We love a good surprise. An email promising a mystery discount gets us every time. And aren’t you always dying to know What’s Behind Door Number 3?

But the email medium has traditionally suffered from technical limitations that make it hard to have a good surprise. Marketers are often left no choice but to make subscribers click through to a landing page to reveal a cool deal or amazing bonus – a disruptive experience that increases drop-outs and conversion attrition.

Thanks to two clever combinations of innovative email content with a ‘big reveal’ functionality, marketers can add some mystery, pizzazz and interactivity right in their emails. Your customers will get a better email experience, and you’ll get better results; it’s a win-win!

What’s in it for you? How about these bonuses:

The big reveal

Teasing a mystery is a time-honored marketing tactic. Innovative marketers have been using ‘reveal’ functions in their emails for some time, often with great success.

The idea is simple enough; you simply hide the content you want to reveal (a big surprise, a special discount, a secret message – you get the idea) behind a concealing image. When subscribers click, tap, or even “scratch” the image, the mystery is revealed. It’s fun, interactive, and can drive remarkable results for your marketing.

For instance; LEGOLAND Increased click-to-open rates by 600% for a Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaign using scratch-to-reveal promotions. See the creative email and the results yourself in this case study.

Adding mystery to make magic

This ‘click/tap/scratch to reveal” functionality is powerful on its own. But you can make it even more effective by combining it with other dynamic, interactive email functions to really impress your audience and increase engagement. Consider these ideas:

Combo #1: Reveal + Content Hover

Consider combining the engaging experience of a reveal element with the interactivity of a hover pop-up!

Using the two together means you can set up an experience in which your customers can either tap (on mobile) or hover their cursors over your CTA to reveal your secret message.

It could be a special promo code, unique discount, new location – get creative! Then on another tap or click, the revealed content is once again hidden so the user can focus on other content or repeat the reveal experience.

Combo #2: Reveal + Personalized Coupon

With this combination, you can create an attention-grabbing offer: the mystery and interactivity of the reveal with the appeal of a unique personalized offer created through your personalization platform, such as a personalized birthday or win-back offer.

Let’s say you want to go the birthday route. Every other marketer in your customer’s inbox is sending a birthday greeting in an attractive but static email. Yet another generic 20% discount or free-shipping offer? Yawn. 

Now, your email shows up with your greeting or offer embedded in a big birthday cake, with copy that says something like “Scratch/Click to reveal your personal birthday message.” Who could resist?

But do they work?

Yes! This is what pop-fashion retailer Hot Topic told us:

“Since we started implementing the code behind the reveal, our average click-through rate has increased by 17%. It has even beaten out click-through rates from a similar campaign that was sent during last holiday! 

“Added bonus: having the live elements automatically populate the coupon code and personalized imagery has significantly decreased the workload on our CRM team, who used to spend days setting these campaigns up manually.”

Your comments, our inspiration

We were inspired to create these combinations in response to client requests for ways to boost the interest and interactivity within email. You wanted new ways to grow email engagement and avoid the losses that can result when you have to push customers to your website to deliver your offers right within our platform, so we made it happen. 

We hope you’ll test these reveal combinations in your own emails, and let us know how they work for you! 

It’s time for digital marketers to reconsider the humble coupon. This venerable marketing tool has drawn price-sensitive customers to businesses for decades. But too often, it gets overlooked and lost in the constant flood of shiny new tactics emerging from the world of digital.

In fact, if you know how to use coupons (and their close cousins, promo codes), they can be incredibly effective in driving conversions online, especially when distributed via email.

Emails with promo codes boast 14% higher open rates, 34% higher click rates, and 48% higher revenues than emails without them.

Statista reports consistent growth in digital coupon users over recent years, and predicts 145.3 million U.S. adults will be redeeming them by 2021.

Deal-seekers certainly don’t feel limited to clipping coupons exclusively from their weekly shopper. According to research from VoucherCloud, the enormous majority are willing to use digital coupons, too.

The Unique Advantages of Digital Coupons in Email

Emails already see widespread use as promotional vehicles for sales events and discounts. So why bother setting up a email coupon system?

Digital coupons bring unique benefits to marketers and and customers alike:

How to Use Coupons in Email (The Easy Way)

Digital coupons have myriad uses and enormous potential; so why aren’t more marketers using them in email?

Once the appropriate systems and support are set up, it’s easy enough to start acting on your coupon marketing ideas. But the upfront resources, time, and expertise needed to establish and maintain such a program are enough to dissuade many marketers from taking the dive.

Then there’s the tedious matter of setting up audiences, dividing up lists, and developing a different email for each segment and test. As Liveclicker VP Account Development Kenna Hillburn said, “Email marketers already have enough on their plates without having to manually segment and create several different deployment sends in order to serve certain coupon codes to certain individuals and find out what works.”

That’s part of what drove Liveclicker to develop our latest email marketing innovation: LiveCoupon. This flexible new element empowers marketers to generate unique, irresistible, personalized coupons that populate effortlessly in subscribers’ inboxes. The simple, user-friendly interface means anyone can start improving email performance with coupons.

With LiveCoupon, you can:

Leading brands are already using LiveCoupon and getting results.

“LiveCoupon enhances our ability to continue delivering personalized messages and incentives to consumers.” said Jennifer Chiang, Sr. Analyst, Email Marketing, BCBG. “LiveCoupon reduces operational complexity for such campaigns by automating the messaging of the promotions based on consumers’ previous engagement (with the same promotion). This further helps us with customer segmentation, making our program more relevant and effective.”

What creative coupon marketing ideas would you be able to pursue with this capability?