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

What's Kinetic Email and Why Should You Use It?

In the quest to stand out in the inbox and engage with their subscribers, more and more email marketers are giving kinetic email a try. Here’s why.

What Is Kinetic Email?

Hover-over animations, rotating banners, carousels, sliders, interactive shopping carts, and games—these are a few examples of the high-impact and interactive designs featured in kinetic emails. Kinetic emails incorporate template-level design elements using HTML5 and CSS3. In this way, kinetic design is a step beyond “interactive” or “dynamic” emails, which may feature a video, GIF, or animated image within an email.

As a result, kinetic design provides more of a website experience within the actual email itself, giving users the opportunity to interact with the email content and explore different product offerings. For example, kinetic design may be used to display different colors and sizes of a product to help marketers successfully engage and convert subscribers.

There are essentially 3 types of kinetic email designs that use CSS3 and HTLM5 to enhance interactivity:

  • Basic kinetic email, which uses CSS transitions and animations to deliver important content, e.g., an automatic sliding carousel in which each slide displays different products or content.
  • Interactive kinetic email, which includes digital elements and content that respond to users’ actions, such as interactive navigation buttons and collapsible menus.
  • Kinetic effect email, which uses CSS animation and interactivity to enhance content. This could include highlighting content (e.g., as a result of hovering over it) and dynamic effects such as blinking lights, animated letters, and falling snow.

Why Use Kinetic Email?

Not only does kinetic design give users more reasons to click and engage with an email, but it can increase conversions by removing the steps to purchase (e.g., interactive shopping carts). How much of an impact can kinetic design, such as CSS animations and carousels, have on email performance rates? Here are some results from a Cheetah Digital benchmark study that looked at 7 brands that sent kinetic and static emails at the same time:

  • 55% of the kinetic email campaigns demonstrated a lift in unique click rates and click-to-open rates
  • Kinetic emails increased unique click rates by 18.3%
  • Kinetic emails increased click-to-open rates by 10.7%.

Kinetic Design Support Among Email Clients

The good news is that kinetic design works with Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Outlook 2003, Outlook.com, iPhones, iPads, and some Android clients—which represents a large portion of the email clients used by most marketers’ audiences. And for email clients that don’t support kinetic design, kinetic emails can easily integrate fallback layout functions to ensure that they don’t render poorly for a specific email client. Kinetic content may be hidden, for example, or a simpler, static layout may be displayed as a fallback design for a carousel or animation.

Click here for Freshinbox’s comprehensive list of kinetic email CSS support among major email clients (e.g., Gmail and Outlook), as well as client-specific quirks and how to deal with them.

Is Kinetic Email Design Right for Your Brand?

Kinetic design is fun, flashy, and bound to grab the attention of your subscribers. But will it increase engagement and ultimately drive more clicks and conversions? That really depends on your brand, products, and target audience. Keeping in mind that kinetic emails take more time and planning to produce, they should be used as a special tool, such as to launch a new product. Some questions to ask as you consider adding kinetic emails to your email-marketing repertoire include:

  • Do the kinetic effects strengthen your message and do a better job of displaying your products, rather than being a source of distraction?
  • Will your audience appreciate the opportunity to interact with your brand within the email and, when appropriate, convert?

Only testing will tell you whether adding a kinetic component to your email-marketing campaigns drives more interest and engagement among your specific audience.

Looking for effective email strategies to boost engagement and drive conversions? Contact the email-marketing experts at FulcrumTech today to discuss how FulcrumTech can help you get the most out of your email-marketing campaigns in 2018.


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