Ulta hero

Interactive Email?! 😱🤯

From: Ulta Beauty
Date: 11/29/18
Subject Line: 🌙 Your All-Nighter Shopping Pass is here + Bonus Points

Ulta email  Ulta interactivity

Just when I think I know everything that’s possible with email, something new gets thrown into the mix! Ulta surprised me when I clicked on an image of a gift (to “unwrap” my savings), expecting it to open a web browser. Instead, it swapped the image of the present, revealing my deal within the email! From what I can deduct, they were able to pull this off using the company LiveClicker. It definitely threw me for a loop. I love the instant gratification of seeing my reward right away and the clutter-free lack of a pop-up. I hope to see this more in emails! Ulta also did a great job enticing me to click on the gift by animating it. Not to mention it’s packed with custom relevant content: my name in multiple locations (including a headline with fancy font), rewards balance, membership number and local store information. Nicely done!

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Panera Hero

Emails with Live Updates

From: Panera
Date: 10/13/18
Subject Line: Amy, vote for your favorite Mac & Cheese!

Panera Cropped Email    Panera Animation

We’ve seen it before: emails that refresh the content each time you visit. Mostly it’s been used to count down the time until a sale ends. Well, Panera has come up with an innovative way to use live email updates. They ask subscribers to vote for their favorite Mac & Cheese creation, with the email displaying the live results! What a cool way to get customers up-to-date information that’s also interactive. In this case, it was also a fun way to let customers know that new fall “Soups and Mac” have arrived.

The live results aren’t the only thing Panera is doing right in this email. They also animated the hero to grab my attention, used my name in the subject line and email to make it feel personal, and made the design mobile friendly. Nicely done!

I could see this strategy being used for other types of retailers. For instance, Gymboree recently had a vote-for-our-next-toddler-model contest. Wouldn’t it have been cool to see which child was “in the lead” in the email? I could also see a clothing retailer having shoppers vote on their favorite fall outfit. What about having subscribers vote what the next holiday “deal of the day” should be? The possibilities are endless!

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