The Rise of Interactive Emails: Examples and Trends to Watch in 2023

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For every dollar spent on email marketing, brands earn an ROI of $36. That's enough to explain why email continues to factor into the marketing plans of businesses, big and small. Email marketing delivers results. If you want to reap those rewards, it's high time to explore this digital marketing strategy. 

Just like other marketing strategies that utilize and rely on technology, email marketing continues to evolve. As such, its latest popular iterations get more interactive. Interactive emails use elements the audience can engage with without leaving their inbox, including swipeable carousels, GIFs, and quizzes. With this level of interactivity, there's a greater chance for your message to resonate with your recipients. 

In this article, we'll delve into everything you need to know about interactive emails. 

 

Email Marketing Trends for 2023

Leveraging interactive emails for a variety of marketing goals is just one of the email marketing trends to watch out for in 2023. For this reason, it pays to familiarize yourself with the directions in which this strategy is moving to determine which tactics you can mix and match.  

Here are the top trends you should know. 

 

1. Storytelling takes centerstage

It all boils down to who's telling the better story. That's what brands need to consider in earnest. As such, interactive emails will only gain their desired results if they align with the narrative you want to build around your business. 

 

2. Closing the open rate metric   

With Apple releasing a new privacy setting that restricts your ability to track its users' email habits, relying solely on open rate has become a less reliable, if not entirely obsolete, success metric. In lieu of the open rate, you could expect clicks and click-through rates to see an upsurge in email marketing relevance.

 

3. Getting personal

This marketing trend is one of those evergreen marketing strategies. Yes, personalization never goes out of style. That's because customers want to feel special. They want to build intimate relationships with brands.

Remember that intimacy comes not just from mutual recognition but, more importantly, mutual familiarity and respect. You need to show your target audience that you know exactly where their pain points lie. 

 

4. Maximizing artificial intelligence (AI)

There's no escaping AI. As such, businesses, regardless of size or industry, should begin maximizing the technology. Consider AI for your email marketing campaigns. For starters, it can help you analyze sufficient data points to get to know your audience better. 

 

Benefits of Interactive Emails

The million-dollar question is, what's in it for you? What will you gain if you go out of your way to make your emails interactive? Here are some of the benefits you can expect. 

 

Visually captivate

Chances are you, too, receive those generic marketing emails with no more than texts. And chances are those emails seldom capture your interest. That's because they lack visual flair, which is something interactive emails address.

They do not look flat and uninteresting. They command the reader's attention. Pique the reader's curiosity and delay their move to another app or window. 

 

Brand optimization 

All your marketing efforts should work on two levels at a time. On the sales level, they should result in conversions. On the branding level, they should optimize the image you want to build for your business. With interactive emails, you get to tell better stories that support the branding you hope to achieve. 

 

Improved targeting

An interactive email will have more elements than your run-of-the-mill marketing emails. That opens more opportunities for gathering data points. You'll have more information and insights into how email recipients interact with your messages. That can result in improved targeting for your consequent marketing efforts. 

 

Boost engagement and conversion

This is the end goal of email marketing or any other type of marketing initiative, for that matter. With interactive emails, you have a better shot at engaging recipients because the message itself intentionally targets such engagement.  

 

What an Effective Email Campaign Looks Like

You have many options on how to get interactive with your emails. Here are some examples. 

 

GIFs

These are the easiest way to introduce movement into your emails. GIFs can serve a variety of purposes, from mere visual stimulation to product feature introduction. Some of them you can autoplay, while others require clicking.

 

Swipeable image carousels

Create irresistible image carousels that your audience can swipe. As to what happens after swiping is all up to you. You can present information or link to your webpage. Or you can simply tell a story about your brand that will build a sense of trust and intimacy with your audience. 

 

Polls or surveys

These interactive email elements shoot two birds with one stone. You ensure engagement while also directly soliciting answers from your customers. Those answers will then help you better target your next marketing moves.

However, polls and surveys shouldn't be time-consuming. Make them fast and painless.  

 

Quizzes

These are the more fun versions of polls and surveys. Typically, you create quizzes that, on the surface level, seem purely for entertainment purposes but can actually provide you with valuable data points about your customers. 

 

Videos

There are more visual learners than ever. To capture their attention, you need to get visual with your messaging, and you can't get any more visual than including videos in your emails.

For example, you can use videos to introduce new products or features. Instead of reading about the latest your brand has to offer, your email recipients can view them. Show, don't tell. 

Games

If budget is not an issue, you can commission game developers to create a mini in-email game for you. It can be as simple as using bricks or blocks that players must click to view your latest offers. 

 

Add-to-cart functionality

Take shopping straight to an email with this interactive element. Here, you provide a sales funnel shortcut for your customers. 

 

Interactive Email Campaign Success Stories

If you plan to include interactive emails in your marketing mix, here are success stories for your inspiration. 

 

GoDaddy

The web hosting company once sent out emails that included a site builder quiz. They asked recipients questions that pointed to their ideal site builder. This was not just helpful to their audience but, more importantly, aligned with the GoDaddy brand.

 

Fable

Upon signing up for the Fable newsletter, the brand sends an email with a video about what the app has in store for users. This helps Fable to seal the deal, turning interest into engagement. 

 

Zomato

This food delivery app gave captcha a fun and on-brand twist by including one in their email marketing. Zomato's version asks email recipients to click images with tasty food, thus whetting their appetites and increasing their likelihood of ordering food delivery.

 

Google Pixel Buds

These products from one of the most recognizable brands in the world were once part of an interactive email that made it almost impossible for the recipients to decline a purchase.

 

Netflix

In 2014, Netflix sent out interactive emails that allowed recipients to play a trailer of House of Cards straight from their inbox. 

 

Best Practices

To maximize interactive emails, here is what to keep in mind. 

 

1. Know your audience

It all begins with understanding your target market. Who are you communicating with?

For instance, if you're sending emails to the Gen Z crowd, you can't go wrong with mini-games or short clips akin to TikTok videos. Meanwhile, a fun and quirky quiz will do the job if you're catering to millennials. As for boomers, you'll need informative videos that get to the heart of the matter. 

 

2. Do not get carried away

Again, you have a lot of interactive email elements to choose from. It's easy to get overexcited and stuff your email with multiple elements at once.

However, that approach might prove counterproductive to what you're trying to achieve. Here's a rule of thumb: keep it simple with one interactive element per email. Do not overwhelm your audience. 

 

3. Test and optimize

Do not release your interactive emails without testing them first. You want to ensure you'll hit your target ROI, and the only way you can achieve that is by doing a trial run. See how it performs with your test audience and tweak it accordingly.  

 

Wrapping It Up

When planning and executing a marketing campaign, the ultimate goal is to drive sales. That's not exactly a small feat. However, you have a rich arsenal at your disposal. Think email marketing, specifically interactive emails. 

Interactive emails take all the nice things email marketing has to offer while tweaking them for a more discerning audience. With such emails, you're not letting your target readers' attention slip away. More accurately, you want to hold them captive in their inbox—particularly your email. 

As to how interactive you could get, the budget's the only limit. You could go as simple as GIFs or as elaborate as games. Whichever route you follow, the important thing is you based your decision on what your audience wants. In that regard, it's crucial to get to know them first.

 

Author Bio

David is the Marketing Manager of Intermedia Print Solutions, a print media and packaging solutions company in Princeton, NJ notable for its high-end print quality printing and on-time delivery. A mixture of technology and creativity is what makes David enthusiastic about his work. He likes to spend his free time reading books, watching sci-fi films, and writing articles.

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