Create interest through interactive email

Create interest through interactive email

In the first blog posts about interactive email of this series, we saw how dynamic and personalized images can provide a new level of individualization. Images are an important part of interactive email and the basic layer for a set of further elements and actions that make an email interactive.

They are the basis of the fully functional email advent calendar we created. In the case of the advent calendar, the images were modified every day. The current day was highlighted and clickable. every time the recipients opened the email.

How do we define an interactive email?

« An interactive email is an email where a click
triggers an action within the same email. » Mark J. Robins

So the interactive email is defined by user interaction inside the email, much like we would see the difference between
a picture (which is static) versus
a movie (which is dynamic) versus
a game (which is interactive).

Interaction can make experiences a lot more engaging, have a look at this video for example.

Creating an interactive advent calendar email

In our interactive advent calendar, the interactivity is created by clicking on current day’s window. It opens a pop-up layer directly in the email. The content of the pop-up changes every day. The pop-up is loaded from the server in real-time when the email is opened.

On click a form appears in the email.

By clicking a form appears inside the email.

How does this work? The email contains a set of html container elements such as list items, paragraphs, divs and images. These elements are hidden by default but get displayed by classes in the daily changing css file which is loaded from the server at each open.

The content is added to the email by using the ::before / ::after pseudo classes and the “content” css attribute. Links are routed via a script that redirects to the proper target url according to the current day.

Through this, we were able to send the email only once a week and not to bother our audience with a daily email dispatch (which would inevitably result in a significant unsubscribe rate).

Prefilled form for prize draws and subscriptions

About one-third of the days in the advent calendar contained a prize draw (for example the Dec. 16th). The recipients could register directly from within the email. First, users had to accept the T&C before the “participate” button became clickable. Clicking it then opened a new pop-up layer, containing the (already pre-filled) participation form. For the recipient a significantly better user experience, especially on mobile devices.

We A/B tested this streamlining of the subscription workflow for an event registration email. Compared to the classic button to landing page approach the pre-filled form in the email provided a 27% uplift in registrations for the event.

The pre-filled form as it appeared in the email.

The pre-filled form as it appeared in the email.

Preview part 3
In the third part of this series, you will learn how real-time content can boost conversions and how image galleries or even a live twitter feed can boost an email campaign.

Cyrill Gross

Cyrill Gross


Cyrill Gross is Senior Consultant, Key Account Manager and Partner at Mayoris AG. Responsible for operational belongings, cooperation and processes with the customer as well as strategic consulting for email marketing and system integration issues. Expertise in HTML for emails, especially responsive design and solutions many others would call "impossible". Speaker at conferences and fairs in Switzerland and abroad.

  • carlo

    Good Information about the Email interaction with the customer

  • pizap 2

    This is a very interesting web page and I have enjoyed reading many of the articles and posts contained on the website, keep up the good work and hope to read some more interesting content in the future.pizap Absolutely this article is incredible. And it is so beautiful.

  • Milly Delevingne

    there definitely is an art to writing emails and these are great examples. I love uncommon grounds the best.

  • Christian Gatlin

    Great post Cyrill!
    Thank you for sharing how to increase our customer engagement in a few easy steps.
    This article is beneficial to small and large companies alike!

  • Sienna Eskildsen

    these might look good, but isn’t there a big problem with them actually
    displaying properly? Most readers of email have images turned off by
    default. I’d love to see what they look like then.

    • cygro

      Hi Sienna. Images are blocked among common (static) and interactive emails equally. So from this perspective there is no difference.
      For clients that do not support those technologies we use for interactive elements in emails, we always implement a proper fallback. The fallback is never lesser of a user experience than the common button to landing page approach.
      BR, Cyrill

  • Lexi Pivovarova

    there definitely is an art to writing emails and these are great examples. I love uncommon grounds the best.

  • Rose Carter

    The advent calendar email is a great example and all others too. Would love to try them all.

    Rose Carter

  • Lexi Pivovarova

    Hello Sir,

    Thanks Sharing information for create interest though make email for any user and people to send in this many time are posted to make different.

    Thank You.

  • Sascha Rutledge

    Hello Sir,

    Great post you upload in with write with blog to make some information to share web to post for user to read and make a plan to create through email.

    Thank You.