Interactive Email

What Is An Interactive Email – Examples & Tips For High Engagement Rates

A simple mistake but resulted in a higher drop in the engagement rate!

Yes, that’s what a lot of marketers do.

To effectively run your online business and market your products, you must produce a lot of email copies but the engagement rate often doesn’t please you. Here’s why-

According to Litmus 2020, 91% of consumers seek interactive content, yet merely 17% of marketers deliver it.

If you are making the same mistake or just looking for effective tips to make your email content more interactive, you have reached the right place.

In this article, I will discuss how you can create interactive emails that boost engagement rates and get more conversions.

After reading this, you will:

  • Understand what interactive emails are and why they work.
  • Learn 10 powerful ways to make your emails interactive.
  • See examples and use cases for interactive elements.
  • Know which tools allow you to design interactive emails easily.
  • Get tips on when it’s best to use interactive email campaigns.

In short, you will have all the information needed to create emails that recipients love interacting with.

So let’s get started!

What Is An Interactive Email?

An interactive email contains elements that recipients can actively engage with by clicking, tapping, hovering, or triggering some other form of interaction. These might include videos, images, GIFs, buttons, or other embedded dynamic content.

An Interactive Email Sample with Simple Tapping
An Interactive Email Sample with Simple Tapping

When a recipient interacts with one of these triggers, it creates a change within the email, like revealing more information, connecting to a new page, collecting data, or prompting a desired action.

For example, say your email contains a clickable “Play” button overlaid on a video thumbnail image. When recipients tap that CTA button, it launches the video in a new tab for them to watch. The video did not sit statically in the email but rather enabled interactivity by reacting to the user’s click.

Why Use Interactive Emails?

Here are the reasons why you should use interactive elements in your email campaigns:

  1. Boosts engagement rates: They increase engagement rates through higher open, click, and response rates compared to plain text emails.
  2. Catches recipient attention: Features like quizzes, calculators, accordions, etc. introduce dynamism and prompt interaction.
  3. Provides more value: You can deliver additional info, connect to other media, and gather valuable data from subscribers through interactive emails.
  4. Encourages active participation: Recipients enjoy the ability to expand content, answer questions, access custom information, etc. within emails.
  5. Transforms emails into two-way communication: Interactive emails facilitate truly engaging back-and-forth interactions within messages.
  6. Drives higher conversions: The increased engagement and attention from interactive elements translates into improved campaign results and desired actions.
  7. Essential for email success: High subscriber involvement enabled by interactive components is vital for achieving your email goals.

10 Ways To Make An Email Interactive

There are many creative ways to make your emails highly interactive. Here are 10 effective types of interactive elements to try in your campaigns:

1. Video CTA

You can add a video thumbnail image with a prominent “Play” icon that acts as a clickable CTA button. After recipients tap this trigger, it launches the full video in a new tab for them to watch.

Use case examples include:

  • Product Demos: Showcase your latest products or services with a brief video demonstration.
  • Webinar Invitations: Drive attendance by providing a sneak peek of what participants can expect.
  • Event Highlights: Recap memorable moments from recent events, fostering a connection with your audience.
Interactive Email with Video CTA
Interactive Email with Video CTA

This interactive video CTA works with almost any email service, as it simply involves using a linked image file that triggers the video on click. The video itself is hosted externally.

2. Interactive Image – GIF

You can insert animated GIF images within your email content. The movement and looping action of a GIF naturally catches the viewer’s eye. This makes even purely decorative GIFs more engaging than static graphics.

But GIFs also enable interactivity. You can use CTA buttons and other triggers to control the animation. For example, the GIF may be initially paused, start playing when hovered over, and stop when the hover state ends.

This works with any email marketing platform, as a GIF is just a common animated image file format. The interactivity is achieved through coding that enables play/pause based on user actions.

An Image Carousel or Slider within an email is a dynamic and interactive feature that enables you to showcase multiple images in a single space, allowing recipients to effortlessly scroll through a visually engaging display. This not only adds a layer of interactivity to your emails but also maximizes the impact of your visual content.

Imagine a series of images seamlessly transitioning within a confined space, creating a captivating visual experience. In the context of emails, this can be a game-changer, offering a diverse yet consolidated snapshot of your offerings.

Use cases include:

An Image Carousel is an excellent interactive option in emails because it provides a concise yet comprehensive view of your products, services, or content. This feature is particularly effective for:

  • Product Showcases: Highlight various product angles or features in a single email.
  • Event Previews: Showcase event highlights, speakers, or key moments to entice participation.
  • Portfolio Displays: Present a portfolio of work or achievements in a condensed format.
Image Carousel Interactive Email
Image Carousel Interactive Email

This creates interactivity by letting recipients control which image they view at a given time. It engages better than a static graphic or stacked images as it feels like a dynamic slideshow within the message. Email services like Mailchimp make adding carousels drag-and-drop easy.

