Interactive Email: Taking Email To The Next Level

Interactive email is what really drew me to the email world. It was the inspiration behind HEML and led me to some amazing resources and communities. Litmus reports that it has been a hot topic for email people for a couple of years now and with Google’s recent announcements around AMP support in Gmail, it’s an even more viable investment for businesses.

An interactive email brings some sort of functionality into the inbox based on a user’s action. That could be showing a hidden message when the user clicks a button or creatively using scrolling to tell a story. You can read more about it here, learn how to build an interactive email here, or watch a fun animation (by yours truly) on how it works here.

The development of interactive email shows there’s still an amazing amount of untapped potential in email. We’re big fans of pushing the limits of email at SparkPost so we decided to make “interactive email” a category in this year’s Sparky Awards.

There are so many good use cases for interactivity in emails, from games to in-email purchases. I’d like to share some of my favorite examples. And if you’re the makers of any of them, definitely enter! ?


E-commerce is a space where interactive email really shines. A wonderful example is a Nest Black Friday promotional email. It allowed you to fill your cart and go to checkout right from the email!

Live Demo

Customer Feedback

A tangible benefit from interactive email is removing friction for users that might lead them to drop off otherwise. Our friends at Rebel have done some really amazing things in this space. One of the most pragmatic uses is their product review email that they’ve built out for customers like Home Depot, who saw a 55% increase in completed reviews!!


Customer Engagement and Storytelling

Not everything in email has to drive direct revenue. Sometimes it can be about engaging and delighting your customers and building out your relationships. Justin Khoo from Email on Acid shared an awesome technique for pseudo-randomness in CSS by building out a magic 8-ball. He built the email around asking the question, “Is your email ready to send?” It’s an awesome marketing email for Email on Acid and definitely sticks in the mind.

Live Demo


The last email I want to share is from Taco Bell. ? It’s different from the others here because it doesn’t provide a clickable action. Instead, it uses scrolling as the interaction. The email tells a story of 3 people starting their days. This email really stuck in my mind and leads the reader to the end result of ordering some breakfast!

Live Demo

Happy Sending!