These days, companies are relying on email personalization best practices to capture the attention of their audience.
Modern consumers are sick and tired of receiving emails that feel unnecessary or irrelevant to them. In an age of ad blockers and banner blindness, your clients won’t abide by inappropriate content in their inbox. Send the wrong email, and you could be imprisoned in the spam folder forever.
The good news?
There are plenty of ways that you can enhance your emails with personalization and segmentation. 74% of marketers say that they boost engagement with just a little targeted personalization. What’s more, those personalized emails drive 6 times higher transaction rates.
All you need to do is figure out how to go beyond using a first name in a subject line, to deliver material that engages and delights your audience.
The answer is waiting for you in dynamic content.
Delivering the Best Personalized Emails with Dynamic Content
Dynamic content is quickly becoming a staple of the best personalized emails.
Otherwise known as adaptive or “intelligent” content, dynamic emails help companies to automatically adjust their email strategy based on crucial consumer data. For instance, you could implement a dynamic content strategy that changes what your customer sees based on:
- Their location
- Their previous purchasing history
- The segment they inhabit in your email list
- Their recent activity on your website.
A study from the University of Texas proves that people prefer personalized experiences. Using dynamic content helps companies to deliver useful messages to their customers, without contributing to information overload.
The process works by using algorithms to automatically adapt blocks of images and text according to specific values. In addition to saving your marketing team a lot of time, dynamic content also improves the relationships you build with your audience. It contributes to better customer loyalty, reduced unsubscribe rates, and even stronger brand ambassadors.
So, where do you begin?
Step 1: Define the Email Elements You Need to be Dynamic
There are two kinds of dynamic email examples you can choose from.
The first option is variable substitution. This allows the email creator to choose precisely which content will change according to the personal data of the recipient. For instance, the email may adjust to include the name of the customer, or their location.
Content insertion, on the other hand, is a more in-depth option for the best personalized emails. It allows for changing entire images, paragraphs, and languages.
Once you decide on the type of dynamic content you want to send, you can define which parts of your email should be dynamic. After all, you still want to get the same message across to all your users. That means you can’t change everything, just a few essential elements.
For instance, in this email from Nike, the athletic company uses a dynamic email and adaptive text in their CTA. This allows them to deliver more catered content to their male and female subscribers:
Step 2: Decide Which Demographics to Use in your Dynamic Content
Most email personalization best practices focus on making sure you send more meaningful content to your audience based on basic demographic information. For instance, your email content can change according to location, gender, age, or even a person’s occupation.
Usually, the data you use to inform your dynamic email examples will depend on the kind of information you collect from your email list. For instance, when Sephora launched an email campaign that allowed customers to win a trip to Paris, they knew this prize would appeal to countless consumers around the world.
However, it’s unlikely that they would send the same email to their consumers from Paris because it wouldn’t have the same impact. If they couldn’t offer a different destination, they might focus on free tickets to a fashion show or some other on-brand offering that would tempt Parisians to enter the contest.
An alternative example may be a company deciding which new products they want to show to their audience. If you’ve recently released a new fashion line, you’d be more likely to send the female pieces to the girls in your list, and the male-focused designed to the men. You can even adjust your dynamic email content to suit the age of the recipient.
Remember, personalized messages improve clickthrough by 14%.
Step 3: Correct Cart Abandonment Issues
Dynamic content isn’t just a great way to improve your interactions with customers in the initial stages of your relationship. You can even use adaptive messages to deliver more nurturing and beneficial experiences to pre-existing customers in your network.
For instance, in 2017, studies found that average cart abandonment rates had grown to around 78.65%. Consumers are increasingly distracted by things like smartphones, streaming services, and even the daily disruptions of life. That means that even if they were ready to add something of yours to their basket, they might not always complete their purchase.
There are plenty of dynamic email examples that can show you how to lure your browsers back to their carts, and through to the payment stage. Remember, “Hey, didn’t you forget this?” is an email example that may work in some cases. However, when you’re competing against endless distractions, it pays to go the extra mile.
