2017… the rise of the interactive email

19th June 2017

Our whole digital ecosystem is constantly evolving; we are inundated with new messages whether its social, news flashes or urgent updates from your phone apps. The amount that anyone can consume at any one time is at bursting point, so how can Email Marketing, the mainstay of any digital marketing strategy, grow and be seen in 2017?

Key aspects of successful email marketing campaigns revolve around personalisation, data, segmentation, automation, device and relevancy of content. Lets take a look at creativity of content, the evolution of web development and email clients which has provoked a responsive web style shift in design.

Interactive emails

Interactive emails has got digital marketeers across the globe excited. Combining fluidity in web design with engagement through moving images and mobile web structure.

Following a study, Litmus identified the following trends driving email marketing in 2017…


It is estimated that nearly 68% of emails were opened on mobile devices and of those, 53% were opened on iPhones. The launch of iOS 10 has meant that HTML5 video is now supported, which delivers a new element and interaction to emails as long as you offer a fall back for email clients that don’t support HTML5.

Video in email is the next step to delivering your marketing messages in a succinct and engaging way that words could never deliver, we are already heavily consuming video in all digital channels, so why not in your inbox!

The rise of mobile interactivity means that a familiarity to the look and feel of the email can enhance interaction within the email, substantially increasing the all important click through action.

By bringing interaction to the email normally associated with the landing page, it reduces barriers to engagement, and delivers a more interested visitor to the website, which has impacts on bounce rate and conversion and indicates higher intent. The web experience in email:

  • Hamburger menus and engaging navigation
  • Carousels, image galleries, and sliders
  • Animated gifs
  • Hot spots (product tour)
  • Offer reveals
  • Questionnaires
  • Reviews
  • Search bars


Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Email

This is not a futuristic as it sounds and robots aren’t taking over the world, AI in email is allowing automation and segmentation to take a more important role in the successful execution of email campaigns.

Customers will be matched to relevant content through data analytics and finding patterns and trends which were previously done by hand. This will allow marketeers to become bogged down by time consuming tasks and devote more time to developing engaging messages and campaigns.

Challenges to Implementation or Interactive emails

  • One of the biggest challenges encountered to delivering new technologies in email is the support by email clients such as Outlook. However it is estimated than nearly two thirds of subscribers will be able to experience an elect of interaction with fall backs. Fall backs are in the psyche of all email marketeers in making sure the subscribers receive consistent messages eg, images to replace blocked animated gifs or differences in html.
  • Interaction in emails has an impact on tracking and therefore attribution to specific channels when viewing your metrics subjectively. The job of the landing page is effectively conducted in the email, therefore email interactions form an essential part of considering the success of a campaign and equally can create difficulty in gathering the right information.

Automated Emails

Automation has for quite some time been part of the email marketing landscape. However, automated email response or triggered emails equates to approximately 5% of all email traffic.

By their very nature automated emails are behaviour driven and more welcoming that broadcast emails given that content is tailored to the user and is response to an action. This ‘journey’ is data driven and should be seen as part of a long term strategy of engagement, this, together with the increasing influence of AI has the effect of highly targeted emails with a strong return on investment.

Working your database hard is a challenge for most digital marketeers and simply broadcasting a one off email is shortsighted and underestimates a potential clients requirements for brand engagement and trust. Any email, whether an auto response to sign up or company news should always be set up with the recipient in mind, leaving automated smart emailing as an essential.


In conclusion, email should be the backbone of any digital campaign, together with a new creative edge this could even be the lynchpin of your strategy. At Zero Above we recognise great creativity and design, but have a passion for behaviour led analytics (and robots) ideal for generating successful interactive email marketing campaigns.

Chris Smith

Head of Digital

Chris is the head of our digital team. He runs all digital marketing strategies, helps drive organic and paid traffic to our key B2B and B2C client websites, identifies trends and tracks conversion rates, makes recommendations and improvements to the design and content of client websites.