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We’ve explored the huge number of ways to turn your emails from standard fare into a wondrous feast for the eyes and hands by making them interactive. This is the third part of the list, continuing on from ‘Ways to Make Your Emails Pop Part 1’ and ‘Ways to Make Your Emails Pop Part 2’.

Add Maps

Like the videos we mentioned in the previous article, you can also embed maps right into your email to make it easier for the customer to find your locations or the locations of events. Again, customers appreciate embedded features as it’s easier and simply saves them time.

Add GIF's or Interactive Photos

No, GIFs and interactive photos are not the same thing. A GIF (actually pronounced ‘jiff’ and standing for ‘graphics interchange format’) is somewhere between a photo and a video, but is neither. It’s a small, soundless snippet of a video that loops indefinitely and is usually a second or so in length. You’ve almost definitely seen them as memes on social media, forums and similar, but they are finally becoming big in advertising. Interactive photos or images, on the other hand, are images that are not animated, bit allow interaction with them in some way. An example would be an image of a number or clothing articles that give you he price of each article when you click on them, or an image that changes into an information panel when clicked on. There are many more examples – too many to list here – so it’s a good idea to research this if you’re interested.

Both of these stand out and strongly catch the attention of your readers. They are fairly simple but they look great and they are a great way of adding feeling to an email. Adding interactive photos gives your customers a huge opportunity for interacting and they also allow you to add a lot of information into a small email.

Email Live Shopping Carts

You’re likely familiar with checkout reminders that you receive when you don’t complete a purchase at an online store, but did you know you can actually email live shopping carts to your customers? These emails show the customer what they have in their carts, but they also allow them to change item quantities, add coupons, add their address and payment details and even add new products from a short list of cross-sell items – all within their email! Amazing, isn’t it?

A great option for this is to also add a discount to the overall order, as price is frequently a barrier to completing checkout. This is a fantastic method of improving checkout page conversions and winning back customers who would not have bought if you hadn’t made it super easy and more affordable for them.

Include an Add to Calendar Option

If you’re promoting an event, online promotion or similar, or you’re a service provider who takes appointments, it’s a great idea to give your readers the option of saving a date or time to their calendars. This sounds like such an easy thing to do to increase interactivity and it is, but it’s also something that customers really value. It not only makes their lives easier as they don’t need to manually add the date to their calendars, but it also actually reminds them when your event/appointment is, which increases the chance that they’ll attend.

All of the ideas in our list offer such easy ways to enhance your reader’s experience and increase interest, but just remember that you’ll need to ensure all of your emails are mobile optimised, as around 50% of emails are first opened on mobile phone and 2/3 of these will be deleted if they are not optimised for mobile! You might have an amazing message, interactive content and fantastic presentation in your emails, but all of that will be wasted if mobile and tablet users delete your email because they can’t read it!

Add Unique and Creative Interactions

There are so many unique and creative additions you can email to your customers these days, like scratchie cards or prize wheels, for instance. If your email or marketing automation platform doesn’t have these as standard features, you should be able to easily integrate a third-party app that does allow you to use these features. If you’re using Swift Digital’s suite of tools, we have many of the features mentioned in this article included as a standard feature; however, you’re also able to access a huge range of interactive features and other tools by connecting apps through our integration options.

So why do scratchie cards and prize wheels work? People are curious by nature, want instant gratification and these tactics have been shown to be almost irresistible when people have a card or wheel right in front of them! That means that your customers will almost definitely scratch the scratchie or spin the prize wheel inside the email if they see it, which means all you need to do is entice them to open your email, which won’t be hard to do if you mention the free scratchie, wheel or other chance to win in your email title. Think of it like this – you’ve received two emails in your inbox. One of the emails has a title that says “Get 5% off today” and another one reads “Try our free scratchie today for a chance to win up to 50% off”. Which of these emails are you more likely to open? Even if all but one of the scratchies contain only a 5% off voucher, you’re still enticing a huge number of people to open your email who wouldn’t usually bother. More opens = more chances of customers buying from you, especially if you create a sense of urgency with the discount you give them.

You can get more creative with this too. Why not reveal your discount or message using a peeling action, or a zipper, a sliding action, a tearing action or a pulling action? These all create interaction, entice recipients to open your emails in the first place and they also help you stand out from the crowd.

Add Menus to Emails

For the same reason you’d add menus to a website, you can (and sometimes really should) add them to your emails too. Menus make your content easier to navigate and prevents your readers from having to scroll through a whole bunch of information that’s irrelevant to them in order to find the info they want. Ideally, you’e using customer segmentation and personalising your emails for each group, but this isn’t always possible, but if you regularly use menus when delivering a lot of information in your emails, you’re allowing customers to more quickly choose the important content for themselves.

You can use standard menus, drop-down menus (also called hamburger menus), tabs and more, as long as they’re interactive and properly optimised for mobile. The menus are used the same way as on a website, where you click on it and it gives you navigation options. In some cases, you may be able to create a mini version of your website home page if that’s a look you’re aiming for.

Another great option is an accordion menu, wherein each section of your email can be expanded and collapsed so that you’re able to fit a large amount of information into what appears (when the entire thing is collapsed) to be a small email with a single menu.

Add Videos

Videos are a great way of turning a boring email into something more exciting. They are also a great method of disseminating a large amount of information in a compact way – a 60 second video can contain 200-400 words worth of speech, which is a lot of space if those 200-400 words were written as email text! What you include in your videos is only limited by your imagination, but many companies use email embedded video to show off new products, update customers on the latest news, provides ‘how to’ instructions and so much more.

By embedding a video into your emails, you’re increasing the chances of readers actually viewing the video, simply because it’s so much easier for them to do than clicking a link to view the video elsewhere. It’s also a preferred way for people to gain information, with approximately 50% of people saying they first look for videos about products or services they’re intending to use and 43% of people saying they’d like to see more videos from their favourite brands.

A tip: Ensure you get the main message into the first half a minute of your video, as most people only watch the start of a video and grow bored after about 2 minutes.

And that’s a pop.