Email marketing is far past being a static channel, real-time dynamic emails are adding the competitive edge today. A lot of companies continue to send static email marketing newsletters, these have their merits, but there is a lot more to be gained with strong dynamic email.
The possibilities that dynamic email marketing offers for 1:1 tailored messages are almost endless.
With the right choice of marketing automation or email marketing software and using the right techniques, everybody is able to send very dynamic email. These days there are no excuses left for only sending “stale mail”.
Dynamic email marketing as a part of your strategy
Dynamic email marketing can be the gravy of your email marketing program. Before giving it a permanent spot in the email marketing plan and strategy, the practical marketer seeks to know what the (dynamic) email marketing toolkit means to him. Critical topics you need to address to come to a solid deployment:
- Which forms of dynamic email are available to me?
- Which data, marketing systems and integrations need to be in place?
- What are hurdles and incremental gains of introducing dynamic email?
Using real-time data to present the ideal product
If the recipient is already considering to buy a product, the chance that they will purchase it increase dramatically. So a retailer would love to show each subscriber the ideal – ready for the sell product directly in their email marketing messages. It becomes important to know which product the recipient is most likely to buy (now).
Dynamic email marketing adds that email marketing edge. By combining data in customer profile, previous purchases and customer behaviour the retailer can predict wwhich products are most probable to be the ideal product for that specific customer.
Next best Offer
This prediction technique is known as Next Best Offer, the intelligence behind it can come from a email recommendation engine. You might have seen it on Amazon as “often bought together” shown on a product page. But recommendation engines also function on the individual level: “others like you also bought” and use other types of combinational scoring and machine learning to come up with the ideal product recommendation.
Do recommendation engines provide an uplift for your email results? Yes, in this article that explains the inner working and how to choose the ideal email recommendation engine, we see 50% to 400% uplift in Click To Open Rates.
By adding extra real-time information, like the number of items in stock, popularity and gross margin, the offer becomes more and more attractive, to both the retailer and the recipient. I highlight products here, but the same can be applied to content and services.
Defining the Ideal product
How do you know your email marketing messages or newsletters are showing the ideal product? The ideal product based on static data will have at least these properties:
- Has a high close rate / is popular
- Fits the customer segment
- Is attractively presented to persuade purchase
- Is in season
Adding dynamic data:
- Is currently available for purchase
- Is a desirable sell: Product margin, sale cycle, sales targets
- Product is (not) recently purchased by recipient (time depending on product)
- Fits the recipient purchase profile
- Is considered or searched for: Behavior shows that the category or product been looked at, clicked on or searched for.
Scooping external content and feed it into your email newsletters
Dynamic content is not limited to your own organisation anymore. It is relatively easy to add external content into your email newsletters. With the use of RSS feeds or a technique called content Text, images and other forms of content can be captured from any website or content repository. Using the same methods, maybe combined with API calls, other information can be scooped too.
Think about the weather forecast as an external piece of data / content, this can be automatically retrieved from a source like Yahoo Weather. The next step would be to trigger event driven emails and offers based on it. A simple piece of information like that, combined with dynamic email marketing can muster impressive results. For instance by using the weather report for the town and zipcode of the recipient, you can do a “last minute vacation to the sun” email whenever it rains (or an offer for umbrellas).
Merging an abandonned shopping cart mail into your newsletter?
How event driven are your newsletters? All customerdata can be used to dynamically fill and personalize regular newsletter emails. If you have a shopping cart, why limit yourself to only event driven emails? It can be very powefull to include a shopping cart message in your regular newsletter.
This is in fact merging an abandonned shopping cart mail into your newsletter. There are many variants you could think of. Here is an example by eBags that includes the number of items in the shoppingcart in the header of the email.
Live and real-time images
By using dynamic images (also called live-images) you can make the emails even more time aware. The images in an email are requested the moment someone opens that email and can still be changed after the email is sent. You can think about emails based on location and moment (morning, midday, evening) someone opens your email. Last minute messages from social media like tweets about your brand can also be inserted into the mail using dynamic images.
Accelerated use of dynamic emails
The rise of the ranking economy is sure to accelerate the move towards dynamic email marketing. Everything can be reviewed these days. Your toothbrush, your friends, a travel destination, your doctor, they can all be given a 1 to 5 star review. Ranking and popularity tends to influence sales. By using dynamic content the ranking and sales information can be used to dynamically show the right products.
With the renewed attention to marketing automation by ESPs and suppliers, these advanced and dynamic ways of sending emails are put in the hands of the marketer. He designs the rules and how the campaign should work and the ESP works as an intelligent broker between marketing and technology and message and recipient.
Take a break from stale mail
Some companies are even taking all their archives, blogs, social and products to automatically compose the ideal messages on a personal basis, without any human intervention.
As you see, email marketing is way past being a just a static messaging channel and can be used very dynamically. Is dynamic email a part of your email marketing plan?