How To Personalize Your Emails with Dynamic Content #FreebieMonday


All email marketers eventually face the same problem – low subscriber engagement. It’s natural that your readers will lose interest in your messages, especially if you’re sending them the same content regardless of who they are or what they are interested in. If this sounds familiar to you and you’re dealing with decreasing open rates and a shrinking email list, you’ll find your solution in Dynamic Content. If you want to personalize your campaigns and send relevant, unique emails, that’s the answer you’ve been looking for.¬†


Why should you use Dynamic Content?

Spray-and-pray approach isn’t going to cut it any longer. Of course, for some promotional campaigns if you haven’t got time or enough data to personalize your messages you may send them to all of your subscribers without using segmentation. This approach is probably going to generate OK results, but that’s about it.

If what you’re looking for is GREAT results and meaningful relationships then you’ll want to personalize your emails. After all, your subscribers are all unique. They have different needs, wants, and of course react differently to various factors – and that includes your offer. What if I told you that personalizing your campaigns could generate as much as 73% unique open rates? Doesn’t that sound worthy of your time?

There’s only one but. By personalizing your emails I don’t just mean addressing your subscribers by their name or naming the specific product they have purchased in the past. To achieve awesome¬†results, you have to go beyond that, and that’s where dynamic content comes in handy.

In his recent article, Lee Frederiksen explained that there are two basic types of dynamic content – variable substitution and content insertion. The first type, allows you to show different versions of the same variable (e.g. a word). You would use it to address your subscriber by name or mention the product they have purchased.

The second one – content insertion – is far more interesting. And it can be the real game changer for your campaigns. As Lee describes it, content insertion enables you to insert entire sections of content – phrases, paragraphs, even images – in response to the data you have collected for your audience.

To put it into an example, imagine you have an online store selling products for hair and skin care. You know your subscribers have different types of hair based on previous purchases or a customer survey. Instead of providing the same subject line, offer, and images, you’ll adjust them accordingly to client’s profile. Depending on whether they have straight or curly hair, they will receive completely different versions of your email. Even though it’s the very same email after all.


How does Dynamic Content work?

Using dynamic content in your message is straight forward. We have already written a whole section on how you can implement it into your own campaigns, so check it out here. To explain it briefly, what you can do is to import your email list with additional information about your subscribers e.g. their interests, previously purchased products, characteristics, etc.

Then you need to figure what different versions of content do your want to show to your audience. Will these be different products? Or perhaps you’ll want to show an entirely different offer based on their location?

Once you’ve figured these out, you’ll need to write a short piece of code that will specify what content will be shown to subscribers containing particular custom fields. At the same time, you’ll want to state what will be presented to those that do not have said custom field or have it, but with a different value.

An example of a relatively advanced dynamic code script would look like the one below:



Where do I start?

We get asked that question quite a lot. Do I have to personalize all of my emails? The answer is – of course no. If you have a small business or limited email marketing team it might cost you too much time to create highly targeted campaigns every single time. But you can definitely start somewhere.

Start with something simple e.g. your welcome emails. Show different versions of content based on what your subscribers told you in the sign up form. Or send out a general welcome message but based on what elements they have clicked in this message send them another email with more tailored content. It’s that simple!

Once you’ve done that, move up to other messages. Promotional newsletters, autoresponders or RSS-to-email messages. You’ll soon see that relevancy isn’t just the key to survival but to building real relationships and of course, selling more!


What’s next?

Looking for some more inspiration? Check out our Guide to Dynamic Content and see for yourself how you can turn your good ol’ campaigns into unique and relevant communication that leads to engagement and brand loyalty.

Have you used personalization in your campaigns already? What results did it generate for you? Be sure to let us know in the comments and share your thoughts if other readers.


Increase Engagement with Personalized Messages Guide

Increase Engagement with Personalized Messages

Take a look at examples of great dynamic content and learn to change the way your subscribers see your emails.

  • Great article!

  • Michal Leszczynski

    Thanks Nosayaba :), glad you liked it.

  • Great article! Please, can you tell me where do I have to write the short piece of code as shown in the example above? Thanks!