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Interactive emails and how to create them

How to create interactive emails? (5 great tips with examples)

The digital world is buzzing with new and upcoming trends in email marketing. Shorter attention spans combined with more information to share have led to a complete transformation of how businesses interact with consumers over email. 

One such trend is using interactive emails to make them more engaging and collaborative. With more than 66% of marketers believing in its power, it is only fair that we explore interactive content in emails further.

But what exactly are interactive emails, and how do they help? These are some questions we will subsequently be answering, so hold on tight and let the ride begin.

What makes interactive emails amazing?

Emails become interactive when you plug your content with elements like GIFs, videos, surveys, and more to create engaging emails. This encourages the recipient to actively participate in the reading process by clicking on a link, tapping on a video, or even something as simple as watching a short clip.

More engagement means a higher email open rate, which further means more conversions and better sales — but that’s not all.

These are a few outcomes that make interactive emails an instant hit with both clients and businesses:

  • More subscribers: Great businesses thrive on creating content that resonates with their audiences. However, emails tend to get a bit monotonous, considering the amount of information you put out there.

Presenting your data in an interactive way can break this monotony and help you gain more visibility, which means a better chance of attracting more subscribers.

  • Customer retention – Emails usually tend to get lost in a cluttered inbox, but if you crack the code to engage customers with your emails, they will look forward to receiving more content from you.

Your clients will always appreciate the fact that you’re making constant attempts to stay in touch with them and giving them value against their time.

This keeps the conversation going, which encourages them to buy from you again and again.

  • Better click-through rates – Interactive emails persuade the reader to take part in the whole email reading process.

This helps you achieve a better click-through rate, increases your visibility, and boosts your conversions.

  • Client insights – Interactive emails make it easier for you to gather meaningful insights into both the client’s mind and the market as a whole.

Say you send out a short survey accompanied with GIFs/loop videos, add some great email copy, and keep the questions simple and direct. Clients will voluntarily provide you with all the information you ask for because they enjoy the process of answering the survey.

  • Smoother communication – Communication is the key to building great brands. When you interact with your customers periodically, it eases any creases in communication to make it smoother.

Additionally, it helps you speak directly with your client, gather essential feedback, and improvise your content strategies.

Interactive emails are an absolute game-changer in the world of digital marketing. Now that we know this, let’s get deeper into the conversation to understand the concept further.

How to make interactive emails?

Leveraging interactive elements to create content for emails helps you leave a long-lasting impression on the mind of your subscriber.

You’ll include your customers as a part of the conversation, making it a two-way process rather than a unidirectional one. This creates more opportunities for sales. 

Let’s dig in to understand this with relevant examples.

1. Countdown timers 

They work wonders for creating a sense of excitement for an upcoming event, an end of the sale or the beginning of one, or even notify about subscription expiration.

Countdown timers in interactive emails

Here’s an example to help you understand this better.

  • You are going to announce a Cyber Monday sale on your website.  
  • You create a newsletter with all the necessary details, like discount rate, product range, and add a countdown timer to create some excitement and urgency. 
  • This will entice your subscribers to stay in touch with the updates, which in turn increases participation on the main day. 
  • The results bring you better sales and more click-throughs.

Here’s how you can embed a countdown timer on your emails.

  • Choose a tool like Sendtric to create customized HTML code with a live or static countdown for your email.
  • Choose a date and time.
  • Customize the design. 
  • Copy that code onto your sales email template.

It might look like a lot of work, but once you see the results, you’ll know why this is such an exciting upgrade to regular emails to make it interactive.

2. GIFs

Emails with GIFs have the power to instantly transform your content by making it more interactive. They’re simple, eye-catching, powerful, and use very few words, making them easily consumable. Also, they can be used when you are thinking of delivering funny interactive emails.

To help you get a grip on the topic, let’s jump to an example –  

  • You lead a brand that deals in designer handbags.  
  • You want to introduce a new bag to your range targeting working women. 
  • You can plug in a GIF of the bag swapping colors on a loop, with a simple message that says, 

“Add a pop of color to your work with our new work bag.” 

There are two ways to create a GIF for your email. 

  • If you know how to design, use Adobe Photoshop or Picsart background remover to stitch a series of pictures or videos together and create a loop. 
  • Use tools like GIPHY that let you capture images and videos and transform them into interactive GIFs. It also gives you the option of adding text to the GIF and can be easily integrated into your email newsletters. 

Once you have your GIF ready, here’s what you need to do next. 

  • Create a URL for your saved GIF and copy it. 
  • Create a new email and choose the insert image option from the menu. 
  • Paste the URL, and you are good to go. 

Just remember to keep the size of the GIF as small as possible. Heavier GIFs take a longer time to load, which might become counterproductive. Also, it is advisable to add text to the GIF that saves you the hassle of drafting fresh content for your email.  

3. Ratings 

Star ratings are one of the easiest ways to understand your brand value in the market, and they take minimal effort from the consumer’s end. So, here is how you use them to make your emails interactive.

