5 very interesting content types for interactive emails, you might not know.

2020’s at the door, and everyone’s in search of new trends and strategies to grow their business even more in the new year. We all are email marketers here, so what we need is some new and — what’s more important — actionable tactics to engage subscribers, make them click, and therefore boost our email conversion.

Interactive content in emails is what can help with that.

One of the hottest email marketing trends, it’s going to work even better now. Why? And how to use it in your marketing emails for skyrocket engagement and conversion?

Keep reading to find out.

Why Use Interactive Content in Emails

As you know, email marketing is not about selling and cold promotion anymore. People don’t open your emails to read ads, and your persuasive writing tricks don’t make them click and buy unless you provide some value. They want to interact with your message and see that it helps them solve a problem.

Your task as a marketer is to engage subscribers in dialogue and create a personalized experience for them to understand they can trust your brand and get tons of benefits from it.

Interactive content is one of the best ways to reach that.

Interactive content is a built-in element of your email, allowing readers to take some actions within the message, without leaving it. (NB! Buttons, hyperlinks, or GIFs can’t be considered the types of interactive content because they just lead readers to another page; people can’t interact with them within the email.)

Benefits of using interactive content in your emails:

  • A higher engagement rate. Emails with interactive elements in a body get 18% more unique clicks and 10% more click-to-open rates.
  • Better brand awareness and loyalty. It’s crucial today to differentiate yourself from competitors and hook the attention of the audience.
  • B2B customers love it: 91% of them choose interactive content in emails over static.
  • 2x more conversion. Interactive emails average 50% CTR and over 80% form submission rate.
  • It’s a more efficient CTA option: interactive emails encourage users to take action.

Interactive emails are your chance to stand out from the crowd, stick in users’ memory, capture more data from them for better segmentation and personalization, and win their loyalty for more benefits in the long run.

5 Must-Try Types of Interactive Content in Emails

Content Marketing Institute summarized the effectiveness of each type of interactive content, depending on a buyer’s journey stage. Here’s what they got:

buyers journey stages graph

Today, when interactive content gets the revival of its spirits, it’s time to try those in email marketing. Below are the top five interactive content types to consider for your newsletters.

1) Quizzes (Surveys)

You know that quizzes are great for growing your email list. But what about embedding them in email bodies for triple engagement and response rate? Many email clients allow integrating surveys into newsletters, which helps you get feedback from clients and create even more value and personalized experiences for them. This also helps in lead generation that can be later used to nurture them.


interactive email win and vote

Such interactive content as quizzes allows communicating marketing messages through entertainment, which most people love. They engage, invite to take action, and demonstrate your brand’s authenticity and creativity, therefore influencing the overall performance of your email marketing campaign.


interactive email shoes example

This email quizz from BHLDN invites consumers to choose wedding shoes: you answer questions, click on chosen shoes, and it leads you to a corresponding page on the website to buy them.

When creating surveys or quizzes for emails, make sure to choose short and sweet questions so people would find it easy to answer. Open-ended questions might work too: the answers are more time-consuming to analyze here, but such questions allow people to share a detailed response.

And remember to inform users about what you will do with their feedback. Their responses can also help to make a more advanced email segmentation of your audience and generate more content ideas for your future emails to them.

2) Rollover Images and Carousels

Both are great ways to add some extra fun to your email and let users navigate it, therefore interacting with your content. Rollovers save space and allow readers to see more information without scrolling down. Carousels encourage interaction within emails, allowing consumers to control what they see and what they want to do with that information.

interactive email hover

To design beautiful carousels, consider the following:

Don’t include more than five frames to it: users won’t engage with more.
Make sure all images are sharp-looking, all texts are short and clear, and all are in line with your overall email message.
Use navigation that is intuitive enough to spot and click and place it inside the carousel.

interactive email caroussel

3) Product pickers & Infographics

These are proved to be the most engaging types of visual content for users. No surprise given that 90% of people are visual learners, product pickers and interactive infographics, and videos in emails appear the ideal options to communicate your marketing message.

Here’s the example from Dominos:
interactive email dominos example

Their product picker allows subscribers to preview pizzas and order them right away. Another one from Burberry takes a step further:

interactive email burbury
Readers can not only choose a product and its style but also customize it with their initials, pulled from Burberry’s customer database.

Rumors have it, video in email can boost CTR up to 85%. Also, 65% of subscribers are more likely to buy from a brand if they can watch a video about its offers.

As Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer of Marketing Profs, nailed it:

“Video is more than something we can watch, leaning back in our chairs. It’s also increasingly something we can interact with – leaning forward, and engaged.”

There are four ways to add videos to emails:

    1. Use those from YouTube. Readers will see a preview image in the email, and can click through.
    2. Consider email clients that have a feature of adding interactive elements to newsletters. So you’ll just use a corresponding code combination for users to watch videos in the email.
    3. Use an animated .gif to display the video and add some animation.
    4. Use instruments such as Liveclicker or Viwomail to get the code and integrate it into your email.

4) Interactive E-books (White Papers)

Nope, it’s not about integrating the whole white paper or e-book content into emails. It’s about adding a small interactive element from your white paper to hook readers and encourage them to learn more after clicking it.

Sure enough, use this content type only if your brand creates and publishes e-books with interactive components in them. Such components can be spatial, maps, calculators, interactive charts (also known as assessments) for readers to input some data, etc. It’s more likable and shareable, and it helps you build a positive reputation as an expert whom readers can trust.

interactive email ebook

You can imagine the email that goes along with this interactive e-book from Ceros. It is easy to read and scan through sliding, readers can click on its elements for more info, and it invites them to input data and learn more, which all lead to higher engagement.

5) Live Shopping Carts

You send abandoned cart emails to your customers to bring them back to finish their orders, right? This is a very popular email marketing tactic in ecommerce to increase revenue. But why not give them the option to place an order and update their shopping cart directly from those emails?

Such an interactive element as a shopping cart in your email, is not that easy to design (it requires complex HTML and CSS and a lot of testing), but it could be worth trying if you have the resources at hand and depleted other types of optimisation of your email marketing program.

in email shopping cart

Long interactive email story short…

With so many interactive content types available, you’ll easily choose some to boost your subscribers’ engagement and the overall conversion of your email marketing campaign. With the advent of Google AMP for Email, we will probably only start seeing more interactive email appearing in our inboxes. But remember:

As with any other strategy, only use the elements that would best resonate with your audience. There’s no need and reason to put bright visuals, image carousels, or quizzes in every second newsletter you send. Too much water drowned the miller, as we know. Don’t waste time and resources on interactive email content if you don’t expect the audience to benefit from it.

Lesley Vos

Lesley is fan of the writing craft, content marketing, and self-development. She creates web texts, writes for Bid4Papers.com blog and others, and polishes her writing skills. Specializing in content creation and self-criticism, Lesley develops a habit of doing her best proofreading before she hits "send." Check out Twitter @LesleyVos to see more works of hers.