Are you using these e-mail innovations? 7 useful tips

Daniëlle Groeneveld
Are your e-mail marketing efforts running smoothly? Or are you looking to boost your e-mails and surprise your recipients with something other than the standard block template? There are plenty of e-mail ‘innovations’ that you can get started with. From countdown timers to live polls, this list will introduce a number of special e-mail additions.

Tip #1: Personalized images: date, time, day

I probably don’t have to tell you that relevance is important when it comes to e-mail marketing. However, you might be looking for ways to take the next step. Why not use custom images? This example from Nifty Images is a good one: showing different images based on the time of day. The same functionality can also be used for the date or day, or any other e-mail variable in your database.

Tip #2: Go further? Go for live images

Whereas time and day are still somewhat static because they are based on a fixed set of data, live images take things a little bit further. All you need to get started with live images are an API link or a link to the Zapier tool, for instance. This will give you access to features such as:

  • live scoreboards for sports matches
  • Updating prices or product stock
  • Real-time donations to a project
  • Weather updates
  • Live view of reservations, such as airplane seat selection

Tip #3: Countdown timers

If your sales promo is scheduled to end in 24 hours’ time, or if you’re running another exclusive promotion with a time limit, countdown timers are an ideal way to emphasize urgency. A countdown timer will run smoothly in virtually all e-mail clients, and will show a static image of the time remaining in any unsupported client.

Tip #4: Feedback functionality

You might have seen feedback features in an e-mail before: thumbs up or down, or rows of smiley faces and numbers to help users post a review. These feedback tools are ideal, because they mean people don’t have to fill out an entire form and can provide feedback on the mailing in question right away.

I found another example at Litmus, an authority on all things e-mail. Working on a case for Paula’s Choice Skincare, feedback helped them find out that the personal discount code added to a birthday e-mail (the 3rd most important e-mail for the brand!) wasn’t valid for long enough.

Here are some examples of feedback designs in e-mails:

 Spotler uses this feedback functionality to ask users who submitted a question to their support desk how they would rate their experience.

Greetz uses a slightly different version, based on hearts.

that’s also fairly common in e-mails. Very effective!


Tip #5: A different type of feedback: polls

Adding a poll to an e-mail is an ideal way to supplement profiles with data, whilst removing obstacles for recipients to share information. All they have to do to leave their opinion is click. Here is an example from airbnb, encouraging recipients to leave a review after a stay.



Tip #6: Take matters yet another step further with live polling

Live polls let you create an even more fun and interactive touch. In that case, you can see what other people voted for in the very same e-mail. Here are two examples:

Live polling in an e-mail sent by Royal Carribean, a cruise company:

‘Click’ to vote in this example of Movable Ink:

Tip #7: Live Instagram & Pinterest Feeds

Are Instagram or Pinterest important channels for your brand? Would you like to emphasize them a little more? In that case, live feeds of these social media channels are a perfect solution. Just add a simple piece of HTML code to your template to create a perfect link between e-mail and social media. A live feed is updated every few minutes and shows new images without the page having to reload. You can also add this functionality to your blog, website or something else.

Ask our e-mail marketing specialist

If you want to start working with e-mail innovations, get in touch with our e-mail specialist Danielle.