Personalise your email marketing with dynamic content

Most eCommerce operations have dynamic content systems in place, does anyone actually know what to do with them?

Dynamic content is an intelligent way to automate email content and add value to your messages. It’s also a route to drive increases in customer satisfaction and engagement.

Imagine you are a partly engaged customer of an online clothing retailer. Not very difficult to imagine, as most of us already are. You make purchases from this clothing retailer; tops, or trousers, or shorts, or jeggings or flip-flops. For some reason, week on week, without fail, they send you their latest offers on hats. Why? Because they want to sell more hats and you’re on their mailing list.

Imagine if this same online retailer set up a template email which included dynamic content targeted specifically to you. The greeting is universal, the seasonal offer banner in the middle is unchanged but the top right corner shows an image and link to the last product you viewed. How much more valued would you feel when you opened that email?

“I was just looking at that!”
“It’s like they know me…”
“I’d forgotten about that. I really wanted one of those.”

Chances are you would be more likely to look at the email for longer, possibly click on the link to the product you were interested in and look more favourably on future emails.

Even in its simplest form dynamic content can be a great engagement booster.

So, how much are you actually doing with your dynamic content?

Talk with us if you want to do more, drop us a note and we’ll help you out.


Dynamic content: a 10 step plan

It can be a daunting experience when marketers move away from ‘spray and pray’ email marketing, towards a targeted and tailored approach using dynamic content.

However in reality if you come up with a sensible plan it is relatively pain free and easy to deploy. Here are our 10 recommended steps to get you on your way:


Decide what you want to tailor in your emails. At this point don’t concern yourself with what technology limitations you think you might have, really think about what the most relevant content for your customers would be. By thinking about technology you will always limit yourself to what is currently achievable.


Based upon what content you will be tailoring you need to think about what data you require for this. Do you need to request extra data feeds? Is the data in a usable form? How much data do you have and do you need to pursue a data capture exercise?


How many variations of content will there be – a handful or all the way up to several thousand? How often will these different content variations need to get updated? Daily, weekly, monthly or other? This influences whether you can manually build the content each time or if automating the production of this content is the only feasible option.


Where does this variable content come from? Will you need to request this gets produced by your content team? Does it exist already and if so where and in what format?


Once you have worked out where your content is going to come from is it going to need to be automatically turned into ready HTML and text content? If so what rules do you need to ensure that automated process selects the right content so it is as good as a human would select. For example for a client we select the best holidays for each person our tool will only select one holiday offer per country.


What are the rules that need creating to decide who gets what content? Will these stay the same each time? If they stay the same then it is just going to be a case of refreshing content but otherwise you will need an efficient (or automated) means of creating them.


What will the emails look like? You need to have the HTML for each of the variable sections designed and also create the email template with gaps for the variable content. To aid the control of layout it is best to use tables.


Once everything is built the next stage is to test it. GraphicMail provides a preview tool that allows you to scroll through different records to see the different versions.


In order to justify your additional efforts in using dynamic content it is always advisable to use a control group to measure the difference between an old style generic email and a tailored email.


You are never finished with dynamic content as there are always tweaks and tests you can run to move towards an even more tailored version. You may find the first email you send may look completely different to one 3 months later.

This should prompt you to think about all of your considerations of setting up dynamic content.


Dynamic email campaigns

Email marketing is rapidly evolving with marketers always on the look out for new innovative ways to improve their email campaign’s performance.

Statistics show that 51% of British consumers are more likely to respond positively to brand communications that deliver real-time information relating to their interests . It therefore comes as no surprise that dynamic content has become increasingly popular over recent years, helping email marketers provide their subscribers with relevant and engaging content.

Dynamic content provides marketers with the ability to send one email to their subscribers which contains different content depending on the recipients preferences, history or behaviour. This can be applied at different levels, starting by simply tailoring your email to include the recipients first name and information based around their location. To put this into context, would a restaurant chain want all their subscribers in Manchester to receive all the latest restaurant offers in London?

Probably not…

But they are likely to want to receive restaurant offers near to them in Manchester. Sounds fairly simple right? So why not take it one step further?

Say, for argument sake, that you’re a holiday provider, the same rules apply – you want to ensure that your recipients receive emails that are relevant to them. Dynamic content can be used to pull through data from your product tables relating to previous bookings the customer has made or holidays they have browsed in the past. In this instance, the dynamic content may include images of previous destinations to muster up memories for the recipient, or perhaps display a selection of suggested holidays which may be relevant to the subscriber. Provide this content with a logical and personalised subject line and introduction and you have the basis for a strong email campaign with high potential to engage the customer.

These are just some examples of how you can begin to implement dynamic content within your campaign, we are always looking for new opportunities to explore the power of dynamic content.
Just in case you’re still not convinced, here are some of the perks you can expect to see after applying dynamic content to your email campaigns:

Customer engagement

Your recipients want to be, and expect to be engaged… How many emails have you received today which you have automatically discarded from your inbox or ignored? Probably quite a few, and the reason behind this is more than likely because you weren’t engaged or interested in the content that was delivered to you. Or in other words, the content wasn’t relevant enough.

Customer loyalty

Get to know your customer, and they will get to know you. The more data you hold about your recipients, the easier it will become to make your subscribers feel unique and engaged. When customers receive emails tailored to their interests and demographics they begin to feel as though you know them, making them become more attached to your brand. The use of a preference centre is useful here, allowing recipients to update you with their preferences.

Improved subscriber experience

Relevant content will provide a better experience for the subscriber and therefore offer them a better experience with your brand. People are crying out for relevant content, with 25% of consumers willing to give up chocolate for a month just to receive relevant content!

Increased conversions

Sending highly relevant and targeted email campaigns can dramatically increase campaign performance. Dynamic content provides targeted marketing which is likely to yield significantly better results with, relevant emails driving 18 times more revenue than broadcast emails (Jupiter Research).

Avoid disappointment for you and your Customers

With dynamic content becoming increasingly popular, email recipients are now expecting content to be relevant to them. If your email isn’t, you’re putting your campaign at risk and increasing the chances of your recipient discarding your email from their inbox straight away.
So whats stopping you? With 80% of marketers defining dynamic personalisation in email as highly important (Adobe and DMA), it’s becoming more and more essential to implement dynamic content into your email campaigns. Your email content should always offer value to your subscribers, and knowing their needs and preferences will enable you to provide them with the content they desire. For more information about maximising your email campaign performance through dynamic content, get in touch with one of our experts today.