Email: the marketing bedrock. When everything else feels like a passing trend, email has stood the test of time and shows no signs of slowing down.
Every business can reap huge benefits from email, but what happens when your audience stops engaging? What if your open rates and clicks are suffering?
With so many businesses doing email and improving their email strategies, the competition for attention is fierce. But don’t worry, there’s an easy way to reignite your customers and prospects! It’s called interactive email. If you jump on the bandwagon now you will stand out as one of the most forward thinking, customer experience focused brands out there.
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What is interactive email?
Interactive content is anything that requires a viewer to actively engage and participate with the content to access the full experience, usually by tapping, swiping, or otherwise physically interacting with the piece of content. Interactive email just incorporates that premise into an email campaign.
And while email is still playing catch-up when it comes to adding interactivity. There are a few ways to give your emails an interactive edge right now. Soon though, we expect emails to be on par with other web properties. Gmail for instance, seems to already be laying the groundwork for this to happen.
Interactivity in email
GIFS have been pretty prevalent in email lately. They’ve been around for a while but are swiftly gaining popularity as more and more social media services are allowing them to be used within their platforms (Twitter, Facebook, etc).
The best way to use these in an email campaign is to design your own, as Fundbox has done here. Just inserting a random GIF probably won’t make your audience sit up and take notice, and may even confuse them. Better to make sure it’s on brand and communicates your message effectively.
Video is tricky because most ESP’s (email service providers) won’t let you directly embed playable video into an email (although Gmail might soon be an exception to that). Clicking out to a video on a landing page, though, is easy and – bonus points – you can capture a bit of the action in a GIF for your email.
People are starting to get really creative in emails these days, including creating unique experiences that your audience can interact with. Creating a clickable experience that links to an interactive overlay or landing page is a great way to interject some personality into your routine emails. This also has the added bonus of feeling much more personal to your audience, which leads to people being 66% more likely to buy from you!
How and why should I use interactive email?
Interactive email has much higher open rates and click-through-rates than static email. According to Martech Advisor, “interactive email content increases the click-to-open rate by 73% and adding videos to your email content can boost click rates up to 300%.”
Additionally, in a recent survey of 1,000 consumers, they overwhelmingly chose to receive interactive emails over regular, static emails (82% to 18%!)
The easiest way to incorporate interactivity into an email is with a GIF. Even just a funny GIF, inserted appropriately for your brand, takes almost no time but has a quick and easy impact on your audience.
However, if you really want the full benefit of interactivity, interactive experiences are really the way to go! Something that is customized for your brand feels very personal and will allow your audience to really connect with your message. Interactive experiences in email aid in brand recall, which in turn aids to customer loyalty. People will always remember brands that do something new, different, and fun!
Is it really worth it?
Your audience WANTS this! They’ve actually said that they would rather get an interactive email than an old-fashioned static email campaign.
Entertaining consumers with your unique brand voice through interactivity also helps them remember you, and if you have a particularly strong campaign, can even make customers want to share your campaign.
Interactive content also generates 4-5x the page views as static content! Truly, if your emails aren’t making your audience smile, you’re probably doing it wrong (and getting a lot less traffic)! Interactivity helps with this by injecting some whimsy and delight into your email campaigns. Plus, the millennial cohort – the largest group of buyers – would rather buy from a brand that is fun, inspirational, and true to their own brand. What’s more authentic than an interactive experience that feels personal?
Not only do people buy, but they buy a lot more often. Interactive content converts nearly 3x over static content.
Real consumers had plenty to say about their email preferences, but these quotes really stuck out to us.
Not only is interactivity in email proven to work, but your customers are literally begging you for it. If you haven’t tried incorporating a GIF or an interactive experience into an email campaign, start small. Yearly birthday emails are a great place to test the waters; everyone likes getting something fun on their birthday!
Get creative and incorporate various forms of interactivity into your email marketing. Your customers will thank you!
Guest author: Cheyenne Miner is a marketing specialist at Zembula where she gets to collaborate and coordinate with a team of marketing masterminds. On the weekends, you can find her in the backcountry of the Pacific Northwest, or not, because they don’t have cell towers out there.