Case Study: Personalization Generates Unique Open Rate of 73%

You’ve probably heard a lot about personalization — that it’s one of the best ways to boost email performance, build better relationships with subscribers, and add a personal feel to your communication. In theory it looks great, but how do you develop personalized campaigns that deliver the numbers you’re looking for in your analytics?

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GetResponse partnered with Vemma Europe to demonstrate the possibilities. This case study shows how to implement advanced dynamic content personalization using images and languages.

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Overview

We needed a solution that would truly engage our subscribers in a post-event follow-up campaign. All attendees of our event had their picture taken in the photo booth and could order personalized version of Vemma YPR Magazine. We knew that our e-mail communication with conference attendees could also benefit from advanced personalization and asked our GetResponse expert for advice on using Dynamic Content.—Katarzyna Ostrowska, Online Marketing Manager, Vemma Europe

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Challenge

We were excited about the client’s idea of e-mails personalized with pictures taken during the event. Text personalization could do the trick but wouldn’t be as powerful. This brought up the question: how could we deliver each email with a different image?

To add to the challenge, we had to prepare the mailing in multiple language versions. Such complex campaigns often require a lot of time and resources. The Vemma Europe team has experience handling multilingual campaigns but decided it was good time to try timesaving solutions.

Here’s a recap of the challenges:

  • Personalize each email with subscriber’s YPR Magazine photo cover.
  • Send a newsletter in 8 language versions.
  • Design a process that uses as little time and resources as possible.

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Campaign

To conquer the challenges and meet the conditions, we got together with the Vemma Europe online marketing manager and developed a plan using the GetResponse Dynamic Content API, freely available to every GetResponse customer.

Once we sat together with our GetResponse expert and outlined the whole process, it wasn’t long before we could roll out our campaign. The most important part was to define what we wanted to achieve and the testing process, which is especially important with complex campaigns. —Katarzyna Ostrowska

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Step 1: Create personalized images block

The scenario was to display each user’s YPR Magazine photo cover.

Each subscriber has a unique ID number, which was a great place to start. We named each picture with the user ID, so we could map the right image to the right subscriber using custom fields.

Naturally a backup system was required. For instance, what happens when the image for a particular user ID isn’t found? GetResponse Dynamic Content API fully supports a “fallback” that could be defined to display a substitute image.

With the Dynamic Content API, we came up with a tweaked image block:

API

<img src=http://path.to.your.server.com/[[user_id fallback=XYZ"]].jpg” width=”650″ alt=”Alternate text for image description” style=”…” >

So instead of creating a separate email for each recipient with his own image, we created one newsletter and used Dynamic Content in image code block “[[user_id fallback=XYZ"]].jpg” where the file name (without file extension) was equal to user_id and was automatically generated in a custom field for each user.

Here are two versions of one newsletter sent to two different subscribers.

YPR magazine covers

Step 2: Prepare multilingual versions of newsletter

Vemma Europe keeps their list organized, which made the process easier, faster, and more pleasant. They capture each subscriber’s country and preferred language in custom fields. So we could write a dynamic content script to display each subscriber’s preferred language.

You might think this was difficult work requiring complex programming knowledge, but it wasn’t. GetResponse Dynamic Content API is easy to understand, whether you’re a programmer or a marketer.

Here’s the script we used:

Language script

As you may notice, the dynamic content script is readable for anyone. Naturally, the final output code contains all versions of the newsletter in one.

The webmaster first creates the HTML message in each language in advance. The script then sends the language defined in the custom field “language”.

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Results

The campaign generated amazing results with extremely good stats and huge subscriber engagement in other communication channels:

  • 73% UNIQUE open rate
  • 42% UNIQUE click rate
  • 244% overall open rate
  • 57% overall click rate

Vemma Europe hopes to replicate these results in future campaigns.

The time spent on preparing this campaign was well invested, judging by the metrics alone, but it wasn’t the only benefit of this campaign. Our subscribers shared personalized emails on social media channels, creating great buzz for our brand. Resource requirements were kept to a minimum, so it didn’t interfere with other projects. It takes a little time to learn dynamic content well enough to use it with confidence, but it certainly pays off. I am pretty sure we will be using it on a regular basis in our campaigns and I recommend that every marketer give it a try. —Katarzyna Ostrowska

If you’re wondering how to use dynamic content, try sending personalized emails with images defined by gender, location, and product interest. If you run into problems, feel free to describe them in the comments section. I’ll be glad to help you find the right solution.

  • Tammie Broe

    What a fantastic post it is!Really good…….

  • Tammie Broe

    Very nice post

  • Michal Leszczynski

    Glad to hear you liked it Tammie!:)