4. Poll or survey in Interactive Email

You can directly embed an interactive poll or survey form within your email content. This lets you ask questions and collect recipient responses instantly without them leaving the message.

For example, you could add a simple, one-click poll like:

Which feature matters most to you? A. Price B. Quality C. Customer service

Or create a short multi-field survey asking for contact info and product feedback.

Interactive Email with Multi-Field Survey
Interactive Email with Multi-Field Survey

Benefits and Use Cases:

  • Feedback Gathering: Instantly collect feedback on products, services, or recent experiences.
  • Event Planning: Measure interest or preferences for upcoming events, ensuring a tailored experience.
  • Customer Preferences: Understand customer preferences for targeted content or product offerings.

This achieves interactivity by enabling two-way communication – recipients answer your questions right inside the email. The immediate convenience rather than linking out improves response rates. Just keep forms short – 1-question polls or 2-3 field surveys max.

5. Accordion Sections

Accordion sections allow you to collapse and expand content within your email. It works like an accordion-style menu – recipients can click section headers to open and close chunks of copy or images as desired.

Useful for:

  • FAQs
  • “Click to reveal” content
  • Long-form testimonials
  • Detailed feature lists

This enables you to pack interactivity along with more content in your emails, without visually overwhelming recipients from the start.

Accordion interactive email
Type caption (optional)

The expand/collapse action keeps attention as readers uncover more info on sections they care about most. Accordions prompt ongoing interaction vs set-and-forget static copy.

6. Countdown Timer

A countdown timer serves as a compelling reminder. It creates a direct urgency in the recipients’ minds to act instantly. Countdown timers create a real-time element, fostering a sense of exclusivity and prompting your audience to engage promptly.

A countdown timer in an email is a dynamic element that adds a sense of urgency and excitement to your communication. It is like having a ticking clock right in your recipient’s inbox, creating anticipation and driving them to take immediate action. This interactive feature is a powerful tool for marketers, allowing you to instill a sense of urgency and prompt a timely response from your audience.

Use Cases:

  • Limited-Time Offers: Build excitement around special discounts or promotions with a countdown timer signaling the offer’s expiration.
  • Event Launches: Generate buzz for upcoming product launches or events by counting down to the moment of unveiling.
  • Flash Sales: Instigate urgency for time-sensitive sales events, encouraging immediate participation in exclusive deals.

As the seconds tick by, it sparks recipient excitement while instilling real urgency to take advantage ASAP.

Countdown Timer
Type caption (optional)

The ever-present awareness that time is running out compels readers to stay engaged. Then click your call-to-action button before the offer ends or appointments fill up.

7. Email Navigation Bar

An email navigation bar functions as a roadmap within your email. It provides recipients with a user-friendly way to easily navigate your content.

Additionally, it works much like a website menu, letting users click specific sections to jump to that content. This interactive feature improves the user experience by enabling structured and convenient exploration of your sent email.

For example:

  • Welcome
  • Products
  • Services
  • Blog Post
  • Help Center
Email Navigation Bar
Type caption (optional)

This aids scannability for longer newsletters or campaigns. Readers click the links to jump between sections that interest them rather than endlessly scrolling.

The visible call-to-action also builds interactivity by encouraging recipients to explore your different sections at their own pace. It is useful when varied or deep content risks overwhelming readers.

8. Audio Player In Email

Integrating an audio player in your email introduces a dynamic and immersive element to your communication. You can embed a playable audio clip right in your email, instead of just silent images or text. This typically includes clickable play/pause/volume controls and a sound wave timeline.

An audio player in an email is like having a miniature sound system embedded within the message. Recipients can simply click on the play button to listen to the audio content without leaving their inbox. Whether it’s a podcast snippet, a personalized message, or a musical accompaniment, the audio player adds a layer of interactivity that goes beyond the traditional email format.

For example, it could be:

  • A voice message intro from the CEO
  • Background music setting tone
  • Client testimonial audio snippet
Audio Player In Email
Type caption (optional)

Offering rich media beyond static graphics boosts interactivity and engagement. Recipients play audio clips to hear the emotion and personality from real voices. Useful for conveying passion, building trust and rapport, supplying proof points, or making connections.

9. On hover effects

You can add visual effects that activate when someone hovers their cursor over buttons, images, sections, or the body background.

For example:

  • CTA buttons can change color
  • Icons or graphics enlarge slightly
  • Sections highlight or transform
  • The background color shifts into a gradient

On-hover effects create a responsive experience, reacting to the recipient’s actions in real time. Imagine a CTA button that transforms color when hovered over or an email section with a subtle size adjustment. These changes capture attention and provide immediate feedback, enhancing the overall user experience.

