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Quick wins: Live voting in emails boosts engagement



March 2021

As marketers, we know that coming up with fresh ideas to stop email campaigns from becoming tired can be really challenging. What can you do as a quick-win to shake things up in order to improve engagement and click-through rates? One great idea is to utilise live voting, also known as live polling, in emails.

As marketers, we know that coming up with fresh ideas to stop email campaigns from becoming tired can be really challenging. What can you do as a quick-win to shake things up in order to improve engagement and click-through rates?

One great idea is to utilise live voting, also known as live polling, in emails. It has multiple purposes, but one primary benefit is that it can turn an in-your-face-promotional email from being too salesy, into a more interactive approach that has the power to benefit not only your customer but your company too, depending on how it’s used.

MTA reports that interactive email content increases click-to-open rates by 73%. It’s all about relevance. For example, an online retailer may send a live poll asking customers about their shopping preferences, then use their feedback to follow up with an email based on those preferences.

In this article, we’ll explain how live voting in emails brings quick-wins, what the benefits are, and also provide some use cases to show how live voting can increase click-rates.

What is live voting?

Live voting in email presents recipients with a question that offers a few different answers on which the reader can click to vote, with the results displayed in real-time right there in the email. Every time the email is opened, the results are updated automatically, which encourages customers to contribute their opinion with a vote.

Live voting in emails is easily accomplished with real-time email personalisation software like Reignite.

Live email voting vs. survey

You could just send out an email with a link to a survey; so why should you rather use embedded live email voting?

Well, a survey takes the reader out of the email; as such, your overall response rate is sure to decrease as a link is perceived to take longer to complete. Also, the visual effect on email is enticing because all the reader has to do is click a choice. The advantage a survey does have is the ability to ask multiple questions.

Benefits of embedded live email polls

Engage without promoting

Not every email your subscribers receive should be promotional. And for those segments of your database who have lapsed, you’ll need a different approach to keep them engaged with your brand, and stimulate them into action. Live voting does this as it’s easy to vote – you don’t need to make any more of a commitment other than click to choose your answer. This is why it tends to work so well with lapsed customers especially who have switched off from your sales messages.

Educate for relevance

If you are trying to educate customers about your products, a great way of doing this is by asking them a question. Perhaps that questions is, “What do you like the most about <product name>?” before giving several answers of it’s key benefits. Putting it this way is a more digestible means of a customer reading your benefit list than simply listing them out.

Capture useful data

The answers customers provide via live voting can be used as helpful feedback to create follow-up campaigns.

You can even include messaging around your customer’s favourites or “we’re giving you what you voted for” type messaging to make the offer more compelling.

Behavioural consistency

The Cialdini theory of “Commitment & Consistency” shows that people, i.e. your customers, are more inclined to take action after they’ve already made a small, low-stakes, easy-to-make action in the same direction.

Cialdini states, “Once we have made a choice or taken a stand, we will encounter personal and interpersonal pressures to behave consistently with that commitment. Those pressures will cause us to respond in ways that justify our earlier decision.”

Live voting in email is a small, low-stakes easy-to-make action that can set your customer off in the direction you want them to take. Try it out!

Learn from customers

Maybe you’re looking to understand your customers better and trying to tap into their opinions. Live voting provides the mechanism to ask a question in order to learn from them.

Ideas: how to use email live voting

Live voting in emails is especially helpful to personalise emails and make them relevant. Of course, the more personalised they are, the higher the engagement and open rates will be. Here’s some ideas:

  • Vote for promotions: Give customers the choice between different upcoming promotions, helping to highlight the coming promo goodies.
  • Vote for favourite look or product: Maybe you launch a new range or the new season’s fashion items; you could ask subscribers to vote for their favourite look or product and then follow-up with a dedicated email based on what they’ve voted for.
  • What are you planning this year?: This idea is especially great for travel agencies, who could ask questions such as, “Where are you planning on going on holiday this year?”, allowing you to send relevant follow-ups on the desired location.
  • Warm-up before the main event: Maybe you have a promotional event coming up, or Black Friday. Live voting provides an opportunity to ask customers what they are most looking forward to seeing to both raise awareness of the event in advance, and give the opportunity of targeted follow-ups during the event; achieving a double benefit.
  • Get subscribers to segment themselves: Using live voting, you could ask your subscribers to segment themselves by clicking on the areas they are most interested in, and then adding them to a segmented list, making your emails more targeted and personalised.
  • Ask a question just for fun: not every email needs to be serious. You could add some fun by asking a silly question, like, “how did you enjoy the latest movie”? It’s still creating a bond to your brand by fostering engagement…

Inspiration! Live voting in action

Easyfundraising, the UKs biggest charity shopping website, stays in touch with their supporters with a weekly status update email. To avoid the repetition of purely “shop now” emails, as well as for periods where there is no recent shopping activity to talk about, one of a number of polls is used instead.

The voting questions not only provide valuable feedback but also indirectly educate

and remind supporters of what they could be doing. This could be, for example, raising awareness of the different retailer categories that they could raise funds with, or which shopping tools subscribers could install or they could hint at where the recipient might raise big donations during Black Friday.

Next steps

Every marketer needs a few quick-win strategies in their arsenal; using embedded live voting in emails boosts engagement, even amongst the most disengaged of subscribers.
What would you like to do now? You could either download a whitepaper to discover more quick-wins to boost results in email marketing campaigns, or request a demo of live voting and other real-time and personalised content in Reignite’s email personalisation platform.

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