Interactive Email: The Trend That Will Jolt Your Inbox in 2017

Interactive Email: The Tech Trend That Will Explode in 2017

‘If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain’ so wrote Francis Bacon in his essays on the story of Muhammed.

In 2017, this principle appears destined to come true in your email inbox with interactive email. This is what happens when apps, websites and ecommerce platforms notice a drop in customer retention. They go to the one place the average customer has spent time almost everyday for the past decade and continues to do so: the email inbox.

Emails aren’t dead, but apps may be dying

2016 was the year of conversational commerce. We saw the rise of messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger, WeChat and more. Yet, over the past two years, most apps have seen a decline in user retention. Localytics reports that close to 75% of all app users churn within the first 90 days of using an app. Most apps occupy space on the phone and require customers to enter and exit to get their business done. The experience is broken rather than streamlined, as it means extra time and space to open, close, use, and update the app on a customer’s device.


So what’s next? The prediction, according to David Bailey is that 2017 will be the year of interactive emails.

The Elements of an Interactive Email

Interactive emails have to be engaging, innovative and win the customer over by offering them something unmatched by apps and messenger apps. Saving a customer time and offering them great navigation and user experience is of the essence here. While the ‘email is dead’ line has been echoing around the interwebz for a few years now, the proof still hasn’t been found anywhere near the pudding. 73% of marketers still agree that email marketing is core to their business and 60% of marketers claim that email is a critical enabler of products and services, versus 42% of marketers in 2014.

Live Shopping Cart Within Email

A live shopping cart within an email is an essential way to remind customers of objects in their cart, about a regular order they make from time to time or to simply edit an already existing order. An interactive email with a live shopping cart removes the need for a customer to navigate away from their inbox and increases engagement in the email. Websites can also use this space to offer personalized, dynamic product recommendations offered by companies like Boomtrain.

interactive email boomtrain

Image: JackThreads

Scratch and Flip

The traditional scratch and win or scratch to discover gift and code format is always exciting. An interactive email can transfer this excitement to a few mouse roll-overs and clicks. Granted, this isn’t always useful unless you have a promotional offer and it is a bit gimmicky, but hey – you’ll be creating a fun experience for a user that stands out from everything else in their inbox – for now at least!

GIFs and Video

GIFs and Video have been around in emails for a while, but 2017 will see them taken to the next level, giving the customer more control over the content in the emails and how they want to view it. GIFs and videos are a great way to bring animation and humor into the equation – especially when you want to reach and connect with a younger, more focused audience like millennials, who now favour GIFs and videos for flirtation over traditional text.

gif-and-videoImage: Email on Acid / Pinterest

Microsites in Emails

As websites and products expanded their reach on the web, microsites became increasingly popular as a focused way to direct leads into sales. Microsites are easy to navigate and informative. Bringing microsites into emails takes their effect to a whole other level. With the right segmentation, they can be increasingly focused and deliver all the information to a customer without requiring them to move out of the inbox. Heat maps and click trackers can be deployed here to see what content generates the most engagement.

interactive email

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