5 Ways to Make your Emails More Interactive

 In Email

Interactive content is hot right now.

And for good reason. With consumers savvier than ever, and their attention being competed for at an ever increasing rate brands and marketers are looking to different ways to engage potential customers, get them interested in a brand, and ultimately, increase conversions.

Now, when you look at creating a blog post or white paper, interactive content is pretty easy. But with email? That’s a different story.

In the minds of many consumers (not to mention brands and marketers) email is email, can it really be interactive?

The answer is a resounding yes.

In fact, email has some of the greatest potential for interactive content that not only engages readers, but leads to higher open rates, click through rates, and conversion rates. We already know that email marketing works better than social media for customer acquisition, according to a study done by McKinsey, as you can see from the cart below:

With 82% of B2B and B2C brands using some form of email marketing technology, according to Ascend2, there is tons of opportunity to make email more interactive to drive those rates up even higher, provide more value, and increase engagement.

There are a number of both practical and creative approaches you can take to make your emails more interactive. Here, we’re going to look at five specific strategies you could use.

Zembula Experiences

Reveal marketing and interactive content go hand in hand, and there is no better way to do it than with a Zembula campaign. This is especially true now that mobile email open rates are continuing to rise. Litmus tells us that now 55% of emails are opened on mobile devices, while open rates are decreasing on desktop devices.

That highlights a huge potential for email marketing with a mobile focus, which is where a Zembula campaign can really excel. Because Zembula experiences, like Scratch-its, deeply tap into key psychological principles like creating curiosity, feeling like a “winner,” and giving a sense of ownership, just to name a few, it dramatically increases the engagement of the user compared to a traditional email campaign.

When VerticalResponse integrated Scratch-Its into their campaign, the results were impressive:

Aside from receiving a higher click through rate, we also received more replies from our customers asking how we created the campaign, and how they could do the same.

Scratch-its can lead to huge gains in consumer engagement, which helps build brand interest and loyalty over the long run.

Social Media Feeds

Another way to make email more interactive is to look at social media as well. Many brands are now including links to their social media accounts inside the emails themselves, at the footer, for example. But why not take it even a step further and have interactive social media feeds inside the emails?

Allow for social sharing buttons to highlight both your images and your content. Think about how your reader might view the email on mobile devices. What if they were able to use Pinterest to pin one of the images inside your email to their account right from their phone?

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This example from Starbucks is just one way brands are using their social media feeds to make email more interactive. Especially in the more visual age, social media channels like Instagram and Pinterest are seeing huge gains.

Real Time Marketing

Real time marketing is incredibly important to marketers, in fact, according to Adobe, “77% of marketers have real time marketing as an important part of their business.” But, few have really been able to translate real time marketing into emails, until recently, that is.

MoveableInk is one brand that has been able to combine real time marketing, personalization, and “in the moment messaging” into an interactive email experience. Some examples would include:

  • Real time rewards balances
  • Geo-targeted bookings for local hotels
  • Reservation services for travel brands
When an airline using MovableInk sent an email campaign that allowed passengers to upgrade their seats from within the email, they were able to see an additional million dollars in the first few months.

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Embracing real time data allows for consumers to take action directly from their inbox, reducing the amount of effort (and sites) they have to navigate in order to get their preferred results.

Surveys and Polls

Another way to make emails more interactive for your brand is to embrace the concept of including real time surveys and polls. There are a number of reasons why a survey or a poll is a great way to increase engagement from your readers.

First, just look at the basics, people generally love giving their opinion on something, it’s human nature. But the idea behind surveys and polls can go deeper than that as well, they also fit really well into many of the main psychological trigger points that are so important in reveal marketing. A survey or poll increases curiosity, people are interested in seeing what the results are, it motivates them to take an action, it makes them feel emotionally attached to the outcome.

The results highlight this. Last year, Ticketmaster sent out an interactive email featuring a poll centered around the Video Music Awards, and found “the open rate of the email exceeded Ticketmaster’s average open rate by 182%.


Another way to increase interactive content in email marketing is to embrace personalization. With so much data available to marketers today on virtually any aspect of a potential consumer’s life from their location to their habits, brands can combine big data with real time data to personalize a variety of content directly to the reader.

One brand that has been able to capture this concept of deep personalization with their customers is the travel agency AAA. Using “customer rich” content from Liveclicker, the Ohio AAA branch office ran a couple of email campaigns that captured the best of personalization for their customers, highlighting something that is always in the mind of every traveler: the weather.

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By capturing the attention of readers with something as simple as highlighting the local weather forecast, the Ohio AAA branch office was able to see a dramatic increase in the number of email opens, click through rates, and over the long run, vacation purchases.

Final Thoughts

You can see here just how much of an impact interactive email marketing have had on the brands that have been able to implement campaigns.

With engagement, personalization, and interactivity seen to be driving consumer interest over the next few years, it’s a good idea to start looking at how you can improve your current email marketing campaigns to include these factors, if you haven’t already.