Resources Hub » Blog » 7 Ways to Use Interactive Elements in Automated Emails

Have you heard the buzz about interactive content? It’s hit the email marketing landscape and has proven to be the hottest, must-have design element for brands looking to gain attention.

Why? Including interactive elements in automated emails not only delights subscribers, but it also increases click-through rates and drives conversions. With the average consumer receiving 121 emails per day, it’s more important than ever for brands to stand out in a crowded inbox to earn customer loyalty.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 81% of email marketers believe interactive content grabs your subscriber’s attention more than traditional email design.

What does that mean for you? Even more competition in the inbox. With the rise of interactive content, your brand must use it in unique ways to meet customer demand and continue to gain attention.

However, before jumping on the bandwagon and developing interactive content, it’s important to understand what elements subscribers prefer and how you can incorporate them into an attainable strategy. Let’s take a look at new ways you can include interactive elements in automated emails to help increase conversions and build a loyal subscriber base.

What are interactive elements in automated emails?

They refer to anything that requires the subscriber to engage with the content to fully experience it. Typically, interactive elements include tapping, swiping, or moving your cursor through the email.

From GIFs to custom CSS hover states, designers have endless possibilities to include interactive elements in email designs. However, it’s important to recognize that email service providers like Outlook and Gmail are still catching up with technological capabilities. Interactivity isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, so always include a web-safe fallback option if your design isn’t supported.

Are interactive elements effective?

Now that you’ve learned about interactive elements, you may be wondering how effective they are compared to traditional email design. If you’re on the fence about implementing this trend, consider that interactive elements increase the open rate by 73%.

Interactive emails have the potential to generate 2 times more conversions than traditional emails. This is because subscribers want to be entertained and inspired by brands. It’s no longer enough to just send an email with your recent sales promotion.

You need to engage your customers and entice them with your design. With an interactive mentality, you’ll be able to delight subscribers and convert them into long-term, loyal customers.

7 ways to use interactive elements in automated emails to delight subscribers

As more companies begin to adapt interactive elements into their automated emails, you need to stay ahead of the curve with unique features. Let’s dive into a few different ways you can use interactive content to make your emails pop.

1. Ask for feedback with survey forms.

Asking customers for feedback is an important part of both your marketing and customer service strategy. Surveys are a great way to learn more about your customer’s experience by asking their thoughts and opinions.

With surveys, you’re giving customers a chance for their voices to be heard about your brand. In turn, you keep the communication line open with your customers by implementing their feedback, while also learning more about their preferences and interests.

Survey emails are perfect to automatically send out after delivering a product or completing a service. For the survey to be interactive, it should be embedded into the email instead of linking it to a new landing page. With timely delivery and easy customer experience, you can feel confident about receiving a more authentic response.

Taylor Stitch Asks for Product Review in Email

Source: Really Good Emails

2. Display product features with image rollover effects.

Image rollovers are traditionally used on a website to showcase a close-up or back side of a product. However, you can also use rollover effects within emails to:

  • Tease a new product release: Add a layer of gamification by forcing your subscriber to hover over certain elements to learn clues about the new product. Don’t give everything away at once.
  • Showcase hidden product descriptions: Emails have limited space for text, so using a hover effect allows you to display more details about your product when the subscriber moves their cursor.
  • Use tooltips to display details: Commonly used on Instagram, subscribers can click on certain product features to read about the product and click through to a landing page.

When setting up automatic emails, rollover effects are a unique way to use your email space more effectively to show more details without overwhelming your subscriber with too much text. Consider using this feature for segmented messaging for additional personalization in your automated email series.

3. Experiment with embedding video into emails.

Including videos in your automated emails can boost open rates by at least 6%.
Video marketing continues to be a hot trend in 2020, and many email clients are beginning to support the technical requirements needed for them to play within the email. However, you need to conduct testing for all email clients to ensure your video appears the way you intend for all subscribers—if not, use a fallback image or GIF.

For automated emails, videos are great content to add in a welcome email series to introduce your brand and services. As a best practice, keep your videos around 30 seconds and below 200KB to retain your subscribers’ attention.

Utilizing the power of video within your automated emails is an entertaining way to connect with your subscribers and help them see a more transparent side of your brand. The interactive element playing within your email keeps them engaged with your message enough to click through to your website to learn more.

TrustedHousesitters Displays Owners in Email Video

Source: Really Good Emails

4. Have fun with gamification.

While gamified emails aren’t for the faint-of-heart developers, they can make a serious impact on your subscribers and motivate them into action. Gamified interactive elements are based on three core methods: engagement, award, and competition. You can use gamified features in your automated emails to educate subscribers on a product, build anticipation around a product launch, or simply entertain your audience.

To get the best results with gamification, you need to take on a data-driven approach to understand what your audience engages with more. Is it instant rewards? Implement a scratch card plug-in that offers a valuable prize based on purchase history. Is it a long-term series? Develop a quest that keeps your subscribers coming back for more. With gamification being a relatively new tool in email marketing, testing and analyzing your data is the best way to create the most effective automated email campaign.

 Bose Surprises Subscribers with Scratch-Off Animation in Email

Source: Really Good Emails

5. Draw attention with animated buttons.

You’ve most likely included a CTA button in all your emails to increase the conversion rate. However, have you considered animating it? When your subscriber hovers their mouse over or clicks on the button, develop it to change colors to draw their attention and gamify your CTA.

Your CTA is one of the most important parts of the email, so adding interactive elements to it will help you drive results.

You can implement animated buttons with two techniques:

  1. Insert custom CSS code into your email code with your brand’s color standards.
  2. Use an image rollover effect by taking a screenshot of your two opposite buttons with the same size and text.

With any CTA button, make sure you hyperlink a landing page URL to drive more action with your subscribers.

Interactive email best practices

While adding interactive elements to automated emails will surprise your subscribers, you still need to follow best practices. To dodge sending run-of-the-mill designs and messaging, consider the following when developing your interactive emails:

  • Don’t forget about your subject line: Even if you create the best interactive email, it means nothing if it goes unopened. You need to create creative subject lines that pique your subscriber’s interest enough to earn a click. For an added layer, A/B test your copy to understand what resonates the most with your audience.
  • Personalization is still key: Learn about your subscriber’s preferences and interests through interactive content like quizzes and surveys. Once you understand your subscriber’s ideal experience, you can tailor messaging to their needs.
  • Be fun without pushing a sales goal: While it’s tempting to push a promotion in every email, you need to first build customer loyalty through brand awareness. Try sending entertaining holiday emails or interactive newsletters that include fun company updates.
  • Monitor your performance: With every email campaign, you need to monitor your click-through, open, and unsubscribe rates to understand which emails are working and what you need to tweak.

Wrap up

Considering the email marketing landscape is constantly evolving, you should expect some trial and error when developing an interactive email campaign. However, with the right design and strategy, you’ll continue to entertain your audience and drive more conversions.

When integrating interactive content into your automated emails, consider the following elements:

  • Feedback surveys to give your subscribers a voice
  • Image rollover effects to provide more details on products or services
  • Embedded video to engage your audience with different media formats
  • Gamification to inspire fun and activity within your email
  • Animated buttons to drive conversions

The right interactive email campaign starts with the right email marketing platform. Try Campaign Monitor for free today to learn more.

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This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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