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What is 'dynamic content' and how can I use it in my email programs?

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“Dynamic content” sounds like something that is likely to explode (in your inbox). Truth is, it does offer the opportunity to add serious a bang to your email campaigns. Incorporating it goes beyond simply personalizing the basics of your email (i.e., Dear Bob Blogs and From: your(real)name@comapanyname.com); it allows you to tailor your campaigns based on how you've segmented your audience according to their specific individual attributes. This means different target groups receive different content, for example offers, specials, images and links to landing pages. Such highly personalized and targeted campaigns can only result in one thing: You're one step closer to the results you desire. The idea behind dynamic content is that you can set up a single (reusable) email where the content gets personalized for each recipient. Because the content is so highly relevant, open rates, click-through rates and conversion rates are generally much higher. Other benefits include: automatic updates of editorial content, optimal use of message templates, avoiding double the production work, personalizing external content boxes and tracking links inside the external content boxes. It's not just with email newsletters that dynamic content can be leveraged. Subscriber data including demographics; preferences and interests; purchase behavior and history; and analytical website data can be applied to email alerts and updates, mobile SMS marketing and social media. So how can you go about using dynamic content in your email marketing campaign? You can start by cross-selling products. For example, if you are a Web development/design company and you have just built a fantastic site for one of your corporate clients, you could also offer them online marketing services and Web content creation. You could also offer vouchers, coupons, discounts or incentives based on customer loyalty. The more loyal they are (and this refers not only to direct sales but also to supporting your newsletter and spreading the good word of your company), the better the deal they get. You can also let your newer customers know about escalating sales offers, which should help motivate them to become even more engaged with you. Finally, one of the best actions you can take is to genuinely listen to what your customers want and put the information to good use. If you're following a forum and people are asking questions—say for example they want to know about particular import/export taxes, or the best place to rent machinery—you can contribute your knowledge and then take the topic and use it as a Q&A or ongoing discussion in your next newsletter. This isn't only beneficial to your subscribers but it also makes you look good as an established industry expert and as a company/brand that stays ahead of what's trending online. The bottom line is, if you're able to deliver content that your subscribers are interested in and that is relevant right now, they'll feel far more engaged with you and look forward to what you have to say (and offer) in the future. Georgia Christian is editor at Mail Blaze (www.mailblaze.com), a provider of email marketing solutions.
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