How Hot Topic’s Interactive Emails Became EIS Award-Winning

A clever scratch-off campaigned help drive Hot Topic customers to the site, while helping the retailer win a MediaPost EIS Awards in the Interactive Emails category.


According to a 2019 Econsultancy survey, email is the most effective marketing channel, and it’s also an important link to other customer experiences on site, in store and on mobile apps. Getting email just right means making the entire customer shopping experience that much more relevant and effective. Hot Topic certainly does this, which is why the retailer won a MediaPost EIS Awards for Email Marketing Excellence in the Interactive Emails category.

Hot Topic used to have an animation in an email that looked like a scratch-off ticket, but wasn’t interactive. While the imagery was creative, it didn’t drive clicks to the site, and created a disappointing experience. The team knew that an interactive email experience could get people to go to the site at higher rates by increasing engagement

Working with Liveclicker, Hot Topic created a fully interactive email design that would click to reveal a personalized, integrated offer based on data inputs from past purchase behavior. The emails showcased seasonally themed animation teasing either a 30%, 40%, or 50% discount that the customer would reveal by clicking.

Hot Topic -- Interactive Offer

The retailer then added both “copy to clipboard” and “shop now” calls-to-action to drive customers to the site easily. Similarly, if a customer can’t finish shopping in that session, a “remembering” feature ensures that the next time they open that email, the offer is already revealed and the code is waiting. 

While Hot Topic and Liveclicker had done scratch-offs and coupons separately, the combination was new and innovative for the Hot Topic team. Liveclicker helped to streamline the back end experience so that both the engaging “scratch” interaction and the underlying coupon assignment could be integrated at moment-of-open in a consistent experience for all customers, and with minimal back-end work for the Hot Topic email team. 

Hot Topic measured click-to-open rates and click-through rates to see if the new interactive feature was successful at driving engagement. Comparing the interactive mystery scratch-off emails to other campaigns that promoted equivalent offers showed just how valuable the concept was for Hot Topic. The newly interactive mystery campaigns on average saw a 30% increase in click-to-opens, 25% increase in click-through rate, and because they were driving more people to the site, a 14% increase in conversion rate over equivalent campaigns without the new feature.

This wasn’t the only EIS Award win for Marigold, either. RevZilla and Raise, two of our sister brand Sailthru’s customers, won awards as well.


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