Interactive emails

It’s no surprise to us to see the recent rapid rise in interactive emails, aka Kinetic technology. While we’ve pioneered the development of Kinetic technology since 2016, we’ve been careful to make the case for strategic effectiveness first, rather than seeing it as an excuse to parade the latest and greatest whizzy technology.

However, in a world of ever increasing inbox noise, it’s more important than ever for brand email communication to create impact and rewarding audience engagement. Yes, the power of landing page interactive technology itself is widely used, accepted and proven, but only recently have we been able to exploit that for email marketing.

Email marketing is developing and evolving fast thanks to mobile first behaviour and device functionality, such as Apps. In turn, what then translates into native user behaviour becomes user demand and no more so than in email communication. Why shouldn’t we all expect to spend longer within an email where we can find multiple layers of information instead of having to immediately click through to somewhere else, especially with our busy lives lived through our mobiles?

Bringing interactive content and functionality to brand emails, therefore, is not just about innovation. It’s a logical step to develop email marketing effectiveness. The audience expects it from your brand!

We have been working actively to exploit the huge potential of Kinetic creativity to enable our clients to engage with their email customers in an incredibly powerful new way. From video, browse and shop, rollover, hover, hot spots and multiple content layers, to animated interaction, we have seen an amazing increase in core engagement metrics, such as dwell time, latent purchase and social sharing. Giving the audience reasons to consume brand content without having to immediately leave their inbox is surely the natural future for email effectiveness, albeit we’d caveat that by saying that, like anything, you can’t have too much of a good thing, so it should be used strategically for ‘the right time, right place’.

Email content strategy and planning

Unarguably the case for developing an email content planning strategy is proven, but in practise the theory can sometimes fall victim to the practicalities of deadline and reactive deployment.

At STEEL, content planning and generation is the cornerstone of our email marketing methodology. To our way of thinking it’s like putting butter on toast. We approach content from an Audience Centric perspective. We ask what behaviours, what actions and what benefits our target audience will receive, and in what order. How will the content fulfill the user journey and user reward sequence? What user experience are we trying to achieve and how will the user’s actions describe success?

Most personalised communication attempts to deliver a narrative. We see that as akin to storytelling, with a logical beginning, middle and end. Of course, not everyone will receive the same story. Our expert team of researchers, authors, copywriters and editors put content at the heart of the work we produce, from umbrella short, mid and long term content calendar planning to specific multivariate campaigns.

We know planned content will significantly increase email marketing effectiveness. A well planned, well designed and thoroughly tested strategy that’s cemented in engaging and relevant content will produce better results. And don’t just take our word for it. In 2018 the Content Marketing Institute reported that the most successful marketers are now spending more than ever on content marketing. Consumers demand brand experiences, and that applies equally to the communication they receive in their inbox.

Email reporting and analytics

Digital transformation is sweeping across consumer communication and email is by no means being left out.

As we see the development of new technology, such as Kinetic starting to measurably influence how the audience consume brand communication, then so should we be prepared to change the way we measure effectiveness. It’s becoming very clear to us at STEEL that we’re now working beyond such metrics as simple CTR. Customer experiences with kinetic or interactive emails now change how we measure success, such as dwell time, and with over 70% of brands about to adopt AI in 2019* the need to employ ever more sophisticated skills and tools, such as predictive analytics, becomes greater.

We can help with our range of reporting and analytical services. By adopting an Audience Centric methodology we use a wide range of data tracking tools to report, analyse and drive insight optimisation.

*Forrester

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STEEL also provides Interactive Email Marketing for: