Boost your open and clickthrough rates with dynamic content

5 minute read

A little while ago, I posted a blog series emphasising 2013 as the year for intelligent marketing. Targeting can make a big difference to the success of your campaigns and dynamic content (also known as adaptive or conditional content) is at the cutting edge of targeting when it comes to email marketing.

What is dynamic content?

Dynamic content takes the concept of personalisation to a whole new level, allowing you to send out one email campaign which will display different content depending on the preferences of the recipient. It uses a combination of custom subscriber profile fields and nifty HTML statements to generate a truly personalised email experience.

Why should I use dynamic content?

Simply put, using dynamic content can massively improve your open and clickthrough rates by delivering irresistible content to subscribers. When Hewlett-Packard trialled using dynamic content to improve subscriber engagement, it generated a 300% higher open rate and a 600% higher clickthrough rate. This kind of leap in engagement is really exciting as it indicates a significant improvement in return generated from each campaign.

Examples of uses for dynamic content

The possibilities are pretty limitless, all you need to do is capture the information about your contacts. Here are just a few examples of how dynamic content can be used to improve subscriber engagement:

  • Display only items on sale at the subscriber’s local store.
  • Display different vouchers depending on the number of loyalty points the subscriber has.
  • Display information about women’s clothing only to female subscribers.
  • Display a meat-free version of a campaign to your vegetarian subscribers.
  • Display different items depending on which industry a business recipient works in.
  • Display different products or pricing to B2B and B2C subscribers.
  • Display different content depending on where in the sales cycle the recipient is.
  • Display the style of call to action which has been most successful with that subscriber in the past.
  • Display products or services similar to those purchased by the recipient in the past.
How do I use dynamic content?

The underlying element of dynamic content is gathering as much data as possible about your subscribers and using this data to interpret their preferences and behaviours. This doesn’t mean getting them to fill out endless data capture forms, instead you can track which campaigns they open and which links they click to get an idea of their tastes. Setting up Marketing Automation rules can make this behavioural analysis quick and easy to manage. The more information you have, the better your data segmentation is and this increases the likelihood of success when sending dynamic email campaigns.

The mechanics of dynamic content are in the realms of advanced HTML, so if you’re not an expert then we recommend getting some help from a professional email coder. You may need to contact our Support team to ensure dynamic content has been activated in your account and you can find the full tutorial on our Knowledge base. Once you’ve created a dynamic content campaign, we’ve created a special sandbox tool where you can test it out.

In summary

Going that extra mile to really tailor your email campaigns can dramatically improve engagement and ROI. Content planning becomes increasingly important when you use dynamic content and you’ll find that some articles have a longer shelf-life than others. Remember to ensure that, even though the content may differ, your branding, tone and layout remain consistent so that you are a familiar presence in the inbox that subscribers can trust.

If you have any questions or want to share your ideas about how to tailor emails to meet and exceed subscriber expectations, then please pop a comment below or contact our friendly Support team.

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