributes to several factors for the success of any company on the web — which we will examine below.
Increased number of clicks
Interactive content pulls users in, creating motivation to participate in the experience fully.
As a result, interactive email marketing campaigns tend to see growth in the number of clicks and visitors to landing pages.
Higher conversion rate
Consequently, conversion rates benefit from these increased interactions, which lead to email list growth, a higher number of qualified leads, and, of course, an increase in sales — resulting in relationship and loyalty campaigns.
More audience data
Another advantage to highlight is the greater volume of data obtained through tests, surveys, and feedback.
Interactive content reduces the steps to filling out quizzes and forms and generates greater participation from an audience through an attractive and considered approach to the instructions and questions presented.
Ideas for interactive emails, with resources and examples to inspire you
To get a better understanding of what this looks like in practice, and how you can work with interactive email marketing in your next campaigns, we’ve selected some interesting resources and examples to inspire you!
1. Highlighted buttons
Highlighted buttons — which change color, font, shape, or all of the above at once when a mouse cursor passes over them — are already standard on websites and will soon be seen as mandatory for engaging emails.
As simple as they may appear, this feature creates an automatic interaction between the user and the content. It also makes buttons that link to further content much more obvious and attractive.
If you have an eCommerce store with different product categories and want to provide a direct route to each in a single message, highlighted buttons can serve as a way to make your CTA more interesting.
Check it out!
Taking highlighted buttons, a step further brings us to selectable buttons or icons. The greatest advantage of this feature is a whole new universe of possibilities in how you create your message: checklists!
Whether collecting feedback or evaluating products and services, a user is able to give their opinion right in the body of the email.
3. Image overlay
One of the most common features in interactive emails is the rollover effect, where an image switches when the mouse cursor passes over or stays on it. The principle is similar to that of highlighted buttons, but with greater applicability.
In addition to providing an interactive experience, this feature can be used to offer details about a product or service without taking away from the clean look of your message.
With a bit of creativity, we can transform this simple effect into a fun game. In fact, gamification is a great key trend in Content Marketing.
In the following example, a quick guessing game is used to guide the reader to the image with a link to the landing page.
Note that the message takes advantage of our standard reading direction — left to right and top to bottom — leading the user to scroll through all of the other images until reaching the link.
4. Hidden Tips
What if instead of replacing an image, you just offered a hidden tip? This is also possible with rollovers!
With pop-up balloons or information bubbles that are only visible when the mouse cursor hovers or rests over small icons, you can keep a sleek design to your message while still providing rich information, such as highlighting your products.
5. Embedded videos
Enjoying a video directly within an email offers far more convenience for the reader than redirecting them to an external address.
It’s worth mentioning that when you bring your audience to a social platform, such as YouTube, you run the risk of losing them to any related content displayed alongside.
However, keep in mind that the goal is to provide only short videos (or a snippet of a longer video) to not overload the content of your email.
To avoid messages that are too large, external links to the full content are recommended.
6. Reading options
The initial goal of providing a variety of reading options ― such as adaptable font type or size ― was accessibility, allowing users to adapt the layout according to their needs.
Nowadays, these options also include comfort and focus, such as dark mode (reducing visual discomfort at night) and reading mode (hiding some visual elements and prioritizing text).
You may not be aware, but these are already featured in emails. Take a look!
7. Interactive menus
Menus offer an email experience similar to browsing an ordinary web page. The biggest advantage is the practical approach to solving everything in a single platform.
There’s nothing like a quiz to engage your audience and gather data for your business.
Their advantage becomes even more clear when incorporated directly into your email marketing.
The simplest option is to create a “fake quiz”.
The user is faced with a question below, and we can see incorrect responses in red with the correct one in green.
You can add a link to the correct answer to direct your lead to an external page with the real quiz.
That’s right, you can embed forms in emails, even with more than one question!
Generally, links direct a reader to an external page with the full form. However, a few tools exist to incorporate questions into the body of emails.
While this may not be suitable for in-depth surveys, it undoubtedly offers an interesting approach to instant feedback.
What to know before investing in these resources?
Along the lines of any other marketing tool or strategy, interactive email has a few cautions, especially if you’re using it for the first time ― and don’t want to make a bad impression with your audience. Consider the following!
Pay attention to compatibility
The resources and infrastructure of different email clients can vary significantly, limiting the effectiveness of your interactive email marketing strategy.
For example, Outlook still does not support several interactive elements.
At a minimum, your tool should offer an experience supported by Gmail, Apple Mail, and Yahoo! Mail, the most popular providers worldwide.
Either way, make sure an image or static design is displayed when your message is opened in an incompatible environment or on smartphone apps, which support few interactive features.
The key advice here is to ensure your leads don’t encounter a corrupted layout or any visible code in your email, as you want to avoid being mistaken for a spammer, right?
Focus on your content
Just like you’ve seen above, interactive features are an engaging approach to bringing your users a richer, lighter, and more practical experience through their email.
However, it still requires a balance.
By inserting multiple interaction points, you not only overwhelm the email but also risk diluting your audience’s attention and even jeopardizing the conversion rate.
Remember that, similar to on a landing page, the purpose of your message is to offer lean content that leads the reader to a specific action.
Therefore, it’s ideal to use only one interactive element at a time, preferably as a hook for the CTA.
A trustworthy recommendation for any type of campaign: test as much as you can!
Although the layout and settings of your email may be correct, any tool is susceptible to errors, plus elements may vary from one email client to another.
In general, some adjustments are always necessary, so create tests to check the functionality of your content creation tool against control emails.
Check how interactive resources appear, the text links, and any other elements in your message before sending it out to your list.
What are the best tools for creating interactive content?
Finally, here are a few of the tools you can use to create interactive messages and delight your audience with incredible content.
Check out our suggestions for the best services available!
Zembula offers a feature-rich platform with options for creating interactive content.
With reveal effects, such as “peeling”, “tearing”, “pulling”, “scraping” and “sliding”, this makes the development and reading of emails similar to creating a slideshow.
This tool also allows you to add menus, videos, and various image and button effects.
#2: Uplers Email
Uplers Email, formerly known as Email Munks, allows a series of visual effects in your messages, emphasizing accordion-style menus, providing categories with several hidden items.
The platform also features other display elements emails, such as forms, videos, and images, as well as the AMP messages, accelerated for mobile devices.
#3: Ion Interactive
Recently acquired by Rock Content, Ion is a complete platform for creating interactive content.
Options offered include quizzes, galleries, calculators, forms, infographics, and various other interactive content, as well as survey, monitoring, and conversion tools.
All resources are compatible with the main service providers, including MailChimp, HubSpot, and Google.
The company aims to offer customers a complete interactive content strategy, from attraction and conversion to closing and post-sale.
Interactive email marketing is the latest way to create engagement within your content strategy.
Using innovative resources, professionals and companies significantly increase their chances to capture their audience’s attention and win over new customers through their campaigns.
Do you want to learn more about these features up close and discover all of the potentials of an interactive content strategy?
Get in touch with us and see how our platform can help you create more interesting experiences for your audience!