**Today’s blog is a partner post from our friends at Rebelmail. See how we’re handling exciting new developments in interactive email together.

Email isn’t the buzziest of marketing channels. It’s the old, reliable workhorse that produces consistently great results. While no marketer takes email for granted, they probably don’t expect major innovation in the channel either. And that’s why Google’s AMP announcement created such a stir.

Google’s announcement has been met with mixed reactions. Many marketers are intrigued by a new world of opportunity, while some prefer the simplicity of the inbox or lament the fragmentation of email clients with their own languages.

However you may feel about this particular announcement, at the end of the day it’s clear that actionable, interactive email experiences are the future of email. And we know because we’ve led the charge, partnering with some of the most innovative brands and marketers to bring these experiences to millions of inboxes around the world.

REBEL has worked with brands to power everything from interactive review forms to dating in email, and just about anything in between. Brands have successfully enabled their customers to search, to cart items, to give their preferences, and now even to make purchases, all without leaving their inboxes. By providing an amazing, frictionless, and better experience, we have elevated the customer experience. We work closely with SparkPost to ensure these interactive experiences are delivered at scale without a hitch directly to your customers inboxes.

How do we do this?

REBEL provides a scalable solution for both marketers and developers to create actionable email inbox experiences. Email is hard, and we take care of the nitty gritty, ensuring a great experience regardless of whether your customer opens your email on their iPhone or Gmail on their Windows laptop.

How does AMP play into this?

AMP is another tool in our arsenal. Email is sent in multiple parts – you are already familiar with text and HTML, and AMP is just another MIME type. We deliver amazing interactive experiences today across clients including Gmail, and this will evolve even further when AMP rolls out to Gmail.

How does this all work with SparkPost?

When Google gets ready for the release you will be able to deliver this new MIME type directly through SparkPost. When building a campaign in REBEL you’ll receive the new MIME type as part of the template generation process to be deployed through SparkPost as per usual.

Our goal at Rebel is to make it simple for you to build beautiful, effective interactive campaigns, across all email environments. Whether you are a marketer or a developer, we are excited to work with you to make the inbox a more exciting, engaging place to deliver your brand experience.

-Manisha

Manisha is an email and marketing technology enthusiast based in Brooklyn, NY. As VP of Success & Business Operations at REBEL, her team helps some of the biggest brands in the world achieve their goals by bringing interactive, actionable messaging to their customer’s inboxes.

**We are excited to announce our new partnership with Rebel. Rebel is disrupting the email marketing space and allows users to send interactive emails with no plug-ins required. This guest blog post, written by Kevin Dutra highlights Rebel’s ease of use and their competitive edge in the market.

Integrate your email channel and app with in-email interactivity.

Email is one of the oldest communication protocols on the web. Unfortunately for the billions of people that use it to communicate, up until a few years ago, almost nothing has dramatically improved the user experience. After years of very little innovation, interactive email has created a flurry of exciting changes.

At Rebel, we don’t see stodgy, old email clients that are a nightmare to develop against. We see a brand new surface for your application to live on. Interactive email allows you to show a user the exact action you want them to take, without the need for a click or leave their inbox.

Taking advantage of these new opportunities for user actions is easier said than done. Coding normal emails remains a challenge for most developers due to the deep fragmentation in email clients. That’s why we believe the best way to take advantage is through our interactive email API.

It’s the only way of generating interactive emails on the fly, personalized to the user you are sending to. You don’t need to know the latest hacks to get the email rendering perfectly or the quirks of gathering data from inside an email client. All you need to know is the information you want to get from a user, and with a simple JSON request, you can get back ready-to-send interactive email HTML.

But what does that really mean?

If the above sounds fanciful and far-fetched to you, you’re not alone. However, it is that simple. All that you need to do is describe the functionality that you want to achieve in JSON and our API will convert it to HTML for you.

To prove that point we’re going to build a quick email that asks a user for some feedback on your app. It will contain stars for rating 1-5 and a text input for collecting general feedback.

The API call structure.

For this example, we’ll be looking at an abbreviated API call (I’ve taken out some of the options so that the information is clear), that will return to you HTML with two form fields, and a submit button.

As you can see below the JSON call includes an array at context.components.body.formfields , in that array there are two objects. Each describes one piece of functionality. One for the rating module and one for the text area. Here you place all the information you want to be covered displayed in the email and adjust and field-specific settings.

 

The above example is abbreviated for illustrative purposes, but generally, our API allows you to set the values and styles of any element inside our interactive modules.

What you get back.

Our  /campaigns/:id/html  endpoint will return to you HTML, completely ready to be delivered. No need to do anything to it, just send it out. Here is the email from the full request above as seen in Apple Mail:

Interactive email analytics.

Of course what good is new technology if you can’t tell if it’s adding value to your business. That’s why we built a robust analytics platform for recording every possible action a user takes within an email. If a user clicks a radio button or star rating, we record it. If they open the email on Outlook and see a beautifully rendered static fallback message, we record it.

All that actionable data is only good if you can consume it. That’s why we created a number of ways to have our data pushed to your servers (such as a webhook).

Go forth and interact.

These kinds of forms are one excellent way to allow users to interact with your app from within an email client, and there is a myriad of ways to apply this same technology. Responding to comments, prompting inactive users to post again for the first time, or allowing users to complete portions of their onboarding while verifying their email address, are all possible.

You can do even more than forms with our flexible API, Thanks to the various modules we have created, your users can take quizzes, research or filter products, and even shop directly in the inbox. All while our robust analytics allows you to gather every action and use it for things like progressive profiling and user recommendations.