7 ways to keep email subscribers engaged with real-time personalization (Part 2 of 2)

5 more ways marketers can take their personalization to the next level with real-time email marketing.

Last week I talked about the basics of real time personalization in email marketing and shared two implementation ideas. Welcome back! Are you ready to add real-time to your email program? Let’s take a look at 5 more ways marketers can take their personalization to the next level with real-time email marketing.

Custom real-time feeds

A brand’s internal databases can be used for a number of live data feeds to populate email content. For example, a marketer may want to have their product pricing database feed into the email offers thus keeping the offer current with the most up-to-date prices, even reflecting any changes post-deployment. This also applies to product availability. If a product sells out, a real-time feed would prompt a trigger to replace that product with a relevant substitute in the email message. I am a regular purchaser of Dunkin’ Donuts K-Cups online. However my favorite coffee flavor is also highly popular and sells-out frequently. I hate receiving an email offer promoting that flavor and then clicking through the email only to find out it’s out of stock. By leveraging a custom real-time feed, Dunkin’ Donuts could have automatically replaced the product featured with a substitute directly in the email.

Time of day and weather based personalization

Improving email relevancy doesn’t end with customer-based or a company’s internal data. With real-time email personalization, images displayed on an email can be personalized based on the time of open. For instance, if I received an email from Dunkin’ Donuts in the morning I can expect to see a coffee and bagel offer, but if I didn’t get around to opening that email until noon, it would then display an iced tea and a chicken sandwich promotion to reflect lunch options instead.  The weather conditions in the location of an email open can also drive the image and offer displayed on an email. If it’s a chilly 30 degrees in Chicago, a Dunkin’ Donuts email imagery would feature hot chocolate for example. On the other hand, if it was in the 70’s, the email would feature an iced tea promotion. Even the device used to open an email can be detected with real-time personalization. Depending on the device at the moment of open, the image on an email can either display a link to the iOS app for iPhone users or lead to an Android app for Samsung or Google phones.

Real-time web scrapes

An easy way to pull email imagery or other content type is to simply grab it from where it already exists. Real-time web scrapes let’s marketers populate email content with live information already contained on their brand’s website. For example, a retailer can duplicate content from their website and keep their emails up-to-date with newest offers, customer reviews, breaking news, and events. Dunkin’ Donuts could take advantage of this by adding new store openings and the corresponding location hours relevant to a subscriber on the footer of their emails.

Location-based personalization

Location is another factor that provides an additional layer of email personalization. By utilizing real-time personalization’s IP address based geo-location functionalities, an email recipient will be able to view a local map of stores based on where the recipient is at the moment of email open. I travel quite a bit so when I open my daily Dunkin’ Donuts email, it would be super convenient to scroll down and see an updated map with the nearest stores, saving me time from having to do a manual locator search on Google Maps or Yelp.

Live tracker

Like any standard online ordering process, every email confirmation I receive after ordering my favorite Dunkin’ Donuts K-cups contains shipping details with links to the shipment tracking codes. If I wanted to check on the status of my shipment, I would have to usually search for the email in my inbox, copy the link, and then paste it on the shipping carrier’s site. Real-time personalization would eliminate all those additional steps by simply populating the email with a live-tracker feed that would display the latest carrier’s shipping status (UPS, USPS, FEDEX, etc.) at the moment of open.

These are just a few of the many examples on how to incorporate real-time email personalization into your marketing program. By taking advantage of existing customer data and combining them with contextual conditions related to the email recipient, marketers can provide an exceptionally customized experience for subscribers. Email subscribers are more engaged when they receive compelling content customized for their needs, so why not start the year right with real-time personalization and look forward to increased email clicks in 2016.

P.S. Dunkin’ Donuts, if you are listening, I would like a gift basket with some K-cups and gift cards. Happy Marketing!

Steve True
Director, Digital Products

“I am lucky enough to be a part of the team on the ground floor, helping design and develop our latest cross channel campaign management platform, Yesmail360i. I am excited to share the platform with prospects and clients alike to showcase how a single view of their customers can help solve their marketing challenges. At my core I am a data geek who gets excited about easy access and visualization to endless data sources that can drive the personalization and targeting of digital deployments. By supporting new business opportunities I get to travel all over the globe to showcase this exciting new technology and truly change the landscape of the digital marketing industry. When I am not doing that, I am working my darnedest to raise my one year old daughter and her future sister to be long suffering Cubs fans. I also enjoy a beer and a shot of bourbon on occasion…”