B2C marketers have to work harder than ever to personalize and customize email marketing campaigns.
Buyers today simply expect personalized emails. In fact, 63% of Millennial consumers and 58% of GenX consumers are willing to share data with companies in exchange for personalized offers and discounts.
Even more importantly, personalization can reduce acquisition costs by up to 50% and increase the efficiency of marketing spend by 30%, according to McKinsey.
Luckily, you’re already well beyond simple batch and blast emails. You’re already using automated lifecycle campaigns and dynamically segmenting your email lists, but there’s even more you can do to improve your marketing automation and email personalization.
Savvy brands today are using dynamic email content to personalize offers that are delivered to each customer in real-time. Instead of just sending out the same email to an entire segment, the email is personalized to each and every individual, using customer data to specify the content based on each person’s interests.
With the right marketing strategy behind it, dynamic content can improve your email engagement, increase click-through rates, drive up average order value, and directly impact your bottom line.
What is dynamic email content?
You’re probably already familiar with some types of dynamic email content. The most basic type is including a person’s name in the subject line or greeting, but there are far more powerful options beyond this. You can dynamically change entire sections of content within emails to make campaigns more relevant and appealing to customers.
Virtually any campaign can and should include personalized dynamic content. One option for personalized content is to make use of dynamic elements of your product catalog by featuring any of the following product sets in campaigns:
- Best-selling products: Products that are purchased most
- Most viewed: Products that are viewed most
- Revenue generators: Products that produce the most revenue
- New products: Products that are new to the catalog
Perhaps the most effective way of using dynamic content in an email is through personalized product recommendations. You can serve up dynamic product recommendations using a customer’s previous browsing and buying behavior. Here are some examples of email campaigns that can benefit from recommendations:
- Browse abandonment campaigns can feature not only the product that a customer has browsed and then not purchased, but also a “You May Also Like” section that includes other products in that same product category. For instance, if someone browsed cell phone cases, you could recommend chargers, screen protectors, etc.
- Cart abandonment campaigns can feature a section of complementary products to upsell customers. For example, if a customer added a winter hat to their cart, you could include a “Complete The Look” section that features gloves, scarves, etc.
- Re-engagement campaigns can be sent to customers after 60 days of no engagement with your brand and include discounts on products or categories they have historically shown interest in.
- Lifecycle nudge campaigns can move repeat customers to loyal by promoting products that are complementary to those they have previously purchased. For example, you could recommend coffee to a customer that previously purchased a coffee maker and water filters to a customer that previously purchased a water filtration device or system.
- Replenishment campaigns can remind users to replenish specific products. For example, if a customer purchased candles, you could remind them to replenish the candles after a few months with a “Ready for more?” email recommending the specific candles they purchased.
- Monthly newsletters, despite being sent to all customers, can include product content that is specific to each user’s engagement with your brand. For instance, a dynamic product grid may show best selling products to a customer who has never browsed any PDPs on your site, products previously viewed to a customer who has browse abandoned, products previously added to cart and not purchased to a customer who has cart abandoned, and complementary or categorical products to a customer who has previously purchased.
Even more sophisticated, you can employ machine learning to analyze the purchase history of each customer and detect purchasing patterns to make smart, data-driven predictions about what they may want to buy in the future. You can automatically populate templates with product recommendations based on each user’s behavior compared to other users with similar behaviors. For example, if customers A, B, and C purchased a green sweater, green earrings, and a green hat for St. Patrick’s Day and customer D purchased the same green sweater, you could promote the green earrings and hat in a post-purchase follow-up email. If you’ve ever received an email from Amazon suggesting products you may be interested in, you’ve already experienced this type of algorithm-driven dynamic product content.
All of this product content can be dynamically populated in emails based on the specific products that customers browsed, added to their carts, or purchased. It’s easy to see how all of these campaigns will be more effective in converting buyers with dynamic content added to emails automatically.
How customer data powers dynamic content
Sounds cool? That’s because it is. It’s immediately obvious that dynamic content can greatly improve your email conversion rates while also making your life as a B2C marketer easier. But what does it take to actually implement these campaigns?
The short answer: a lot of customer data.
If you’re not collecting customer data effectively, you can’t truly offer your buyers dynamic email content. You have to carefully track the products each and every customer has indicated interest in, including:
- Emails or ads clicked
- Website browsing behavior
- Products added to cart
- Products purchased historically
- …and more
This requires you to have a high level of technological sophistication, including user resolution that allows you to track your buyers across different channels, devices, and platforms. If you don’t know that the same person clicked on an Instagram ad for one product before buying a different product on your site, you’re missing significant buying signals. Each customer interaction offers you an opportunity to customize your marketing content. Only with the right customer data can you actually execute dynamic content campaigns.
Ideal campaigns for dynamic content
Because of this data requirement, dynamic content is a great tool for some marketing campaigns, but not for all. You really need a sufficient amount of customer data in order to truly personalize and customize the content to each buyer. That’s why dynamic content is great for:
- Campaigns targeting repeat purchasers, as it is more likely that you have a significant amount of customer data to help personalize content
- Email newsletters, as subscribers will have a longer history of engagement
- Welcome campaigns, since you have at least one purchase to generate recommendations from
However, without enough data, dynamic content is less effective for:
- Winback campaigns, as you won’t have any information on customers if they haven’t been active on your site recently
- Companies with small product catalogs, since many customers will get the same recommendations
- Companies with seasonal releases, since customers may get recommendations that are no longer applicable buy season
Dynamic, real-time content can also be used for much more than just email marketing. With the right tools, you can use those same dynamic product recommendations in lifecycle nudge campaigns, push notifications, Facebook or Google campaigns, and much more.