“The goal is really to bring the landing page into the inbox,” Robbins says. “Every click a user has to make is an opportunity for them to drop off the conversion funnel. If you can bring the landing page directly into the inbox, you remove some of that drop off. It creates a faster journey and also a much smoother one for the customer. It’s a much better user experience.”
And here’s where the engagement spikes: Delivering interactive elements straight to users’ inboxes makes them more inclined to act.
“Generally, we see engagement go up pretty much across the board with interactive elements, whether it’s shopping or conducting searches or browsing images,” Robbins says. “The most surprising was the spike in reviews. We’ve had clients that wanted to collect more reviews for their products, so we developed an interactive element that could accomplish that within the email. It doubled the conversion numbers for product reviews, which was pretty shocking.”
Allowing users to post a review with 1 fewer click doubled the conversion rate. No wonder e-retailers are paying attention.
I see what you did there
Another reason to pay serious attention to interactive email is the depth of analytics it allows. Because of the number of engagements a user can perform, it’s possible to study their behavior at a much deeper level.
“Say you send out an interactive email to advertise your company’s new line of shirts, and you’ve designed the email so that a user can select things like color and size,” Robbins explains. “Now you’ll know straightaway that your customer is interested in the small red version, perhaps, and you can follow that up with a more targeted campaign based on those interactions, track every click, and see exactly what the user has looked at and what they have not. It allows you more ability for retargeting users.”
Even with all these moving parts, interactive emails can still be refined through good A/B testing — which may result in the creation of C.
“One of the things we track in testing is which version of the email each recipient receives, be it a fully interactive experience or a fallback,” Robbins says. “Potentially, you could have a situation where the static A performs better than static B, but the reverse is true of the interactive email performance. In a case like that, our clients could put the best performing elements of each together and try to develop a 3rd, optimal version.”
All of this adds up to a pretty powerful case for interactive email, right? Better analytics, higher conversion rates, and a better user experience. But those results, Robbins says, come about through careful forethought and thorough testing.
“Testing is key. With interactive email, you need to do live testing to make sure that the functionality works as you’d expect, especially with email clients offering interactive email,” Robbins says.
“And always consider what you’re trying to achieve. What’s the purpose of your campaign, and how is that purpose enhanced with interactivity? It’s not something that should be in every single email you send. But when it can enhance your purpose? Push it where it can be pushed.”