Dynamic content in email is by no means a new idea. However, for most email marketers, dynamic content personalization has been limited to text-based variables that are present in the merge field tables of an Email Service Provider (ESP). Moreover, the variables that define the content are frozen in time from the moment a campaign is sent.
Though the techniques are minimal, there’s nothing wrong with dynamic content of the past. Tactics such as including an actual name in the sender field are proven to have a positive effect on email performance, with HubSpot’s Science of Email 2014 report showing that this small change can increase the Click-Through Rate (CTR) by 19%.
This kind of functionality is not going to make for a competitive campaign in 2018. To achieve true email personalization and win the success that comes with it, you need something we’re calling Dynamic Content 2.0. It’s predictive, in real time, and personalized at email open time.
To put things in context while discussing the next generation, we’ll call this version of content, Dynamic Content 1.0. What’s changed is the technology, which now uses implicit, explicit, and real-time data to help implement personalization.
Dynamic Content 2.0 uses all the relevant data you can collect to make tactical and predictive changes to email content, in real time—so that it can be personalized each time a recipient opens it, and the campaign itself is updated constantly to deliver the best results.
The technology itself is driven by a predictive recommendation engine. It uses big data collected from website visitor behavior and omni-channel data sources (such as purchase behavior from a shop or social engagement due to an email) to build individual profiles. It then identifies similarities between individuals, and predicts the content that a person is most likely to enjoy next. This predictive analysis is continuously updated with new information, such as whether or not the content in an email was clicked.
That last point highlights another key feature of Dynamic Content 2.0. It’s intelligent and self-optimizing. It uses machine learning with automatic AB testing and multivariate testing to figure out what each customer is responding to, and feeds that back into the data model. Email marketers can focus on conversions by watching what’s happening with each dynamic content block as the software takes care of optimization. They can spend their time devising new strategies rather than being embroiled in designing tests.This leads to a great third point about Dynamic Content 2.0. It does the work for you. This is best summarized by Jonas Dahl, a business analyst at Adobe, in his article “Four Reasons to Lose a Little Control and Trust Automated Personalization”:
“Automated personalization offers ‘always on’ optimization of personalization. It continuously collects data about visitors and the performance of each offer and adjusts the machine-learning models to reflect the most current visitor behavior. This allows it to serve winning offers at any point in time rather than based on data collected over a limited, past testing period as A/B testing does.”
A fourth innovative feature of Dynamic Content 2.0 is that the content is rendered at the time an email is opened. That means it has up-to-the-second relevance for the person looking at it. Now eCommerce shops can stop worrying about promoting out of stock items. That also means there are other exciting types of marketing and social content that can be exploited dynamically. Think about live, embedded social feeds and using email as a complementary channel that amplifies your social campaigns.
Finally, what is probably the most game-changing aspect about Dynamic Content 2.0 is that the open-time feature of the technology makes it easy to use with any email marketing system. Our technology can understand behavior, predict the best content, and deliver it in an email without brands and agencies having to deal with a complex integration. To make it even easier, we partner with email service providers and marketing automation platforms to offer AVARI predictive content directly to their customers, right inside the user experience they already know and love.
What we do at AVARI is Dynamic Content 2.0. Our technology allows marketers to send a single email campaign that could potentially result in millions of different outcomes, as every recipient will see a completely personalized message that is filled with dynamic content at the moment they open it.Dynamic Content 1.0 doesn’t equate to true personalization, at least not any longer. And personalization is the name of the email game in 2018. The end game is to make email more relevant, and simple content like real names only do this to an extent. It takes something much more individualized to keep your customer’s attention—enter Dynamic Content 2.0.