HomeResourcesInteractive email content tips to boost engagement and click through rates

Interactive email content tips to boost engagement and click through rates

25th June 2024 - 7 mins


By Andy Gilhooley

, Product Marketing Manager

Help cut through the noise of the inbox and make your campaigns stand out through the use of interactive email content.

You can increase unique click through by up to 9% and increase conversion rate by up to 27%. But what is interactive email?
Interactive email refers to a dynamic form of email marketing where recipients can engage directly within the email itself, rather than being redirected to external websites or landing pages.
This innovative approach transforms the traditional passive email into an active, immersive experience. For email marketers, interactive email drives higher engagement rates, and provides valuable real-time data to marketers.
Interactive email is sometimes referred to as contextual personalisation, although this is just a subset of interactivity you can embed into your email creatives.
By dipping your toes into interactive email content, you can create memorable experiences for your audience that will have them eager to open the next email you send them.
Let’s take a look at some common interactive email content…
Personalised imagery in email

Personalised imagery

Personalised imagery allows for different fonts and text to be embedded onto an image and we can overlay any text onto any image of your choice. It is a great way to make an email stand out in the inbox and grab the recipient’s attention by using personalisation.
Great for immersing a customers in their own personalised story with your brand.
Slideshow effect in interactive email design


Deliver a more diverse experience for your customer by showcasing 2-5 images of different offers or products to promote engagement.
Each image within the slideshow has a separate URL giving the advantage over a standard GIF as you can direct the customer exactly where you want them to land on the site.
Showcase more products in your email campaign and land the customer directly where you need them to be from the same image.
Hotspots used on a hero image in an interactive email


Hotspots offer a unique way to engage recipients and increase your clicks. Ideal for displaying multiple products or locations from a single image – most commonly seen in retail with shop-the-look content or travel showcasing various room options.
A hotspot is an invisible clickable area within an email that, when interacted with, reveals additional content or triggers a specific action, such as displaying more information about a product, launching a video, or showing a hidden message.
The use of hotspots makes the email content more engaging and also provides valuable insights into recipient behaviour and preferences helping to refine the next campaign you send to them.
Countdown timer in interactive email creative

Countdown clocks

Drive a customer to act when you need to them with countdown clocks. Countdown the days, hours, minute or seconds to drive urgency in your campaign and heighten the fear of missing out.
Effective for anytime your campaign uses time-sensitive content or to push the customers to make that final commitment to purchase.
Social feeds showing in an interactive email

Social feeds

Social links and real-time posts appear in email templates providing relevant and up-to-date information and customer feedback directly to the recipient. The email will contain real-time live streaming of social feed.
Nothing creates more authenticity with your brand than real customer feedback. Pull content from across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, Spotify, or Power Reviews.
You get to choose how it’s displayed, in a grid or list, and how many posts are shown.
Live weather forecast in an interactive email template

Live weather forecasts

Us Brits are obsessed about the weather, why not provide up-to-date and contextual relevant forecasts within your campaign?
Weather information will give relevant and up-to-date weather for the recipient’s location on open. The email then contain location based real-time weather information, and every time is the email is loaded it will refresh with an updated forecast.
Weather graphics and icons are fully customisable and you can choose from 1 day up to a 7 day forecast. Combine with dynamic images and you can change your hero imagery depending on weather, so raincoats or t-shirts. It’ll mostly be raincoats, won’t it!
Video playing inside an interactive email

In-email video

Embedding video in your emails will create an immersive experience across your entire campaign. Video will automatically play once an email is open creating longer engagement with your campaign over just imagery to allow you to show off your content.
Showcase your product or offers from every angle or explain your offering to promote action from your campaign and build customer trust or show case customer
testimonials or user generated video content.
Scratch and reveal feature in an email creative

Scratch and reveal

Scratch and reveal adds an element of interactivity and excitement as the customer physically has to reveal the offer or incentive in your email. This is ideal for increased click throughs to your offer and uptake of discount codes or other incentives.
Mobile users are able to reveal the offer in the email. Customers on desktop devices, upon clicking, will be taken to a landing page where they can interact and reveal the call to action, offer or message.
Add to calendar feature in an interactive email

Add to calendar

Always take the opportunity to be added into your customers native calendar by using this innovative feature. Customise calendar images per email client standard, Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo or create a generic CTA which will automatically launch the default calendar app dictated by the customers device.
Ideal for VIP events, store openings, new product launches and much more
Live map feature in an interactive email

Live maps

Interactive live maps are ideal for brands that have physical stores, restaurants or event locations.
Recipient will receive a map and link to their nearest store or location depending upon their location when opening the email. If they move and open the email again, the map will load a new location if that one is closer.
The email will contain location based real-time IP information or it can be based on address data.
Search bar in email

In-email search

Cut out the middle-man with our Search Bar functionality and let your customers jump straight to their desired destination on your website.
This innovative feature grants customers the ability type details such as products or destinations into a live search bar within the email body.
Following this, they can then hit a CTA button that will link to a webpage that contains the prefilled search criteria.
Hover effect in interactive email content

Hover effects

Entice click-throughs with changing email content pieces with mouse-over hover function. This feature is used to engage customers to interact with their email even more and create more visual stimulation, enticing them deeper into your brand.
A great use for this is to show options to your customers such as providing ideas for your customer to wear depending on if it’s hot or cool.
Women working on laptop

Tips for using interactive email content in your campaigns


What to do

Do use clear calls to action: Ensure your interactive elements have clear, concise calls to action that guide recipients on what to do next.
Do test across email clients: Test your interactive emails on various email clients and devices to ensure compatibility and a seamless user experience.
Do optimise for mobile: Design your interactive emails with a mobile-first approach, as a significant portion of users access emails on their mobiles.
Do keep load times fast: Optimise images and code to ensure your interactive emails load quickly, maintaining user engagement as they won’t hang around for very long at all to wait for an image load.
Do track and analyse engagement: Use analytics to track how recipients interact with your email elements, and use this data to refine future campaigns.
Do provide fallbacks: Include fallback options for recipients whose email clients do not support interactive elements to ensure they still receive a functional and engaging email.

What to avoid

Don’t overcomplicate the design: Avoid cluttered designs that can overwhelm recipients; keep it simple and focused to enhance user experience.
Don’t ignore accessibility: Ensure your interactive emails are accessible to all users, including those with disabilities, by following accessibility best practices.
Don’t forget to test interactivity: Don’t assume all interactive elements will work perfectly; rigorously test each component before sending out the email.
Don’t neglect content quality: While interactivity is crucial, the core content of your email should remain relevant, engaging, and valuable to your audience.
Don’t overuse interactivity: Overloading your email with too many interactive elements can be distracting and may reduce the overall effectiveness. Use them strategically.
Don’t rely solely on interactivity: Combine interactive elements with traditional content strategies to create a balanced and comprehensive email marketing campaign.

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About the author

Andy Gilhooley
Andy Gilhooley Product Marketing Manager
Andy is our Product Marketing Manager and has been in the industry for over 20 years. There is nothing Andy doesn’t know about email and multichannel campaigns. He currently sits on the Email Council at the DMA.

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