What’s Kinetic Email and Why Should You Use it?

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could put the same interactive content and dynamic features from websites into your emails? You know, like animations, sliders, shopping carts, and more. We’ve got good news: you can! And a lot of businesses already have. They’re called Kinetic Emails, and they’re taking email marketing to the next level. We mention this below but wanted to point it out in the intro that the first step to kick-off a project like this is to understand there are some email providers that do not render Kinetic emails. creative. It’s best to have a chat with your tech partner/lead about your specific needs before presenting concepts to your client.

The Basics of Kinetic Emails

By definition, “kinetic” means relating to motion. And that’s exactly what these emails have that regular emails don’t. “A standard email is just text and images, but kinetic emails adding another element to it that you wouldn’t expect,” explains Emmanuel Ulloa, Production Lead at Assemble. These elements span from animations, hover-over content, rotating banners, games, interactive shopping carts and more, all with the goal of providing a full website experience, directly within an email.

To design these emails, developers like Emmanuel incorporate template level design elements using HTML5 and CSS3. The three main designs include:

  • Basic Kinetic Email – uses CSS transitions and animations to create sliders or carousels to display content.
  • Interactive Kinetic Email – includes digital elements that respond to a user’s specific actions, like collapsable menus, navigation buttons, etc.
  • Kinetic Effect Email – uses CSS animation and interactivity to highlight content that the user hovers over, make lights blink, letters come to life or products move.

While most email clients can accept these types of interactive designs, there are a few out there that can’t, so if not done correctly, it’s a big missed opportunity. Emmanuel stresses the importance of doing the research to ensure it’s right for your campaign and integrating a fallback layout function so that no recipient is left disappointed.

“Not all developers have the understanding of how the different platforms work or the limitations as to what will show up on which device,” Emmanuel explains. “We make sure that the devices your audience is viewing your emails on is capable of the full experience.”

Why You Should Be Using Kinetic Emails

With competition for attention at an all-time high, anything you can do to stand out and keep eyes on your brand for longer is a huge win. Not only do kinetic emails tap into the psychological power of touch, but they can also help increase conversion rates by getting users one step closer to a purchase or contact.

“For an apparel company, we can create a style configurator to give users an interactive shopping experience within the email. Instead of just seeing their new clothing, customers could input their specific style preferences through a series of questions and the brand would show them specific options that are perfect for them.”

Another great way to engage customers through email is through games or challenges. Too many times a customer will connect with your subject line, only to find that the email itself isn’t worth their time. By giving them something they can actually participate in, they’re likely to be a lot more invested in your content. 

For example, if you’re planning a holiday incentive or discount to customers, instead of making them scroll through copy for a code, make them earn it instead. “By turning it into a puzzle or a game and providing some form of entertainment, there’s a sense of achievement that makes the offer more valuable.” 

“While kinetic emails offer something the user doesn’t expect, they do expect it to work,” says Emmanuel. “People are accustomed to these types of experiences from websites or apps, so the engagement is easy and natural—if done the right way. It allows companies to make half of a sale just within their email before ever having to visit your site.” 

Creating Kinetic Emails with Assemble

While some brands know exactly the type of interactive experience they want to create, others come to Assemble hoping for our expertise to present different solutions for their specific goals. “For us, it’s important to sit down with you to not only discuss what you want to do, but how it will work for your brand. Using CRM data of your audiences, we can tell how these people are viewing your emails and what will be most effective.”

For one company, whose email client wouldn’t allow video, that meant using animation. “We took bits of their existing video and created an animation from it, so when the user opens the email, it offers the same appeal as video would, while drawing them to the website to see it in its entirety,” Emmanuel shared.

“In today’s marketing, an effective email isn’t one that simply tells you what to do or where to go, but it offers something more compelling, that lures them to your website to want to see even more.”

If you’re interested in stepping up your email marketing game, Assemble is here to help. Contact us to learn more about kinetic emails and how to create the most effective experiences for your customers.