Can I make emails more interactive?

Emails–you receive tens to twenties of them per day.

Each one only has three to four seconds to capture your attention based on the subject line, the purpose of the message and its content.

So, if you’re inundated with emails, what’s the best way for them to grab your attention and keep it?

Keep your audience engaged

Ways to keep your audience engaged include creating landing pages, games, surveys and RSVP pages as well as outbound email campaigns.

You could also provide a link to your website or a landing page, whether it’s to RSVP for an event, sign up for a Webinar or visit the website to gain more information about your company. You could also send a link to those receiving your email to promote an event. The link could go directly to a Google map or the event page on the user’s website.

Sending greeting cards around the holidays to wish your readers well is another way to keep your audience engaged. The cards could be interactive to include falling snowflakes, a snow globe, or extending someone a holiday greeting.

Ultimately, you don’t want your email to be the “read and move on” type. You want your readers to take action and respond to you. Creating an email with a call-to-action and other links can keep readers engaged and responding more quickly.

Video is also encouraged. You can take the screenshot of a video image and link it directly from the email to a YouTube page. However, placing the video within the message can be tricky because a lot of email clients, such as Outlook, don’t support video playback.

So, having some interaction between the email and your reader increases your chances for someone to open your next email or forward it to their peers. Whether it’s a tour or a funny skit of your company, readers remember the brand. Your readers will want to open your next email once they see you have something fun to attract them. If a previous email caught their attention, the chances of them opening the next email are more likely.

Determine the response to your email

Once you’ve determined how to engage your reader, determining the response you want or need your email to incite is key.

Start with creating a catchy phrase or image to attract your readers’ attention. Animated .gifs are great ways to show interaction. You can show readers different messages in one to two seconds, but you should stay away from Flash coding within the design. Again, just like video, many email clients don’t support Flash, especially Apple iPads.

Next, hyperlink keywords to drive the reader to your website or a hosted .pdf such as a white paper. You could create a landing page asking consumers certain questions for a subscription renewal, to gather more information about that user, to survey them about an event you host, or to RSVP for an event. Responses can be sent in real time so you receive the data immediately.

Third, include social media icons on your email which will direct users directly to the message and not have the ability to share.

A success story

One of our clients ran a business that distributed landscape materials. The company would send email to its local facilities, businesses in the area, and associations of which it was a member. The email discussed the company’s products and linked readers to a landing page to collect more information about products  they were interested in. The results were impressive–the company saw about 45 responses to the email on the first day.

As demonstrated by this example, reading emails doesn’t have to be boring. It can be entertaining and fun while still getting your message across to enhance readers’ experiences and make them memorable.


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About the Author

Beth Kereszturi

Beth is our VP of Digital Marketing Strategy who, besides drinking a ridiculous amount of coffee, helps clients generate more business. Whether they’ve partnered with Proximity Marketing for a decade or just joined the family, Beth helps clients achieve success and achieve measurable results.