The Ultimate Guide to Dynamic Content

Campaign Manager | Client Services

To begin with, what is dynamic content?

It is content that is tailored to the recipient based on their personal data. The aim is to be more relevant, subsequently increasing engagement and potential click-throughs and conversion, without having to create separate emails for each variation of recipient.

How do we utilise it at RedEye?

Dynamic Content blocks are inserted into emails enabling you to define which content should be sent to each recipient based on a selection of rules. Using a clothing store as an example, your rule could be based on the customer’s gender to show female related items to female recipients and likewise for men.

When should you use it and how do you use it correctly?

It is important to recognise when to use Dynamic Content and how to use it correctly. A common misconception by some is to label merged content (data taken directly from your database and displayed in your email content) as behaving dynamically. But this is simply personalising the email to that recipient, rather than getting clever!

The personalisation of emails comes in many forms nowadays, for example it could include personal information such as first name or location, or maybe transient information such as balance or start date.

Dynamic Content allows you to create rules based on that same information in your database and display something (potentially) completely different.

Ever felt that aside from a few variable areas in your emails they are otherwise exactly the same? Well that would make a good case for considering Dynamic Content. You will however need to consider the number of variations necessary and assess the amount of work required to implement, test and maintain. Also the frequency that this dynamic content may change can be a factor in choosing to keep your emails separate or combine them into a more complex dynamic email. Sometimes the work required to configure and test Dynamic Content variants can outweigh the benefits.

A prime example of where to use Dynamic Content, that would save you time and provide you with better targeted results, is a booking confirmation email for a holiday company. An automated send that runs frequently with the main content and purpose staying the same, but merging in the specific booking details. This is not just text; the images, destination URLs, even whole lines of html code can be dynamically inserted depending on which resort was booked. This saves you the need to create multiple variations of the same email to cater for a catalogue of possible locations. I.e. If hotel id is 1234, display 1234.jpg and hyperlink www.travelcompany.com/1234.

Make your rules reusable; Dynamic Content can be reused for multiple campaigns regardless of the content. For example, an account balance or point allocation relevant to display on every email sent – think of a supermarket rewards scheme or gaming company listing how much you have to ‘spend’. You may only wish to display the balance if it is above a certain threshold, any lower and your message could become redundant or you may not want to remind the recipient that they have spent all their points. You could opt to remove that content block from any recipients who have a lower value than N. If the value is higher than N then display it. The CTA can adapt too for the same rule: if lower than N display ‘Deposit Now’, else display ‘Buy Now’. Regardless of the main focus of all your emails, this same section can be reused from one creative template to another. Set the rule up once and watch it work regularly.

The importance of testing and defaults

Ensure that you have a default option in place for each use of dynamic code. If any of your rules aren’t matched then the default content will be used as a backup. This ensures that your email still looks good to those recipients who may not (for one reason or another) match your rules.

Also ensure you build a suitable testing plan, containing each eventuality, including rows that will test your default is working as intended. Proof test your content internally (which may sound horrendous when you have 30+ different variations to check through) but it will be worth it when you know you are 100% happy with what could and will be displayed for any individual email sent.

The clear benefits

Relevancy is key to the use of Dynamic Content. With more and more marketing based emails sent and received each day, skimming content (including subject lines) becomes the norm. So make it relevant by capturing the attention of the reader with content they are interested in.

Take the opportunity to add value to your emails, upsell a higher priced product based on previous purchase history, include add-ons to a booking, show previously browsed products and recommend similar items. All these areas are added benefits for you to consider when aiming to achieve the most from not just your email, but from your customer as well.

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