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Personalizing Email with Dynamic Content

Studies show that that the best way to get people to open and respond to your emails is by making them personal. Of course, if you are sending out thousands of emails every day, adding a personal touch to every one of them might seem impossible, but that's where dynamic content comes in.

Personalization comes in two flavors: mail merge and dynamic content. With mail merge, you are simply adding the contents of a specific field in your recipient database, usually the first name. When you receive an email that begins with your first name, that's mail marge. It is simple, and quick, and every email marketing software provider (ESP), including Goolara, offers this as a feature.

Dynamic content is a much more powerful way to personalize your content, and to the recipient, it appears more like it was tailored specifically for them, because it was. Personalization with dynamic content does not simply insert fields into an email, but takes into account various factors about the recipient and adjusts the content accordingly. It does this automatically, so that once you've set it up, you have no further work to do. The software takes over the process.

For example, suppose you sell products that are geared towards the fans of certain sports teams. You wouldn't want to send a Yankees fan an offer a Red Sox banner, or a Giants fan and offer for a Dodgers banner. Using either information you've obtained from your subscribers, or via geolocation, you can modify the contents of every email to match that persons preferences.

Personalization: An Example

Below is an example of a highly personalized email containing as it appears in Symphonie. Clicking on any of the boxes labeled "Dynamic Content" will bring up the instructions for that block. To the left are the instructions for each piece of dynamic content. In the example, we've used dynamic content for the salutation line instead of the more common technique of using a first name mail merge. In this way we avoid any problems that might be caused by missing field information. If the merge tag is empty, an unpersonalized version of the salutation appears.

Personalized Email sample

And here is the same email as it appears to a woman named Jill. Jill lives in Tucson, has school-aged children, and she likes to golf. All of this information is now reflected in the email. Note that the sender line is also changed to the local store's email instead of a generic corporate address.

Finished personalized email

By way of contrast, here is the same mailing as it appears to Tim. Tim lives in Denver, he has no children, and he is not a golfer. Only the opening sentence and the closing lines are the same. Everything else is specific to Tim.

Another personalized email sample

As you can see, the two final mailings appear as different as can be. Aside from the banner, two sentences, and the closing lines, none of the content is the same, and this is a realitvely simple example. You can also add content blocks that contain more dynamic content to personalize each mailing to such an extent that out of thousands of mailings, no two mailings might be exactly the same.

Here are a few of the things you can personalize with dynamic content:

  • Subject line
  • "From" address
  • "Reply-to" address
  • HTML content
  • Plain text content
  • Within clickthrough links (for customized landing pages)

No Coding Required

Unlike some systems, you never need to insert "code" into your messages to activate dynamic content. Symphonie's easy-to-use graphical interface lets you personalize the content by simply picking options from menu choices. Easily build sophisticated rules within the graphical environment based on different conditions.

Rules are evaluated in real-time for each recipient, and are applied just before the email is sent. Conditions used to build dynamic content include:

  • Demographics, such as gender or enrollment in specific programs
  • Relationship demographics, such as days to a webinar or age based on a birthday
  • Opens, allowing the content to change if the email was opened by this recipient
  • Clickthroughs, such as altering the content if a link has been clicked
  • Web site actions, like downloading a whitepaper or accessing a page
  • Purchase behavior, such as purchasing a specific item or a certain dollar amount

You do not need to create special sections in your HTML to use dynamic content, just put the it anywhere within the mailing that you'd like—in a HTML table, div, or even in the middle of text.

Transactional, Triggered, and Automated Email Personalization

You can personalize transactional emails and triggered emails. You can also use dynamic content with Symphonie's automated workflow to create emaila that self-assemble based on individual data. To learn more about the dynamic content, and all the features of Symphonie, contact Goolara today.

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