Email marketing isn't about promotion anymore. Now, it's time to build two-way conversations with customers, and interactive email newsletters are among the best instruments for doing that in 2022.
Email marketing is an integral part of building relationships in business. Numbers speak volumes; 93% of marketers say email is a must-use channel for distributing content, and 87% say email is among their top organic distribution channels.
At the same time, 81% of marketers confess that their most used form of content in email marketing is newsletters; 59% claim that newsletters are their most critical tactic for lead generation.
These are the numbers. But let's face it, in 2022, email marketing in general and newsletters, in particular, are not only about promotion. This instrument is also about communication, customers want to interact with your brand directly within emails rather than use your messages for clicking and going to another place.
Providing your subscribers with interactive content in emails is not about sharing GIFs or colorful buttons to click and go to your website for more information. You need to add functionality to your email marketing software that enables users to interact within an email body.
What are the options? What are the practical benefits of interactive emails for your marketing campaigns? What types of interactive content work best in emails for deliverability, customer engagement, and conversion?
Keep on reading to find out.
Benefits of using interactive content in email marketing campaigns
In order not to make unsubstantiated statements, we shall address statistics. The below recent numbers are here to show how interactive elements in your email design can impact the overall results of your marketing campaigns:
- 88% of marketers consider interactive content an effective instrument for differentiating their brand from competitors, while 81% believe it's more attention-grabbing than traditional content.
- Interactive emails have higher engagement rates and can drastically increase traffic to your website. The case study from Souplantation says they’ve increased traffic by 1,430%. Such impressive numbers have a place to be thanks to 91% of customers who prefer visual and interactive content over static.
- Interactive elements in email engage in action, and that's why they can work as CTAs for users, turning them into leads.
- Such emails help with customer segmentation - you can see and analyze people's behavior and preferences, thus creating highly targeted marketing campaigns for different segments of your audience.
Last but not least, given that an average user gets 100+ emails per day, why should they care about yours and distinguish it from other conversations in their inbox? Interactive content in email is your super chance to increase ROI. The case study from Seagate claims that it's possible to gain up to 807% return on investment thanks to interactivity in marketing emails.
And now, for the actionable part - What is interactive content in emails? What types of interactive elements work best, and how can they influence your buyer's journey?
Top 5 most efficient types of interactive content to use in emails
First and foremost, we need to understand the nature of interactive content in emails.
It's not about a GIF, a CTA button, your HTML email signature, or hyperlinks a user can click to go to your website, landing page, Google form, whatever. It's about interaction with your content within a newsletter.
As well as a built-in CRM in Gmail, interactive emails have specific elements that are built into the email design. Users take action within your message, with no need to leave their inbox for more information.
Depending on a buyer's journey stage, marketers consider different types of interactive content to add to emails:
Below, let's discuss the top five most efficient ones and see how they work.
We know a survey is a powerful tool to engage the audience and motivate them to provide feedback on your product and service. Recruiters even use them in job offer letters to find out the candidate's thoughts on what could be improved for better hire. When designed and sent right, it's the fastest and easiest way to reach customers that guarantees replies.
Most email marketing software provides the feature of integrating a survey into newsletters. They have drag-and-drop editors that help you design this element within the tool, or you can use some third-party resources to customize your survey and then connect it to your email software.
How to design email surveys to get the most out of this feature?
- Make your surveys short. Avoid wordy previews, descriptions, and complex questions; they confuse readers and kill the desire to respond. Stay concise and clear; make questions to the point.
- Yes/No questions, multiple-choice questions, and Likert scale questions work best; they don't require too much time and energy to answer.
- Ensure you use questions that lead people to your desired actions.
- Remember to inform the audience about what you'll do with their feedback.
All survey responses will transfer to your CRM, allowing you to segment the audience and generate email content campaigns with their feedback rather than mere hypotheses in mind.
The human brain works so that most of us are visual learners enjoying entertaining content. Gamification in email is an effective instrument to engage the audience, communicating your marketing message and prompting them to complete an action.
More than that, such content demonstrates your creativity and influences your brand loyalty. It may also work as UTP, differentiating your business messages from competitors' and allowing you to stand out from the crowd.
What to use as gamification elements in your emails?
Consider including CTAs that direct people to play online marketing games, image carousels, quizzes, tests with two-choice questions, educational kits, or GIF animations. Here's a great example from BrightWave:
Before launching email campaigns with such interactive elements, remember to test them on different email clients. Given that they may implement some restrictions and settings, you need to ensure your interactive emails will display well.
You also need to test emails on both desktop and mobile devices: 60% of emails are opened from mobile devices, so it would be a big fail if your interactive email campaign doesn't take account of that.
3) Interactive e-books
It stands to reason that you don't need to include the whole e-book in your email's body. But you can represent its part as an interactive element and add this fragment in a newsletter to engage subscribers with the data and informative content, encouraging them to learn more.
Here goes an example of an interactive e-book from finance company Pronix:
This interactive book demonstrates how artificial intelligence (AI) impacts the finance industry. It shares audio clips and contains an interactive menu powered by virtual assistants to navigate.
You can also craft e-books or white papers requiring subscribers to input data to get results. Such content leads to even higher engagement and gets more feedback from users. Use it in email campaigns to build the targets' trust and the reputation of an expert in the niche.
If your business is about helping clients save money or increase ROI, this interactive content in emails may become your best helper. Invite customers to input their numbers into a calculator to get answers and demonstrate how your services can assist with that.
It's an effective instrument to show your targets the actual and practical benefits of working with your business, and that's why calculators serve as perfect lead generators via email marketing.
This type of interactive content in emails is easy to customize. You'll need an HTML email editor of your email marketing software to build emails with CSS you’ll add there.
5) Interactive infographics
All marketers know that infographics are super engaging. Most people are visual learners perceiving the graphics 60,000 times faster than text, so interactive infographics engaging users into action is your ideal way to communicate a marketing message.
Not only does such content differentiate your brand from competitors in a customer's inbox, but it also skyrockets engagement and boosts conversion.
To incorporate interactive infographics in newsletters, you'll need time and some coding knowledge. You can try hand-coding such content yourself or address your email marketing software services and ask if they have any corresponding email templates.
Below is an example of interactive infographics in emails from Dominos. They designed a menu for a user to view, add to a cart, and order right away in the email:
Ready to try interactive content in your emails?
Competition is super high today, both B2B and B2C marketers try to overcome themselves and win the battle for users' attention and interest, implementing traditional and alternative techniques to their email marketing campaigns.
Interactive email content can become your extra step towards higher engagement, increased customer feedback, CTR, and conversion. It's your instrument to turn email from a tool for direct promotion into a two-way conversation with your customers.
About the author:
Lesley Vos is a Chicago web writer and guest blogging advocate. Currently associating with Bid4Papers, she's also a regular contributor to many publications on business, digital marketing, and self-growth. Connect with Lesley on Twitter @LesleyVos.
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