Keeping your customer engaged in-email

The days of sending boring static emails have passed. There’s a lot more you can put in an email to keep customers engaged. Why not adapt the emails you send to include fun stuff? Stuff that will get your name remembered.

This has been a challenge for us over the past year, but also one that we’ve embraced and turned into a huge success. We’ve created some great ways to help customers pass the time and I’m keen to share them with you.

Everything you see below works in interactive supported email clients, so it can all be enjoyed without ever leaving the inbox. But remember, where interactivity isn’t supported, a well thought out fallback ensures no one misses out on the fun. More on that in a future post.

Interactive Quiz

Everyone like a nice quiz, right? What a great way to add some fun, and interaction, to an email.

Using a combination of hidden checkboxes, and great looking transitions, we can create an engaging, and great fun, piece of content.

Tap and Reveal

Tap to Reveal is very simple to create, using two images stacked on top of each other. The front image is clicked, and then slowly faded, revealing the hidden image sitting behind it.

We then display a button at the bottom, which takes you to the next question.

What Happens Next?

This is an example of an email that contains a few choices to guess what will happen next in a scene from a movie.

When the play button is click, we reveal a clip showing the answer. This is achieved using a hidden checkbox that relates to the play button. When the checkbox is checked we activate an animation of the movie scene, revealing the answer.

Find Dory

Our finding Dory game has had lots of positive feedback from players. It’s takes the basis of a carousel, but allowing someone to scroll up and down, as well as left and right giving a smooth scrolling experience using CSS transitions.

Starting with the image in its full, the first interaction zooms in and then displays the navigation controls.

While searching the scene for Dory, we use hotspots to display a message when a fish is click on, letting you know if you have found her.

Go on a cruise

Using several backgrounds transitioning at different speeds the Parallax effect is created.

Going a little further, adding in hotspots along the way creates an informative journey for the user.

Vote for the Best

Creating a voting panel is a nice way to give the recipient something interesting to do, while at the same time providing feedback to the client on what customers are interested in.

We use our own in house system to create tracking pixels, which get downloaded at the time of the vote click. It then generates, and displays back, instant live results.

Adding a simple animation, after someone has voted, helps let the user know that something is happening while the results are gathering.

A view from Rob Pellow, Innovation Director

Why have interactivity in email?

We love a bit of innovation and interactivity in our emails but it’s not just because it’s cool (though it IS cool). There are some really good business and CRM reasons for it, too, including:

– It makes engagement measurable. Not every email is about getting someone to go somewhere else as quickly as possible. Some are informational, some are just for fun and some are about giving your users a chance to explore content before they make a decision about their next journey with you. Adding tracking to the ’soft’ click of your interactive elements will show you that a) people were interested or engaged and b) which content resonated with which audiences.

– It allows us to gather behavioural data for use in future communications. For example, if you had an email that allowed people to vote for which upcoming product release they were most excited about, you can take that simple in-email click and update the user’s record. Then the future emails; pushes; direct mail; in-app messages or landing pages you send to that user can be all about that product, or the product could be referenced in a small way.

Ultimately, emails never exist in isolation, if you want to increase the value of email for your users and increase the ROI for your business, then letting the user tell you what they are interested in the easiest way possible, will mean that you can get more and more relatable in your communications in every channel.