Do you feel like your emails are starting to repeat themselves?
Are you beginning to bore yourself? It’s time to spice up your emails!
Email marketing is developing rapidly along with technology, and the emails that reach our inboxes are becoming much more interesting, exciting, and interactive.
The new forms of email marketing grant you endless possibilities for turning your email into much more than just an email, and for creating strong engagement among your recipients and love of your brand.
To make sure you don’t get left behind with graphics, content, and email ideas that are so five years ago, we’ve gathered some examples and pointers for you about how to make your emails spicy, thus expanding your community and strengthening the bond with your customers.
Interactive choice questionnaires
One of the ways to create engagement among your recipients is to get them involved in your content by asking them questions about their preferences and what interests them.
Are you familiar with the interactive clip that Yoni Bloch made of a Bob Dylan song?
His company is proud of the fact that they reached an engagement rate of 70%-90%! Insane rates that are partly due to the fact that what the audience sees in the end is based on their own choice. This new form of content choice isn’t only extremely enjoyable, it also creates a totally different viewing/gaming/reading/purchasing experience and yes, it can even be used in email marketing.
Emailing interactive content can be done in all kinds of different and creative ways. One way is to use our survey system, which can be used in a number of ways:
For instance, if you’re the owners of an e-commerce shop (and also the owners of an offline shop) you can send your customers questionnaires about your products. According to the answers you receive, you can decide how to produce/market your products, give away a coupon code to respondents, and/or later publicize the results of the survey.
If you have a content platform, you can send surveys relating to the subjects you write about. Later on, you’ll be able to use the data about the users’ preferences in order to improve your content, or alternatively as valuable content for your users. That’s what Ticketmaster did.
Ticketmaster is a ticket sales and distribution international company. At the last MTV Awards show, Ticketmaster made a marketing move that was a huge success and was entirely based on email.
A few days before the show, Ticketmaster sent an email with a questionnaire to their recipients who had recently bought tickets to a performance of one of the artists who were up for an award, or who had chosen their favorite artist out of the award nominees on the Ticketmaster website. In the questionnaire that was sent to the recipients, Ticketmaster asked who they thought would win Best Video of the Year by a Woman, Best Video of the Year by a Man, Best Rock Video, and what would be Best Video of the Year. After voting, each of the voters reached a page with the results of all the votes.
That email from Ticketmaster broke all their previous open rate records and exceeded their average open rate by 182% with 0 unsubscribes. 80% of the people who voted once (each time the voting was for a different category) and reached the results, went back and voted a second time.
An example of the email out of Moveable Ink’s ebook, “The Inkredible 5, Best of 2015”:
Emails with GIFs
Any regular email can be seriously upgraded using a GIF (Graphics Interchange Format), a moving image. Especially regarding standard operational emails, GIFs are a sure way to rake in new fans for your brand and to make it up-to-date and just right.
The GIF doesn’t even have to be very sophisticated, it’s enough for it to be a little amusing for it to spice up your email and make your recipients smile when they get it. You can use pre-prepared GIFs (which you can find on websites like Giphy.com) or to make your own GIFs with an image you upload (which you can do, for instance, at makeagif.com).
A GIF in a newsletter can have different uses:
The ‘seasoning’ GIF
One way to use a GIF is to upgrade a standard email or a ‘boring’ operational email, using an amusing image that’s connected to the subject you’re writing about, making the email funny and cute.
An example of this can be found in different thank-you-for-signing-up emails – for instance in that of the Help Scout blog, which deals with marketing topics. At the beginning of the email there’s a GIF that announces the beginning of a wonderful friendship, making the email fun and amusing, making you want to keep opening and reading the next emails:
Pay attention also to the second image in the email, which invites the customer to view the welcome video. There are all kinds of methods to embed a video in an email, but they’re a little complicated, so meanwhile what most of the companies do is to put in an image out of the video they made, with a play button in the middle, giving the illusion that if we click on the button, the video will begin. Instead of that, clicking on the button leads to an internet page of the website that includes the video. This method is a bit misleading, but there’s no doubt that it’s effective, so decide for yourselves if you want to use it or not.
The Aesthetic GIF
You can, of course, also use a GIF to add aesthetic value and improve the graphics, as for example in an email from the fashion brand Story, who used a GIF of alternating colors in order to upgrade their email and give it a festive feeling:
The Discount GIF
Companies and brands with online shops use GIFs to create interaction with the audience, promoting sales using a “choose your discount” GIF.
That’s, for example, what the American brand Diamond Candles does, with a click on the GIF transferring the recipient to the shop page, where she can ultimately discover what her discount is.
Real-time interactive email
Real-time emailing is the most effective way to email!
One of the ways to email in real-time is the activation of triggers, like coupons that are sent to new recipients who joined your mailing list or reminders to your customers to use your system before their trial period runs out. Real-time emailing is characterized by the fact that it’s sent to the recipient at exactly the right time, when they need it and want it (whether they know it or not). Real-time email can also be a personal email that’s sent to recipients just before a special event that they noted in the sign-up form, such as their birthday or anniversary.
But real-time emailing doesn’t begin and end with triggers. Real-time emailing is also very relevant during social or cultural events that your recipients are most likely participating in.
An example of this is the email sent by Parkme, an app for reserving a parking space in New York, on the day of the premiere of “Star Wars – the Force Awakens”. The company wrote, “You reserved tickets in advance, why not reserve parking, too?!” and added a meme with an image from Star Wars.
One of the best examples of real-time interactive emailing is an email from the Litmus company that, among other things, holds annual international conventions for email design. During the promotion of the 2015 convention, the company sent the convention participants an email including live feed of tweets with the hashtag #TEDC15. The email in effect invited the recipients to tweet on Twitter about the convention, and each such tweet immediately appeared in the email itself, with a click on ‘refresh’:
The company reports that there were over 750 total tweets with the hashtag in the first 24 hours after the email was sent, and that the email brought them 4000 new visitors to the website and over 1000 new leads!
There’s no doubt that interactive email, real-time email, and emailing with GIFs shoots the world of email marketing up by quite a few levels.
If you’ve been looking for a way to spice up your emails, this is the way to do it, and as you can see from the few examples we tasted here, the possibilities are as unlimited as your imagination. Don’t be shy about communicating with your recipients in a creative way – with a bit of daring, you can reap significant returns over time.
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