Incorporating hover effects adds a layer of sophistication to your emails and encourages recipients to explore and engage with your content.

These moments of dynamism catch attention as recipients move their mouse during normal scrolling. It feels more interactive than static graphics as recipients trigger real-time micro transformations.

10. Real-time data update

Real-time data updates transform your emails into dynamic dashboards, fostering engagement by offering information that evolves with each interaction. Whether it’s showcasing live statistics, dynamic graphs, or changing content based on user behavior, this feature keeps your audience connected and informed in real time.

The interactive nature of live data encourages recipients to stay engaged, anticipating the evolving content within your emails.

For example, you can pull metrics like:

  • Sales figures
  • Click rate
  • Social proof counters
  • Appointment availability
  • Product inventory level

Refreshing info engages recipients by giving your message a “live” feel as opposed to static copy. It also compels revisits to keep up with the latest updates on metrics important to readers.

Use cases include:

  • Live Event Updates: Share real-time statistics or attendee numbers for ongoing events or webinars.
  • Limited Stock Alerts: Display live inventory levels, creating urgency for products with limited availability.
  • Dynamic Countdowns: Showcase real-time countdowns linked to upcoming launches or promotions, creating anticipation.

The “right now” relevancy and urgency of ever-changing data boost interactivity. Readers want to stay in the know by checking back on your real-time email updates.

Reliable Tools That Allow Interactive Elements In Emails

When you’re looking to spice up your email campaigns with some interactive flair, the right tools can make all the difference. Here’s a rundown of some trusted platforms that can help you incorporate engaging elements into your emails.

1. Mail Mint

Mail Mint stands out for its user-friendly approach to creating interactive emails. They offer a variety of elements like polls, surveys, and even interactive forms that your subscribers can fill out right within the email. This means you can gather feedback or even take orders without your audience ever leaving their inbox.

2. MailChimp

MailChimp is a household name in email marketing, and for good reason. They’ve embraced interactivity by allowing you to add animated GIFs and video thumbnails that link out to full content. These features can significantly increase your click-through rates by adding a dynamic layer to your messages.

3. GetResponse

GetResponse takes interactivity to the next level with their advanced automation features. They allow for personalized content blocks that change based on subscriber actions. Imagine sending an email that updates its content in real-time based on how users interact with it. That’s the power of GetResponse.

4. SendPulse

SendPulse is all about making your emails more engaging. They offer unique features like interactive carousels and image rollovers. This means your subscribers can interact with your product images directly in the email, making for a more immersive shopping experience.

5. Campaign Monitor

Campaign Monitor makes it easy to add interactive elements like countdown timers and surveys to your emails. These features are great for creating urgency or gathering insights directly from your email campaigns.

Is It Okay To Use Interactive Emails For Every Campaign?

While interactive emails can be incredibly engaging, they’re not a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s important to use them judiciously. For instance, countdown timers are fantastic for creating a sense of urgency around launches or limited-time offers. However, if overused, they can lose their impact and may even annoy your subscribers.

Similarly, interactive surveys and polls are excellent for gathering insights and boosting engagement, but they should be used when you genuinely need the feedback. Bombarding your audience with interactive elements in every email can lead to fatigue and disengagement.

In short, interactive emails are a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal, but they should be used strategically. Consider the goal of each campaign and whether an interactive element enhances or detracts from that goal. With a thoughtful approach, you can leverage these tools to create more meaningful and engaging email experiences for your audience.

Wrapping Up

As we wrap up, I suggest you start incorporating interactive elements into your email campaigns. They are a proven way to boost engagement, gather valuable customer insights, and drive conversions.

If you already run a WordPress website, I recommend trying out Mail Mint for easily adding a range of interactive modules to your messages. Their integration with WordPress assists in the creation of quizzes, calculators, surveys, and more interactive email content to capture audience attention.

In closing, be selective but consistent with interactive email to set your critical communications apart. Prioritize simplicity, align features to campaign goals, and work towards continually improving subscriber experience. Interactive emails will allow you to not just connect with but actively engage your customers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is an interactive email example?

Some common interactive email elements include quizzes, surveys, calculators, live chat widgets, interactive images, forms, cards, accordions, and modules with dynamic content.

2. What is a good engagement rate for email?

A good email engagement rate is considered to be 3.5% or above. This includes the open rate and click-through rate. Top-performing emails can have over 6% engagement.

3. Can interactive emails work on mobile devices?

Yes, leading email service providers now build emails using responsive templates that adapt seamlessly for optimal mobile interactions across portable devices.

Masrun Akter

A Content Writer at CODE REX, Marketing Team.

Masrun Akter

Leave a Comment

Keep reading