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Dynamic content grabs readers’ attention and keeps it longer

Author's avatar By Expert commentator 30 Aug, 2016
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What is dynamic content and how can you use it to meet your objectives?

Any marketer will tell you that email marketing can be an excellent way of generating interest and revenue. In fact, almost three quarters of marketers (73%) think email marketing offers an ‘excellent’ to ‘good’ return on investment (Source: Email Marketing Industry Census 2016).

But how can you ensure your email messages really stand out from the crowd and go that little bit further to help your organisation meet its marketing and revenue objectives?

Dynamic content…the future of email marketing?

So what exactly is dynamic content? In short, it is any type of content that adjusts automatically so it can add immediate impact and help to make your messages more interesting and memorable. Not only does it make it easier for your brand to stand out in the inbox, but it’s a great step towards one-to-one communication.

If you ignore the potential dynamic content offers, your readers will engage more with competing dynamic emails in their inbox, and have far less of an incentive to engage with you. Last year on Black Friday, The Diamond Store stole the show with their simple countdown clock email. They not only created urgency, but increased conversions by 400%! Who wouldn’t want that this holiday season?

You could even say that the future of email marketing is dynamic content because customer-centric marketing demands more relevance to individuals as opposed to segments, so it really shouldn’t be ignored. 

How does it work?

Dynamic content can be generated in a number of different ways. It can be based on set criteria in your database such as industry, demographics and preferences. It could be derived from audience behaviour such as website or blog visits, or social media activity. Or it could be based on location and time, like countdown clocks.


For example, you could send out further purchasing suggestions in a delivery confirmation email that are based on an individual’s shopping behaviour rather than an assumption or an entire segment’s behaviour. Or you might like to send out timely and relevant flash offers with up-to-date prices and stock levels.

Litmus tickets left

Four ways to engage with readers through dynamic content

  1. If you can get your customers to visualise purchasing your product, you are half the way to achieving your goal. You can do this by using customer information to create personalised images, such as mock ups of their credit or loyalty cards. Want to take it one step further? Companies like Vidyard now offer the possibility to create personalised videos inserting the viewer’s name and tailored message into frames of the clips.
  2. Another technique you might want to employ is that of the live reveal. Think about the excitement of scratching a Lotto card to see if you’ve won. Now you can do that online! The surprise will get your customers more engaged with your competitions and discounts if they have to ‘scratch’ with their mouse or finger on a virtual card first.
  3. Lastly, you can provide your customers with titbits of useful information to keep them engaged. For example, you can include a live currency feed in your emails to tourists and business travellers. You may also want to use location data to show maps and directions. This could involve displaying a customer’s nearest branch with store opening times, or providing directions to an event from their current location.
  4. Wherever you are in the world, talking about the weather can be a great conversation starter. This applies just as much to email marketing communications. For instance, if you run a travel agency, you may want to use local weather conditions as an excuse for a promotion. This might involve suggesting breaks in the sunshine for people experiencing sudden cold snaps at home.

You can also use the weather in more subtle or hidden ways to promote products based on temperature – from selling sandals in Australia to bikinis in Brazil.

Consider your objectives

Your goal is to ultimately grow your business and contribute to the bottom line. One way to do that is by building a long-term relationship with your customers and subscribers, keeping your brand top of mind. Dynamic content can help you not just send email, but make an impact and create a one-to-one communication feel to your emails. It’s no longer just about drilling into the data, it’s about interpreting it in a way that makes emails feel truly targeted at individuals.

Whatever type of campaign you choose to run – awareness, conversion or otherwise – dynamic content can help with grabbing interest, keeping hold of it for longer than a standard email, and encouraging action. Let’s say you want to increase clicks. You can use embedded and personalised video to influence your readers with animations, explanations or recorded interviews, in turn giving them a greater desire to find out more.

Or perhaps you want to invite your customers to a new product launch. In this instance, you could include live maps to show event locations and directions, as well as local weather predictions. That way, you can help your delegates arrive in time and comfort.

Nowadays, consumers want constant entertainment. Dry email marketing messages just won’t get you noticed for much longer. By implementing some of the dynamic content ideas in this article you will increase customer engagement, drive loyalty and conversions, and maximise your email marketing return on investment.

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By Expert commentator

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