What’s all the Hype with Interactive Email?

There’s been a lot of excitement around interactive email. Why? With this functionality, email recipients have the ability to take action directly in a message—eliminating the need to visit an app or website. This game-changing format provides marketers with the ability to strengthen their email campaigns and create a more functional content format, especially for mobile users.

Typical Uses for Interactive Email

Since interactive emails can include everything from GIFs to forms, the applications for execution are plentiful. You may the functionality employed as:

  • Surveys and quizzes.
  • Playable videos.
  • Image carousels or images that transition to text.
  • Accessibility options.
  • Ratings and reviews.

With so many alternatives, businesses in almost any industry can incorporate interactivity into their email marketing campaigns.

What Are the Benefits of Interactive Email?

Aside from the fact that users engage more with interactive email marketing, there are many other benefits to the design, including:

  • The ability to upsell: Interactive functions offer a better user experience and a chance to upsell or cross-sell your customers. For example, a hotel may send a user confirmation of a recent booking with a 360-degree tour of the suite they reserved. An offer to book tickets to an activity through the hotel’s concierge service may also appear in the email.
  • Insightful customer data: You get more information about your customers, their preferences and their behavior to effectively optimize and target future campaigns.
  • Competitive advantage: You can differentiate your message from your competitors’ with creative and engaging interactive content to drive conversions.

What are the Challenges of Interactive Email?

While interactive email provides opportunities, it also has technological challenges. For one thing, interactivity is not currently supported by all email clients, so this creates challenges for marketers who want to reach all their users. Further, email clients, in general, all differ dramatically according to Litmus Email Analytics.

Further, not all interactive elements can be easily added to email. The most straightforward coding is for the hamburger menu. This icon is displayed as three thick horizontal lines that resemble an actual “hamburger” that can be hidden or viewed—enabling more real estate for content viewed on a mobile device. On the other hand, the add-to-cart functionality is more difficult to streamline, as this data goes from email to the web. These up-and-coming trends make the evolution from static email to a mailable microsite very challenging.

What is Interactive Email Powered by Google AMP?

In 2015, Google launched an open-source technology project called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). This functionality improves the performance of web content, especially for mobile devices. The power of Google AMP is now available on Gmail, helping marketers reach millions of Gmail users with interactive email. For AMP-powered emails to work in Gmail, it’s required that a separate Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME-type) be added to your email.

What are the Opportunities with AMP for Email?

With AMP for Email, Gmail users can take action directly in an email such as submit an RSVP to an event, schedule an appointment, or fill out a questionnaire. AMP for Email will also make it possible for information to be kept up-to-date, so email content never gets stale and is accurate every time a user looks at it.

Simply put, interactivity is today’s hottest trend in email marketing. If you’re planning to use or improve interactive emails, understanding the potential benefits, as well as the limitations, are critical to your email marketing strategy.

More Trends for Interactive Email

Email marketing has grown over time — 78% of marketers saw an increase in email engagement in 2019. With the world changing how it does business, that trend is not likely to reverse soon. Interactive emails have risen along with email marketing trends. To leverage all the potential interactivity holds and gain a competitive edge, consider incorporating the following elements into your strategy:

  • Dark mode functionality: Most users in a recent survey prefer the extended battery life and sight benefits of their phones’ dark mode. Ensure your emails are compatible with the format to increase email deliverability and your user reach.
  • User-generated content (UGC): The impact of UGC on conversion is significant. Using whatever interactive media your audience prefers. For example, your business could gather user videos for a contest and have your subscriber base choose among several to determine the winner.

Learn More About Interactive Email and AMP for Email

We partnered with Litmus to talk about the trends and insights of interactive email and AMP for Email, and what this means for email marketers who are embracing these techniques to maximize ROI.

In this webinar, our expert panelists discussed:

  • The opportunities and challenges of interactive email and AMP for Email
  • Examples and best practices of interactivity in email
  • The scope of what Gmail is doing with AMP and what beta customers have to say

Watch the replay of the Trends and Insights for Interactive Email and AMP for Email webinar today!

– Julie

Trust Your Interactive Email Needs to the Experts at SparkPost

With our full suite of email applications and services, we help your business take advantage of the benefits and trends this engaging format offers. SparkPost will guide you every step of the way, from migration and training to analytic interpretation and optimization. Speak with an email specialist today and discover how we can help your business grow!