These days, email marketing is all about relevance and personalization. Since each subscriber on the mailing list is likely bombarded with messages, marketing teams go out of their way to show that their email is worth reading.
If you have a large subscriber list, staying relevant to every reader becomes more challenging. In this post, we will take a look at dynamic content, one of the best ways to choose the right words to share an important announcement or promote your product to each person in your base.
What is dynamic content?
By definition, dynamic content is a personalized part of an email (or a website page) that changes depending on a reader’s behaviour and other characteristics. Here are the main criteria marketers use to create dynamic tags:
- User data. Changing messages on the websites based on the number of purchases a client made, the point of the customer journey, the way a user got to know the brand, etc.
- User behaviour. Behaviour trackers come in handy when working on dynamic content as well. Marketers can adjust the content of the message knowing how many pages a visitor has scrolled through, for how long he kept the tab open, which items he put in the shopping cart, etc.
- User characteristics. This type of data typically comes from the marketing team: marketers classify subscribers based on their buyer personas, location, occupation, age, interests, and many more demographic or psychological criteria.
Benefits of Dynamic Content in Email Marketing
Adding dynamic content to emails creates additional challenges for marketers. Nevertheless, marketing teams still recognize the power of smart content tags:
1. Dynamic content adds personalization
Name tags are the most common way to use dynamic content in emails. However, it’s not the only strategy marketers have to get closer to a reader. Here are a few examples of how custom tags improve the personalization of a message:
- Mentioning the customer’s business. Thanks to dynamic content, you can turn a dull line like “Improve your website’s performance” into something more engaging, like “Improve the performance of www.clientwebsitename.com”. Seeing the website title in an email makes a reader think that the sender took some time to analyze his webpage so his trust in the message grows.
- Catering relevant offers. Creating personalized product offers is another popular way to use dynamic content in messages. By mentioning products and website pages a reader visited, marketers add more relevance to the message and make it stand out among others.
- Mention the reader’s location. People are rarely interested in something that’s happening far away from them and often want to stay in the loop for things that are close to where they live. Using dynamic content, business owners can use location proximity as a way to increase engagement. Mentioning the address of a local office instead of the company’s headquarters is one of the examples of such easy yet impactful changes.
2. Dynamic content adapts to changes
Marketers put in a lot of work to write relevant messages that use the latest data. Yet, in some cases, changes and new developments happen so fast that your email can become outdated hours before you push the “Send” button.
Dynamic content comes in handy when you are writing newsletters. To make sure your writing keeps readers in the loop on important events such as political elections, sports events, or the COVID case count, put dynamic tags when presenting statistics. This way, your letter will be updated in real-time.
3. Dynamic content adds value
Sharing useful content with readers is one of the reasons why business managers invest in email marketing. However, it’s not easy to tell which questions and problems readers have at the moment. That’s why it’s next to impossible to create a letter that would deliver value to all subscribers on your list.
Using dynamic content to automatically create an appealing newsletter is a hassle-free way to leverage the power of personalization. Marketers use dynamic content to add more value to their messages:
- Define entry criteria for different user groups (interests, engagement levels, etc).
- Every new subscriber on the list is assessed against a list of entry criteria for different groups.
- Depending on which segment a user enters, the email sending platform automatically fills in dynamic content tags that reflect subscribers’ interests.
5 Impressive examples of dynamic content in email marketing
Dynamic content gives marketing teams the power to explore a lot of creative and innovative content. Take a look at how these big brands used dynamic tags to improve conversions, raise engagement, and gain brand awareness.
Wouldn’t it be great to share emails that can guess the weather outside a reader’s window? Nordstrom proved that such an innovative campaign idea is extremely feasible. The company combines geo-location tracking, weather data parsing, and dynamic tags to change their emails in real-time depending on the subscriber’s weather.
These emails are minimalistic by design, yet they are value-driven and highly engaging.
Experimenting with dynamic content gives brands access to a lot of personalization strategies. Netflix, for example, sends users dynamic emails featuring titles that match a viewer’s preferences.
While the template and the headline of the letter stays the same, each platform user will get a unique film and TV showreel depending on his watch history. That’s an awesome way to help bingers all over the world find their next drama obsession!
3. RescueTime: behaviour-based productivity tracking
Other than adding personalization and improving brand awareness, using dynamic tags helps app owners notify users about their latest in-app activity, provide proactive support, and share detailed reports.
A newsletter from RescueTime is a subtle and effective way to use dynamic content. Every once in a while, the company shares customized reports with users, showing how much time they spent browsing social media, entertainment, or business websites.
Source: Really Good Emails
Getting such messages is intriguing. In most cases, a reader will be curious to know how his productivity habits change over time. Thus, the campaign had high deliverability and open rates.
If you are an e-commerce store owner, it might be frustrating to see one adds items to shopping carts and leaves. High cart abandonment is a huge pain point in online shopping.
The good news is, dynamic tags can help lower the abandonment rate. Here’s how Honey, an online clothes store, integrates user-driven content into email marketing to recover lost carts and encourage people to check out.
Source: Really Good Emails
5. Lyft: location-based offers with dynamic content
When it comes to hospitality and transportation companies, business owners should not underestimate the importance of being at the right place at the right time. Dynamic content helps marketing teams nail both. Here’s how Lyft used dynamic tagging to match users to the most convenient offers in their locations.
Source: Really Good Emails
How to create an email with dynamic content?
If you are wondering how to get started with dynamic content, look below.
Step #1. Establish segmentation criteria
To get started with segmentation, decide based on which parameters you will divide all subscribers into groups. We already mentioned some ways to segment audiences: user behaviour, a prospect’s place in the sales funnel, a buyer persona, and many more.
Choose the parameters that are the easiest to collect data for and that help you define segments clearly.
Step #2. Do research
Make sure there’s enough data for each subscriber to start sending emails with dynamic content. Update your database with customers’ locations, on-site behavior records, interests, the history of brand interactions, etc.
If there’s not enough data for some of the criteria you planned, take these off the list.
Step #3. Choose how to use dynamic content
In terms of e-commerce emails, dynamic content is an effective way to develop a bond with customers. At the same time, overuse of it is resource-demanding and design-wise challenging. That’s why marketers typically add 4-5 dynamic tags per email, ensuring that these fit in naturally and don’t make readers feel irritated.
Now that Internet users have increasingly more privacy concerns, it’s important to stick to the moderate use of dynamic tags.
Step #4. Set up metric tracking
Marketers and data analysts love the saying that goes “You cannot manage what you cannot measure”. That’s why we pay a lot of attention to the performance of email campaigns. When setting up dynamic tags, make sure to find ways to track their efficiency.
Here are the marketing metrics that help track the performance of dynamic content:
- Measure the CTR of dynamic tags
- A/B test emails that feature and don’t feature dynamic content.
- Analyze the open rates of emails with dynamic tags.
- Analyze engagement heatmaps to know how much time readers spent studying dynamic tags.
Dynamic content is an easy-to-implement and rewarding way to make your email marketing efforts stand out among competitors. Although setting up dynamic content requires research and work on your team’s behalf, the growth of engagement per email is undeniable and the range of creative opportunities to explore increases exponentially. If you want to ensure that your welcome email or newsletter is actually read, dynamic content is your best bet.
Once you give dynamic content a try, you will be surprised because of how flexible email, creative, and effective marketing campaigns can be.
Dmytro Zaichenko is a Marketing Specialist at Mailtrap, a product helping to test emails at the developmental stages. Apart from writing, he’s passionate about basketball and poetry.