When a consumer makes a purchase or sends you query/feedback, always follow it up with a quick star rating survey directly via email.

Showing ratings in interactive emails

Here’s an example of a brand that thrives on star ratings. 

  • At the end of each purchase, you can send a thank-you note with a star rating survey inviting customers to rate their experience. 
  • It takes five seconds for a customer to rate the application on a scale of one to five stars, and it’s the quickest feedback collected from the company.
  • You can leverage this feedback to improve the user experience and improve retention.  

Embedding a star-rating option in your email newsletter requires basic coding knowledge. However, tools like Nicereply, Fera, and Wufoo make it easier for you to copy the same into your newsletters. Here’s how you can proceed once your link is ready.

  • Your email template has a </> symbol where you can paste the link you’ve created. 
  • Change the underlying code to your thank-you message and replace it with the new ones you’ve created.

Pro tip. Make two thank-you notes, one for ratings between one and three stars and another for three stars and above. 

  • Check the alignment and add any additional content. 
  • Alternatively, you can create five different images of each star rating and link each to a different thank-you note.

The best way to go about this is to hire a professional coder to create the code, so your customers don’t face any hassle while rating your service.  

4. Quizzes and surveys 

Multi-question surveys and quizzes encourage people to interact with email without asking too much of them. There’s a reason why this method is considered one of the top five types of interactive content, and rightly so. 

  • It helps you retain customers by giving you their feedback. 
  • It helps you create more services to attract a larger audience.
  • It helps you generate hype about an upcoming product.
  • It will smooth out any communication creases between you and your customers. 

Surveys can get tricky if not done the right way. You don’t want your clients to get bored playing 20 questions. Instead, you want them to voluntarily participate in your survey. 

Here’s a simple example that can help you understand the process of creating impactful surveys.

  • You own an established restaurant and are looking at opening a cloud kitchen
  • You send out a survey to your clients, asking them their views on the idea of a cloud kitchen. 
  • Include questions like:
  • Preferred mode of ordering food 
  • Frequency of ordering food for takeout or delivery  
  • Money spent on ordering food 
  • Keep the responses restricted to four options with no more than ten questions total. 
  • End the survey with a small line thanking them and saying, “Something exciting is coming up, so stay tuned!” 

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Cliffhangers create a sense of excitement and anticipation that encourages them to follow your updates.  

So, how exactly do you add a survey to your email? Here’s how. 

  • Create a survey using tools like Zonka Feedback, Google Forms or SurveyMonkey.
  • Send the form to your email using the send via email option and check the box that says, include a form in an email
  • Copy the embedded code. 
  • Open the form from your inbox, right click it, and choose Inspect.  
  • Select the line that says align=” center” cellpadding and paste the new code. 
  • Open the email template and select the HTML block. 
  • Paste the new HTML block into your template, and you’ll have your form. 

Once you get the hang of the entire process, you’ll know just how simple and effective it is to have your form directly embedded in your newsletter.

5. Interactive signatures 

Email signatures are footers with your branding information at the end of an email. 

Clickable email signatures occur when you embed that footer with relevant brand information that aids the customer in continuing his or her buying journey. 

Adding signature to make emails interactive

It can be a call to action, product information, offers, a link to your website, and much more. The best part about interactive email signatures is that they are super easy to incorporate and extremely impactful in creating more conversions.

An interactive email signature is also mobile-adaptive, which helps you reach a wider range of audiences, hence more visibility and better customer engagement. You can use Salesmate’s free email signature generator to create amazing email signature.

6. Adding a personal touch

Audiences tend to interact more with emails when they are directed towards them. A personal touch goes a long way in telling the customers that you care.

For instance, have you ever left products in your cart while shopping on an e-commerce portal? 

Now, imagine the brand coming back to ask if something went wrong or you faced an issue during checkout. 

It will instantly indicate that the platform cares about its customers and wants you to have a hassle-free experience.

To make your emails more personalized, here are a few things you could do. 

  • Send the emails with the recipient’s first name. 
  • Start the email with something like, “Hey! We miss you. Why don’t you explore some new stuff we have curated just for you?” 

Give them personal suggestions and recommendations (take hints from how Amazon does this successfully).

  • Always end the email with a high note or a personal message along with your email signature.

To make things easier, you can create a list of users who have not interacted with your service recently and send an automated email with all the necessary information. This will save you a lot of time and do the task in a jiffy.

End note 

We’ve shown some great interactive emails examples and how to create them. It is always a great idea to create opportunities for your clients to engage with your content, be it promotional emails, data-driven newsletters, or a simple follow-up.

Use these tips to step-up your email marketing game and explore more ways to create interactive emails to engage with your clients. This will not only help you drive more conversions and achieve a higher ROI but will also help you improve your brand image in an ever-evolving digital world.


Kasia Slonawska is a SaaS content marketer who writes about email and social media marketing, SEO, and eCommerce. With broad professional experience and educational background in writing, she creates unique, engaging texts that win the Google ranks.

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