Latest Comments
  1. Rachel Gerner

    Great article, Justin! Bring on the era of kinetic email!

  2. Ryan

    I am not sure if I agree with the though that “image based ‘realtime’ content” is not kinetic. I have seen this used in really interesting ways and while it does not necessarily “move”, it can be unique to each user that opens the email. I do however definitely agree with you last paragraph. This is a really interesting space right now as I think a lot of people are realizing the potential of emails and what can be accomplished with some effort and creativity.

    Another name I’ve seen for kinetic emails is ‘dynamic email’ or ‘dynamic mail’ which also have a nice ring to them.
    Dynamic content & email personalization – Campaign Monitor
    Dynamic Email Content – Yesmail

    A few days ago MarTech Advisor posted this article about PowerInbox who have developed some interesting dynamic widgets. I also came across Kick Dynamic recently who are in a similar space and even have dynamic in their name.

    • Justin

      Thanks for the comment! I’m not saying “image based realtime content” is not cool or effective or new. I was just trying to distinguish it from techniques using purely HTML5/CSS3. I mean it already has a name – “realtime email”!

      The issue I see with using ‘dynamic’ is the same I see with ‘interactive’. Its already being used to refer to other techniques as well – as you’ve pointed out in the links you provided. In that case, personalized server generated imagery may indeed be novel and cool, but I was looking for a label that is not encumbered by other existing uses.

      • Sally Gurney

        I’m really pleased that you got our thinking behind using the term “kinetic” – it’s not “interactive”, because so is any email with a click through, and kinetic email can just include non-interactive animations. It’s not “dynamic”, because emails that are heavily personalised like abandon basket programs are definitely using dynamic content, so that would be confusing. It’s not “animated”, because so are embedded videos and animated GIFs, which have been around for a long time and aren’t anything all that special. It’s not “moving” because use of kinetic techniques doesn’t require animation and movement (and that just sounds, well… naff!)

        Kinetic email is all of these things – the potential for interaction, animation, and dynamism, through use of modern web development techniques and the dustier corners of CSS. Kinetic Typography was a term already in use and clearly understood by the industry, and it didn’t feel confusing in using the same term applied to email.

        Brilliant article, thank you. I took great delight in throwing down the gauntlet to the wider community, so to speak – I’m genuinely excited to see the creativity and innovation that will (I hope!) spring forth on the back of our kinetic efforts. We’ve got too many ideas and not enough time – I want to see what everyone else will come up with!

        • Justin

          Thank you Sally for chiming in! Glad to get insights into the thinking that lead to the term “kinetic”. Although it will take time to coalesce around the name, out of several of the terms bandied about, I felt this came closest to embodying this new form of email without being confused with existing email terminology. Also kinetic could refer to either dynamic elements in email or the user’s dynamic actions with elements in email.

  3. Niraj

    Excellent article, Justin! Kinetic email will surely revolutionize email marketing. It looks way more attractive than normal emails. Thanks, Niraj ( Founder at

  4. Jake Stott

    Kinetic email is undoubtedly cool and this is a great article for explaining it (great post for the AVARI blog!). @ryan & @justin, I think you are both hitting the nail on the head.

    Kinetic to me is more about interactions. The carousels or menus are an awesome addition. But essentially the content is pre-created. Someone makes the carousel and every email recipient uses it (nothing changes from A to B).

    Dynamic/realtime email is as you say more about delivering images. However these images can change in realtime, after the email has been sent or even after the email has first been opened. One day Real-time email will lead to email templates that almost 100% populate with the right content for each person at the time of open, meaning nothing is pre-created.

    Next I want to see someone using our AVARI realtime content in a kinetic email! The Holy Grail

  5. Man

    Kinetic? Is that even a term? Interactive is now called kinetic? So we live in the era of kinetic websites and kinetic email? I think that this article is totally misleading and you should actually consider it before mixing and matching totally unrelated terms.

    • Alex Barber

      Interactivity within email has been used to explain a wide variety of things. None of these have anything to do with progressing coding standards. Having the recipients name in the subject line has been described as interactive, as it makes you feel more involved in the communication. It clearly isn’t really a term in email that covers what has been done with kinetics.

      If it was so easy to just blur the line between web and email in terms of definitions and coding practices then email would be a hell of a lot easier to deal with. This means you will see some divergence of terms between the two that don’t necessarily mean the same for one or the other, or may not even be relevant for the other.

      It is a pretty new approach to email, and therefore deserves a name don’t you think?

      • Man

        Yeah I think that the term interactive was good enough. Now interactive became kinetic. Will it be robotic next year? I believe that we should stop confusing the people out there with vague terms.

      • Jamie

        So to me kinetic is perfect as in kinetic energy (movement, interactivity etc) “Having the recipients name in the subject line has been described as interactive” I class this as Dynamic as it is dynamically driven data from a database usually uploaded to the mailing platform that the email is being sent via : )

    • Frans

      Agreed, this sounds like a case of “Let’s think of a buzzword and attach some arbitrary rules so we can look smarter”.

  6. Mickey d

    Great insight into all things Kinetic! It’s great to see big brands pushing, to make things more creative… email is so in need for this to become standard across the board we can then concentrate on creative designs and not all the hoo har of coding for pesky microsoft!

  7. Madan

    Hi Justin,

    Is there any way that this thing of yours (Nest Cam) could work in gmail and yahoo domains as it shows fallback code. Could you please explain why is it doing so. But the same technique that you have used in interactive shopping widget is working fine on gmail and yahoo domains.

    • Justin

      Hi Madan,
      The Nest Cam email was made by the developers at Nest so they had their reasons to display fallback on webmail. Supporting webmail adds a lot of complexity to the project and they probably had their reasons not to have webmail support.

  8. Steven G

    Some of the above examples do not work when I test in my iPhone 6 native email. For example, the Nest email. When clicking on the small icons, the large image carousel does nothing.

    • Justin

      iOS9 introduced a general sibling selector bug that made it fail in the newer iPhones. Here’s the fix.

  9. Angie

    So would you consider true video in email ‘kinetic’? It’s hugely interactive. That is, where it will play. (Where it does not is simply an animated GIF or static image after device/ etc. detection.)

    • Justin

      I wouldn’t consider true video in email kinetic even though it is interactive. To me kinetic is primarily CSS driven – be it interactive or animations. At the end of the day I see kinetic as an approach. So when someone says “lets try out kinetic for our next newsletter”, you know what to expect – a lot of CSS hacking and planning for fallback layout/designs.

      Videos are impactful, but the effort that goes into it is mainly in the production of the video and not the email itself.

      However just like realtime email, video can be incorporated into a kinetic campaign as well.

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