By: Gregory Pride
When it comes to email marketing, I immediately gravitate towards the shiny new technology. Dynamic Content in particular is utterly fascinating to me, since it opens the door for all sorts of intriguing applications.With a well-placed widget,marketers can turn a bog-standard sales pitch into something that actively helps the consumer and keeps him or her coming back again and again.
First then, what is Dynamic Content? Put simply, it’s a non-static element that adjusts itself based on changing information. For instance, if Kohl’s wants to advertise a gangbuster two-day sale on business apparel, the email could feature a countdown timer showing how long the consumer has until the offer expires, a store locator app that incorporates Google Maps to show all the local store branches based on the user’s zip code, and much, much more. Social media feeds, weather, and stock quotes are all available and usable to liven up an email and enhance the consumer experience.
So why is this of interest to me? Put simply, because I feel that emails with static images are an inefficient way to keep a customer’s attention. Moreover, they can be blocked if a browser has images disabled. In our modern era where consumers have all the control over content they receive, businesses have to go above and beyond mere advertising. Instead, they have to actively assist consumers with the purchasing process, helping them to skip as many steps in the process as possible.
For example, in the example above, suppose that a customer doesn’t check the email about the two-day offer immediately and is now forced to guess whether the offer is still valid or not. Marketers can help them skip the guesswork with the aforementioned countdown clock, and if the offer has expired, the email can be changed to instead offer an apology and suggest some alternatives. Rather than force consumers to find out which stores the offer applies to, the store locator app can be programmed to only show the stores where the offer is taking place. And finally, though this is obviously only a minor example, a weather app could be used to show what the weather is like right now, allowing consumers to figure out whether they need to bundle up when they drive to the sale.
What is the future of dynamic content? Most likely, it’s going to be performing transactions in an email itself. Using data about consumers, email marketers could offer a list of products, and consumers could flip through the list of products, pick the ones they want, and pay using a stored card. After all, Gmail is already allowing users to exchange funds via email, so why not perform entire monetary exchanges without ever needing a website at all? Email is becoming more and more versatile, and with dynamic content, it may become the only means necessary for conducting business in the near future.