Dynamic content allows you to insert photographs of the exact items your customers were thinking of buying into your emails. This is an excellent visual cue, and a wonderful way to remind your audience of what tempted them to buy in the first place. For instance, CB2’s cart abandonment campaign uses email personalization best practices to show their customers what they left behind.
There’s even an added message at the bottom to remind consumers they can get free shipping on some items.
Step 4: Focus on the Consumer Journey
If you’ve looked at email segmentation and personalization before, you’ll know that different consumers interact with your brand in unique ways. Usually, the way that you communicate with your prospects will depend on where they are in their buying journey.
For instance, if you know that your customer has only just signed up for your email list, it’s probably not the right time to ask them to become an advocate with a referral campaign. Instead, you’ll want to welcome your recruit to your community and let them know what kind of value they can expect from you.
On the other hand, if you’re emailing a regular customer, you might just want to keep them informed of the latest products and content that’s relevant to their interests.
With dynamic emails, you can adjust the focus of your email depending on where your customer is in your journey. For instance:
- With new customers, make information about your best sellers and newest updates front and center in your email copy.
- With returning customers, deliver more advanced content for people who already know what it is you do, and what you can offer.
- For VIP customers, deliver information about the latest benefits you can offer, and what you have coming up in the following months.
For instance, to engage return customers, Birchbox looks at their previous purchasing histories to suggest the kind of products certain people might want to buy and offer personal discounts.
Step 5: Get Extra Personal
Remember, dynamic content isn’t just a way to make your everyday emails more compelling. The best personalized emails are sometimes those special messages that you only send out once or twice a year. While most people love a birthday message or a “happy anniversary” mail from their favorite brands, your dynamic content strategy can make these moments even more meaningful.
For instance, instead of just saying “Happy Birthday,” add your subscriber’s name, and a little fact about them based on what you know about their purchasing history or location. You could even wish them a good 36th birthday if you have their date of birth saved in your email list data.
Since most companies also provide an offer or discount with a birthday email, consider customizing that gift based on what you know about your consumers too. For instance, if you sell haircare and beauty products, but you know your audience prefers a specific brand, give them 30% off that brand for their birthday.
These one-off messages are excellent for developing much stronger relationships with your audience. Get your strategy right, and you can even improve your chances of your customers wanting to stay on your email for longer. After all, they’ll want to know what you can give them next year too.
Step 6: Combine Dynamic Content with Automation
Once you’ve figured out how to create the best personalized emails with your dynamic content, you can start to simplify your strategy. Adding automation to your email strategy is a great way to ensure that you’re always getting the right messages to your customers at the best times.
For instance, you can start by adding dynamic content to your welcome series. Rather than just delivering the same welcome message to everyone in your list, try improving your chances of a long-term subscription by personalizing the material. Thank your customer for signing up via your website, or social media page.
If the person who joins your email list says that they’re interested in hearing about specific blog posts, or new events, give them a taste of what they can expect in their email list. For instance, LinkedIn sends listings of suggested job opportunities to subscribers regularly. However, they don’t just share the latest opportunities; they focus on jobs that reconcile with talents and certifications the user added to their profile:
Using Dynamic Content in Your Email Personalization Best Practices
A dynamic content strategy in your email campaigns allows you to deliver more engaging, personalized experiences to your customers. This simultaneously leads to more clicks, more opens, and more sales opportunities.
All you need to get started is the right email marketing software and a strategy. For your strategy, check out the tips above, for software, options include:
- Avari – Plug and play tool for creating dynamic blocks of content.
- Act-on – A tool for displaying dynamic content in checkboxes, CTAs, images and more.
- Hubspot: Delivers dynamic content with personalized images, text and CTA
- Movable Ink: Integrates into your ESP to create dynamic content
- Live-Intent: Real-time advertising for email
- Salesforce Pardot: Display content based on a prospect’s email activity and more.
Remember, your dynamic email campaigns can be as simple or complex as you choose. Like with any strategy, it’s a good idea to start small and track your performance. As you learn about your customers and what they like to see from you, you’ll be able to adjust your campaigns accordingly.