Are you looking for a new way to impress your customers and prospects? Kinetic email design is a proven innovation to deliver true interactivity in email. Yet until very recently, adding kinetic interactivity was not as easy as some marketers hoped, forcing them to rely on more technically proficient resources such as developers, agencies, or third-party service providers.

Now Liveclicker’s brand new LiveHover capability gives marketers an easy way to create kinetic emails—on their own and without any help. Marketing teams can now create interactive messages that include changing email content on mouse-over, to improve engagement and produce better results.

When used effectively, kinetic email design has the potential to be a true game-changer. Yet we find that many marketing teams are still not completely familiar with this innovation, so we wrote this blog to help cover some of the more important details. This article traces the evolution of kinetic design, highlights specific industry examples, and shows you how LiveHover—as well as Liveclicker’s kinetic design services—can help any marketer get the most out of this new technology.

The history of kinetic email design

Early kinetic email design capabilities first hit the market sometime around 2010, but it wasn’t until 2014 that the idea of adding kinetic enhancements to an email template became mainstream.

It started with the European retailer, B&Q and its now-famous “tap to interact” email. Using Oracle’s Marketing Cloud solution, B&Q sent a fully interactive email that encouraged recipients to tap to interact with different content categories. When they did, the email efficiently displayed new information—a pleasant surprise for consumers long accustomed to static emails.

More importantly, the email delivered impressive results, including an 18 percent increase in responder-to-open rates and 42,000 click-throughs to the website.

How does kinetic design work?

Clearly, kinetic email design is a proven way to create interactive email campaigns in the email template itself. But how does it work?

Kinetic email design provides template-level animations and motion using native HTML5 and CSS3 in order to maximize the capabilities of certain mail clients. Marketing teams can create animations, enable responsive email elements, add motion, or promote other interactive effects to traditionally static content.

It is important to note that a kinetic email approach does not apply to personalizing content. Instead, kinetic design focuses on the visual interaction of the content within the email template.

Kinetic email in action

FreshInbox.com, a leading source of interactive and advanced email design techniques and news, recently reviewed a kinetic email campaign produced by Pret’s. The email creative featured an empty cup along with copy that read, “An empty cup is no fun. Pick a flavor.” Email recipients were encouraged to select a smoothie flavor and watch as their virtual cup slowly filled to the top.

Additionally, Pret’s was able to create a fallback plan for email clients that didn’t support kinetic design. The marketing team created a second email that featured a stack of drinks displaying all of the same flavors.

Focus on improving results

Kinetic email campaigns often result in a creative, “fun” execution, yet marketers shouldn’t create them just for fun’s sake. Instead, they should produce kinetic email designs that maximize the use of intelligent functionality and deliver an experience consumers may not have experienced anywhere else.

However, it’s important to note that many kinetic email design techniques are not universally supported. For example, iOS allows developers to apply kinetic design very consistently, where desktop versions of Outlook reduce overall functionality.

Campaign innovations

Recently, contextual email marketing technologies started dabbling in the concept of bringing kinetic design to SaaS platforms with features such as scratch-to-reveal content or in-email polls. These capabilities enable kinetic design in email clients that support this technology, but like the Pret’s example above, seamlessly display regular image content where functionality is limited.

One good example is Liveclicker’s LivePoll capability. Marketers can embed polls into their emails that allow a recipient make a poll selection and then see the poll results directly within the email (on iOS devices). Kinetic design techniques can also show or hide various pieces of information within an email without computing help from a server.

Get kinetic with Liveclicker

As consumers continue to expect a better email experience, companies will rise to the challenge and adopt more interactive email techniques.

For example, Liveclicker just recently released a kinetic live mouse-over capability called LiveHover as an out-of-the-box application. Marketers no longer need to depend on technically-advanced developers to bring kinetic interactivity to their campaigns – now they can achieve the desired effect with their own two hands.

At the same time, Liveclicker has a kinetic design services team as part of our larger professional services organization. We help clients create highly interactive, highly engaging messages using features such as interactive tabs, button rollovers, product hotspots and much more.

So whether you’re looking for a team to create your next kinetic email campaign, or the tools to do it yourself, Liveclicker has you covered.

Thinking ahead

As we look to the future, one thing is absolutely certain: mail clients, devices, and technology will continue to evolve and change. Marketers need to continue to do all they can to deliver personalized, engaging marketing messages that exceed the consumer’s expectations. With kinetic design and other new innovations still to come, email is one of the most promising tools to achieve all of these goals, showing that email’s best days are still ahead.