Interactive Emails: Beyond the Promotion

While the majority of retailers focus on sending purely promotional emails, they often overlook other, more subtle tactics that can engage the subscriber while not overtly pushing them to shop. Promotional emails, whose main call to action is usually something along the lines of “shop now”, can become extremely repetitive over time. This can cause the subscriber to disengage, especially if they aren’t interested in making a purchase or the specific product being promoted.

Getting subscribers to interact with your message, regardless of whether or not they convert during that interaction, is important for your long term email program goals and can help foster a positive impression with the subscriber.

One way to do this is through the use of interactive tactics, such as videos and games, which give the subscriber a fun reason to engage while simultaneously demonstrating the value of your email program. Even if this specific interaction doesn’t result in a sale, the experience is still helping to create a favorable brand experience and set the foundation for a lasting relationship.

Need some ideas and inspiration to get you started? Here are a few brands that are getting it right…

UncommonGoods uses this interactive chart as a clever way to encourage subscribers to engage with the email while promoting their products at the same time.


Sephora promotes a variety of how-to-videos to teach subscribers simple beauty techniques, giving them a reason to interact with the email, regardless of whether or not they are interested in purchasing.

sephora (1)

REI asks subscribers to take this quirky quiz (featuring questions like “what type of woodland animal are you?”) to help them figure out their camping style and the best products to suit their needs.


And for brands that have a much longer customer lifecyle than the typical retailer, such as a car manufacturer or an airline, where a subscriber may not make a repeat purchase in a calendar year, an interactive email is a way to help keep your brand top of mind.

Disney Destinations did this by sending subscribers an email encouraging them to build stick figure decals with “Disneyized” accessories.


Warby Parker, a direct to consumer glasses company, gave subscribers the opportunity to build their own personal annual report which they could share with their family and friends.


So if it’s not already on the list, add interactivity to your 2015 email program goals. Not only will this keep your program fresh and interesting, but it will also ensure your brand stands out from the competition and stays fun for your subscribers.


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