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Melanie Balke is a featured contributor to Email Marketing Metamorphosis: How to Make Your Customers Love Their Inbox Again.

Here's the complete contribution:

I believe the biggest marketing trend of the future is going to be interactivity.

In the future, consumers will start seeing interactive emails that resemble miniature landing pages instead of the postcard format emails they are receiving now. These emails will be built using coded interactive elements that allow consumers to shop and checkout or to answer quizzes and surveys within the email.

From a marketers perspective, this is immensely valuable since we get to eliminate one extra step the consumer has to take, namely to navigate away from the email, to fulfill whichever goal the marketer has set, e.g. completing a purchase or filling out a survey.

From a consumer perspective, the functionality is great since it makes things more convenient.

I implemented an interactive feature, the live streaming of Twitter feeds, within an email for a client and we saw a spike in engagement compared to usual. Why is that?

First of all, due to the way people consume their personal emails nowadays, namely, mostly on their mobile while they are doing something else on the side or they are bored.

When people read their emails now, they are looking for something fun to pass their time. They are just waiting for you to send them something engaging.

If you can send them something, that will delight them while they are going through dozens of other boring emails, you’ve already won. At the same time, they don’t want to do any “hard work” on their phone, so if you can make things as easy as possible by keeping all the “work” needed within an email, you’ve won again.

But do not forget that attention spans are getting shorter and the competition in email inboxes is getting a lot more intense.

So how can you ensure that your subscribers don’t lose focus and you stand out from the crowd? Interactivity.

Opening an email that keeps a subscriber engaged way past the “I’ve read everything” point and that offers functionality that is far beyond all your competitors will ensure that your emails keep getting opened in the future. And since ESP’s are breaking down much harder on email deliverability metrics in 2018, you want to ensure your open rate stays nice and high.

In a nutshell, interactive emails are very similar to how asking questions during a presentation or in a classroom ensures the audience stays awake, interactivity is a way to ensure your customers are engaged with what you are sending them.

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