Email doesn’t have to be static. Bringing interactivity to your emails can spice up your program and provide the lift of engagement you’ve been looking for.

Last summer, I was caught in a sudden thunderstorm while walking to the train. I ducked into the closest store for shelter, a tiny boutique specializing in handmade jewelry. Once inside, the owner greeted me with a warm smile and a cup of tea. I insisted that I was only there to browse, but by the end of my visit, I had on a new pair of earrings.

With the interaction we had in the store, the owner was able to turn me into a happy customer. Without that personal interaction, I would have just been a shy, reluctant visitor in her store. The owner was able to understand my needs, see my behavior, ask questions, and convince me to hear her out on some offers.

A good e-commerce email campaign should do the same.

What is interactive email?

Interactive email allows you to bring the personal touch of an in-store or online shopping experience into the inbox. By turning the email into an extension of your app or website, interactivity empowers subscribers to complete an action within the inbox!

Here are three ways e-commerce marketers can use interactivity today.

1. Personalize Email Content

In this example from Airbnb, the options within the email change based on customer selections. Looking for a one bedroom? You will see the one bedrooms offered in your city. Wifi? You will see the properties that have WiFi. Subscribers can now browse product offerings right in the inbox. They tailor the email to see the most relevant content for them, just as they would do on the website. Collect this in-email “browse” data to understand your customer’s interests around product and category–now you know what your subscriber is looking for and can tailor future messaging accordingly!

rebelmail preference center gif 2

You can also learn more about your customers by asking them what they want to see! In-email preference centers turn the email into a two-way communication channel. Preference collection is often used in welcome emails to allow for future personalization in follow up messages. In the above example, subscribers can select their skin type, eye color and hair type within the email. In-email preference collection increases submission rates by 60% on average. Keep the questions visual and easy to answer.

 2. Nurture Your Leads

Nurture your leads by giving them new ways to interact with your product or brand. A wishlist email allows subscribers to favorite/heart products without visiting your website and gives you valuable data.

You can also use interactivity for storytelling. In this example, DVF uses a gallery to let subscribers know what to pack for spring break. In-email galleries have average an 8-11% interaction rate. The graceful design grows engagement, drives conversion and sends more qualified visitors to the site.

3. Reduce friction to purchase

In-email shopping reduces the friction of click-through, by allowing customers to complete their purchase in their inbox. In-email shopping turns the email channel into a revenue-generating shopping experience and it is ideal for high intent behavioral triggers like abandoned cart, back in stock, replenishment, and wishlist.

In Summary

Interactivity is a great way to amp up your makreting campaigns as it combines the ease of e-commerce with the personal touch of shopping in-store.

This was a guest post from our friends at Rebel.

Learn more about ways you can enhance your email program with interactivity by talking to one of our experts at

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