Introducing Rebelmail Modules: Hotspots

We’ve mentioned how Rebelmail modules can impact click-through-rate. Some modules, like the quiz, inspire the subscriber to leave the email and go to site. Others, like add-to-cart, tend to reduce CTOR because the subscriber can complete the action within the email. In both cases, however, Rebelmail increases the value of the email campaign by providing actionable insight into subscriber behavior. It’s important to challenge your current email metrics.

Why focus on CTOR when the subscriber does not have to leave the email to act?

The hotspots module provides a way for subscribers to reveal more product detail within the email and, although the hotspots module may slightly lower CTORs, it drives more eligible leads to site.


The hotspot module is a natural way to discuss multiple products or bring attention to new features. In this example, a client launched a new cosmetics collection. The hotspots pulsate over each product to indicate interactivity.

When the subscriber taps on the hotspot, an overlay is revealed within the email. This overlay contains an image, text content and a CTA.

In a similar test to the example above, we saw a 9% interaction rate and an 18% boost in conversions compared to the static send--despite the drop in CTOR. The hotspots allowed subscribers to learn product details before going to the web.

Performance and Best Practice

The hotspots rest on a single background image. This background content is not clickable. The only clickable elements in the module are the hotspots and any CTA within the overlay. Because the subscriber has to interact with the hotspot to activate the overlay, it is important that the revealed content inspires the subscriber to act.

We do not want to add steps to the conversion funnel or use the hotspot to create redundancy in content.

For example, let’s say that hotspots image features a model wearing jeans and a top. There is one hotspot on the jeans and one on the top. When the subscriber interacts with the hotspots, they are shown an overlay with information about the product. The jeans and top each come in multiple colors and sizes. The subscriber does not have the ability to make those decisions within the overlay, so the strategy would be to push them to the product page. The have to interact with the hotspot and then click out of the email to take action.

Compare that scenario to a hotspots image of a new phone. There’s a hotspot on each new feature of the phone. When the subscriber interacts with the hotspot on the top left, they’ll learn about the benefits of the new camera. When they interact with the center hotspot, they’ll learn about the improvements to the screen. Each CTA in the overlay leads to a single landing page.

The second scenario is a better use case for the hotspots module, as the first scenario increases the number of clicks to purchase. The second scenario educates the subscriber in-email, so when they click-through to site they are more primed to purchase. Layout, placement and content play a large part in the success of this module.

Hotspot Functionality

  • Single background image that features multiple products
  • Design your hotspots graphic
  • Overlay features an image and CTA
  • Cannot include dropdowns or other choice mechanism within the hotspot overlay.

Hotspots Placement

An unique way to use this module is in an onboarding series to teach a subscriber how to use your product or service. For example, combine a screenshot of your log-in page with hotspots to show a subscriber how to log-in and set up an account.

Hotspots are also great for new product launches, new feature launches and a way to reveal content to delight your subscribers!

The hotspots module is easy to set up through the builder or our API. Have a great use case for it? Want to see a demo? Drop us a line at

Introducing Rebelmail Modules: Quiz

Up until January 2016, our modules were creations that lived in our top secret email laboratory. For almost a year now, they’ve been out in the wild. Whether it’s a promotion hidden in an in-email game or the ability to add a new product to cart without leaving the inbox, our clients are deploying interactive emails through the Rebelmail API and builder.

Working with brands to deliver unique experiences to subscribers has taught us about each Rebelmail module. What are the best use cases? How do subscribers interact with the module? How do brands gain the most value from the module?

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to introduce and share our learnings on each Rebelmail module right here on the blog—starting with the quiz.

We hope showing you our insights into the modules will help you further engage your audience and drive conversions.

Performance and Best Practices

The quiz module began with a suggestion from a client. A travel company wanted something fun to engage subscribers who had not interacted with the brand recently, something that would keep them in the email and get them excited about different locations. They wanted a module that would encourage the subscriber to act and inspire them to contact a host and plan a trip!

We decided a quiz asking subscribers to guess the location based on an image would be a fun way to feature places to stay around the world.

By allowing subscribers to interact with the content, we’ve increased their desire to learn more about the featured locations.

The module was a success! We saw a high interaction rate. Around 6% of subscribers who received the interactive version of the email engaged with the quiz. Through testing, we also discovered that subscribers who interacted with the quiz module typically completed all three questions.

Most importantly for the client, we saw that that the quiz module increased CTOR by 17% compared to the static version of this email.

Static version:

Quiz Functionality

  • The quiz allows for multiple questions with answers presented as radio buttons

  • The quiz allows for correct and incorrect answers

  • The module features an image placed on the left of the questions. We’ve learned that content impacts the interaction rate of the module. For example, if a client uses the same image for all three questions, there will be a drop in interactions.

  • Clients are able to auto advance the questions or use a “Next Question” button

  • The link featured in the second CTA can change depending on the subscriber’s choice

  • Rebelmail tracks all subscriber selections and interactions

Quiz Placement

The quiz can be used in a gamified-fashion like the example we discussed, or in the style of a survey. For example, place a style quiz (Do you like scarves, hats or shoes?) in an email campaign, lead them to relevant category pages based on their responses, and help subscribers think about the accessories that go with a new dress. You can also include the quiz in an abandoned cart or abandoned browse email to understand why a subscriber did not convert.

The quiz is also a phenomenal addition to a brand’s onboarding or welcome series. Use the quiz to understand a subscriber’s interests—what they are shopping for, budget, travel interests, etc. Brands can use the results of the quiz module to personalize the next set of email campaigns in a series.

The quiz module is easy to set up through the builder or our API. Have a great use case for the quiz? Want to see a demo of the quiz module? Drop us a line at

Hot off the Press

The Email Design Podcast

Hosts Kevin Mandeville and Jason Rodriguez interview our very own Mark “Godfather of Interactive Email” Robbins in the 30th episode of the Email Design Podcast.

Listen here:

They chat about everything, including Myspace themes and accessibility in email!

Cosmetics Design

Cosmetics Design asks “Is Interactive Email The Next Big Thing In Digital Beauty Sales?” Read the entire article here.

Introducing Johnny and Derek

Say hello to the newest members of the Rebelmail team, Johnny Mejias and Derek Jacobi.


Johnny is from La Isla del Encanto, otherwise known as Puerto Rico. He's been a software architect for six years and comes to us from CometaWorks. When he's not reinventing email, he's playing tennis or getting lost in the world of DarkSouls 3. It's not an addiction, it's a lifestyle.

You can follow Johnny on twitter.

Fun fact

He says he's only accidentally funny. (We'll see about that!)

Favorite song


Derek graduated from Penn State University (#WeAre) in 2015. He was previously the sole developer at Bar & Club Stats Inc, but now, he's excited to bring interactive emails to life at Rebelmail.

He loves fishing and boating.

Fun fact

He's been to bull riding school. (Our very own rodeo star!)

Favorite song

We're excited to have them on board! Say hello in the comments :).