Finding Inspiration: Dynamic Content Outside of Email (Part 1)

Sep 25, 2013 | Posted by

As marketers, we all understand the importance of staying ahead of new technologies and finding innovative ways to engage with our audience.  Consumers are accustomed to fast moving trends, and if our marketing campaigns don’t have that extra spark, they can be easily passed over.  The world of email marketing is no different, so how do we make sure that we are not falling behind and disappointing our valued subscribers?

To name a few; we follow email best practices, read case studies, stay on top of the latest news in the industry and of course, fight to hire the best in the biz.  While these are necessary steps to take, all of our competitors are doing the same.  To find inspiration, I dedicate a small amount of time each week to reading about successful marketing campaigns or innovative ideas that have nothing to do with email. As it turns out, these campaigns and ideas have everything to do with email when you look at them the right way.

Over the course of this three-part series, I will outline examples of how dynamic content is used in different mediums. Each example demonstrates how we can find inspiration for new dynamic email campaigns from the world outside of email.

Verve Mobile – Location Powered Mobile Advertising

The first case examines the results of Verve Mobile’s location powered mobile advertising research and the impact it had on quick service restaurants (QSRs) and casual dining.  One casual dining restaurant promoted their new healthy dining menu by only advertising on mobile phones within a certain proximity of restaurant locations.  Verve found that click-through rates across similar campaigns were 2 times higher than click-through rates in non-location based campaigns, even though this type of advertising is limited to location aware apps.

This limitation also exists for email, so instead of location data, we could gain similar advantages by utilizing time.  We can control the time of day that we send emails (and there are tons of studies out there about the best times to send) but we have limited control over when the email is actually opened.  So what if we could create dynamic email content that varies based on the time that it’s opened?

For example, a restaurant could send out an email at 8 am on Friday morning with a dynamic coupon.  If the email is opened before noon, the offer displayed is for 10% off lunch that day.  Similarly, if the email is opened after noon, the offer would change to be 30% off dinner when you make a reservation.  Instead of limiting click-through opportunities with expiring offers and count-down clocks, the offer is specific to what the target wants and needs when they open the email.

My example above is just one of the many ideas that could stem from dynamic campaigns that other mediums are executing. With that being said, in part two of this series I will discuss the insights we can gain from a tech giant that used dynamic content in video marketing. Stay tuned!

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