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The state of interactive content 2018: email edition

 In Email, Interactive Content

Use of interactive content is on the rise, and it’s no wonder. Competition between brands is intense and marketers need to try something new to stay afloat. The inclusion of GIFs, images, and video in email, as well as interactive, clickable experiences, has upped the game, and we’ve noticed a lot more interactivity in the emails we receive on a daily basis. We realized that we hadn’t seen the consumer view of interactive content in any marketing community studies on interactive content, so we asked 1000 consumers about their experiences with email marketing and the preferences they have for emails from brands. You can read the entire study here, but below are our summarized learnings!

It’s common knowledge that images improve email KPIs; in fact, when asked if consumers prefer text-only emails or emails with images, they answered emails with images 5:1. What about images that move, or images that can be moved?

Well, the staggering preference stays the same as we move toward GIFs, videos, and especially dynamic interactive content.

(To get these answers we showed the respondents 2 emails at a time with each of the elements listed below and asked which email they would be more likely to click on.)

So, having any visual element in your emails like an image or a video is preferred to just text, and will more likely have a higher click through.

In one particular question about purchasing behavior, we gave our respondents three emails, one with an interactive element, one with an image, and one with just text, and asked which email would more likely lead to a purchase. The interactive email was chosen most often, followed closely by an email with an image, and, lagging far behind, a text email.

As we’ve touched on before, people just want to have fun with their email! In our study, consumers reported that they are more likely to buy from a brand that is fun, lively, and inspirational, as well as a brand that makes them feel entertained.

Interactive content is used by brands because it’s much more fun and entertaining than static content. This leads to higher engagement rates and greater brand affinity!

Interactive content can also be used to drum up curiosity by creating tension with an experience that requires an action to uncover a message, like a digital scratch-it.

We also addressed personalization in this research, asking if people preferred personalized email to generic contact. Overwhelmingly, 69% of our respondents preferred personalization in their emails and stated that it would influence their buying decisions.

Don’t just take our word for it though! These are actual open-ended responses from real consumers that answered our survey:

  • “I get a ton of emails and if they are interactive, I’m more likely to pay attention to them and not just automatically delete it.”
  • “It [interactive content] makes checking emails more fun, and I am more likely to click through to the site.”
  • “I love emails that really pop! Having something more interactive engages me more and holds my attention.”

With all of this in mind, our prediction for 2018 is that videos and GIF usage will continue to increase in email and they will outperform static emails, but consumers will continue to crave interactive content in email. Brands that cater to this desire will experience increased email ROI and brand affinity!

Give your brand the best 2018 and add interactive content to your email strategy. If you need help getting started, check out this post about how to make your emails more interactive.

To download the whole study, click here!