Boost Email Relevancy With Dynamic Content

Email marketing has been a staple of industrial marketing for a long time. However, many of these marketers are now experiencing declining open and click through rates.

With all the buzz about social media, blogs and RSS feeds, are email marketing and eNewsletters dead?

Not so fast!

IMO, they are and will continue to be very useful provided your content is relevant.

That’s the standard advice you are likely to get from most marketing consultants. It’s easier said than done as you’ve probably already discovered.

The solution – use dynamic content to boost relevancy of your emails and make them highly personalized in order to truly engage with your audience of engineering, technical and industrial professionals.

What is dynamic content in emails?
Simply stated, dynamic content is mail merge on steroids. Yes, I’m oversimplifying things. It goes well beyond just addressing someone by their first name and/or appending the name of the company in the body of your email. Dynamic content will automatically insert relevant content within your emails based on trigger rules and segmentation that you set up.

Why do you need dynamic content?
The single biggest benefit is its power of relevance. Adding dynamic content to your emails will bring you closest to one-on-one communication using email as is humanly possible. Relevance will increase engagement and help you move the needle towards creating more qualified sales opportunities (QSOs). Industrial marketers can easily prove ROI and their direct impact on revenues.

Who should use emails with dynamic content?
Anybody that uses email for marketing to the industrial sector. Manufacturers, engineering companies and distributors can all benefit from the use of dynamic content in their emails.

When should you use dynamic content?
Whenever you are tempted to use “batch and blast” emails, stop! Instead, incorporate some form of dynamic content. Otherwise you will continue to see declining open and click through rates, increasing number of opt outs and SPAM complaints.

Where can you find the tools for dynamic content?
Most major email service providers (ESPs) and Marketing Automation (MA) vendors provide the tools to easily create dynamic content within your emails. Many of these solutions also integrate well with popular Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

How do you include dynamic content in emails?
Before you dive into the deep end of dynamic content, you need to spend some time planning three important things. They are:

  1. Identify segments that will benefit the most from individualized content
    • Either use an objective lead scoring system to separate prospects from customers or use some form of Recency, Frequency and Monetary (RFM) model to segment your database. You can also create segments based on behavioral patterns from past emails and Web analytics.
  2. Set up trigger rules for automatic insertion of dynamic content
    • Triggers can be based on demographic data such as job function, industry classification, geographic region etc. or based on behaviors such as past purchases, content downloads, pages visited, links clicked etc.
  3. Reuse, repurpose and/or create specific content tailored to each segment
    • Create universal content that applies to your entire list and is appropriate if a contact cannot be segmented. Then create specific content based on your product or service lines that are most relevant to each segment. Product oriented content shouldn’t be a sales pitch but more along the lines of application notes, customer successes, new capabilities etc. To keep things simple, I recommend starting with no more than 2-4 dynamic content insertions.

Of course, there is a lot more to it than what I’ve outlined here. This post should provide you a head start on boosting the relevance of your emails by using dynamic content.

Are you using dynamic content now? If so, please share your experience here.

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