Resources Hub » Knowledge base » What Is an Interactive Email?

Click it, swipe it, play it—this is the new interactive email soundtrack all marketers should be playing.

While stellar copy and an appealing design still ranks high with email strategy, at the end of the day subscribers want to have fun. They want brands to not only deliver on informative content, but to do so with cutting-edge technology that keeps them entertained.

Emails with interactive content have continued to rise in subscriber engagement. In fact, 91% of B2B buyers prefer to open interactive and visual content, when compared to traditional methods.

Many brands have already started sending interactive emails and are reaping booming engagement results because of it. Let’s take a look at what interactive emails are and how you can use them to your own advantage.

What is an interactive email?

Interactive emails involve content that allows subscribers to take action and participate. The action typically involves tapping, swiping, playing, or other methods within the email itself.

Interactive content in email increases the open rate by 73%.

By adding interactive content into your emails, you’re delivering something delightful and unexpected that’ll keep subscribers in their inbox longer to interact with your email. In turn, you’re able to better connect with your audience to deliver a personalized experience that’ll increase your key performance indicators (KPIs).

Types of interactive email content

While email still needs to catch up to web design’s interactive technology, email service providers are working towards adding functionality to match industry demand. With interactive email’s popularity predicted to rise, there are a few ways you can add it into your strategy immediately to be ahead of the bandwagon.

Let’s take a look at four methods of interactive email content.


Video marketing isn’t going anywhere any time soon. So adding it directly into your emails should be a no-brainer. In fact, adding videos to email can increase click rates by 300%.


As one of the most popular forms of interactive content, animated GIFs are a great alternative or supplement to video. The trick here is getting the files small enough to render well in all inboxes. But once you can get the size down, they’re extremely engaging elements of an email.

GIFs can give a preview of a video, animate a call to action, or just provide some fun to a campaign. You don’t necessarily need to create your own, but branded GIFs are definitely a plus. Here’s an example from Campaign Monitor customer

email from shows shoe products on sale with the views of each shoe changing every second

Surveys, polls, and reviews

Customer feedback is crucial in determining how people feel about your brand and products. Designing a survey inside emails allows one less step for someone to take, which means they’re more likely to actually fill out the form. You’re not only gaining valuable information from your customer, but you’re also increasing your click-throughs and interaction.

Countdown timers

While not totally interactive, countdown timers are extremely engaging. Whether it’s for an upcoming offer, an event, or promotion ending, countdown timers are perfect for creating a sense of urgency and driving engagement.

This email from Gusto uses Countdown to great effect. They add urgency and see great results from their email marketing.

See more on driving urgency in our guide to countdown timers here.

How do you measure an interactive email?

As with traditional emails, it’s important to use insights from past efforts in order to inform and improve future campaigns. Measure the success of your interactive emails by diving into the following metrics:

  • Click-through rate (CTR)
  • Open rate
  • Unsubscribe rate

If you notice your interactive emails perform better than static content, include more interactive content in future campaigns. Now you’re taking your subscriber’s preferences into consideration and giving them a better customer experience—all while boosting your engagement.

Does it really matter?

With marketing trends constantly shifting, it’s vital to stay ahead and pay attention to your subscriber’s preferences. Interactive email shows no signs of slowing down, so getting on board is important to grow your business further.

What now?

Adding interactive content is a great way to entertain and delight your subscribers to keep them engaged with your email campaigns. Now that you know what interactive emails are, it’s time to start implementing them into your next email campaign. Take a look at how adding videos to your email campaigns can help your sales outreach strategy.

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.

Get started with Campaign Monitor today.

With our powerful yet easy-to-use tools, it's never been easier to make an impact with email marketing.

Try it for free