Hi and welcome. Today we’ll be talking about the use of dynamic content to create highly personalized from addresses and subject lines. This technique falls under the category of an advanced technique, even though there is nothing inherently difficult about it. If you’ve used dynamic content in other places, then this won’t be a problem. If you are new to the concept of dynamic content, we will quickly go over the basics so that everyone is up to speed. I should mention up front that not all ESPs offer the ability to dynamically change single line information, but I intend to show why this is a useful feature, what you can do with it, and things to watch out for.
Let’s start at the beginning. What is Dynamic Content? Dynamic content is a feature that lets email marketing software look at the available data for a recipient and tailor the contents of the email specifically for that recipient. For example: If the recipient is a woman, then the software might populate the email with content specific to the Women’s Department. If that woman is also a mother, then they might add content from the Children’s Department as well. When used properly, dynamic content can not only increase sales, but improve the shopping experience for the recipient. Dynamic content involves the use of operators similar to the ones you’d find in flow chart or the IF/THEN Operators common to most computer languages. If the recipient is a woman, do this; if the recipient is a man, do this; for anyone not indicated as man or woman, do this.
Single Line Dynamic Content—or SLDC—is exactly the same thing, but it is designed to affect only content that is restricted to a single line. Normally, this refers to the sender address and name, the reply address, and the subject line. In our previous example, we showed how dynamic content can enable you to populate an email based on the recipient’s sex, but this ability won’t do much good if the subject line remains generic. With SLDC, you can also control the subject line to reflect any changes that you made with Dynamic Content in the body of the email.
So now we know what dynamic content is, but there are a couple things to remember that it isn’t. Dynamic Content is not Mail Merge. Mail Merge is the ability to take a piece of data from the recipient information and insert it into the email. The best-known example of this is the use of a person’s first name in the salutation. There is no logical process that goes on in this situation. The email marketing software asks for the first name data and it is supplied. There is no logical assessment involved. If the piece of data is available then insert it. It is not automatic. You’re asking your email marketing software to make some specific choices and that means you have to set it up and let the software know what it is supposed to do at each step. This means providing choices based on what is there, and what to do if the data is missing. It is not a magic bullet. By itself, Dynamic Content doesn’t have the ability to improve your marketing efforts. It is a tool, and like any tool, how effect it is depends on how well it is used.
So what can you use this ability for? Well, SLDC is useful for localizing information. An example of this is to set the Dynamic Content up to determine the location of the recipient and use the local sales rep’s address as the “From” source. You can also use it to redirect responses and avoid the dreaded “Do Not Reply” address. Probably the most common use for SLDC is to control what appears in the subject line to tailor every subject line more specifically to each recipient. This is especially important if you are also using dynamic content to control what appears in the mailing itself.
And where can you use SLDC? You probably noticed three places that we just discussed that are the likely candidates for using SLDC: The From Address, the Reply Address, and the Subject Line. We’ll take a look now at each of these and make some suggestions on how to use this feature.
Even before a recipient reads the subject line, they’ve already made a mental note of the sender’s “Friendly From” address. This is normally the first item displayed in a left to right format, or in a stacked format. In most cases, unless one isn’t provided, an email browser will display the Friendly From rather than the actual email address. For some marketers, this is a handy way to personalize the from address based on the recipient without affecting the deliverability. For instance, if a company has designated sales reps for certain areas, the recipient might be more responsive if they recognize that person’s name. The Friendly From doesn’t have to be a name either. It can be a member location, for instance, if that is more likely to generate opens.
You can also change the reply address, although this is less useful, and can lead to potential deliverability issues, as we will discuss later. Whether or not you will want to use this will depend greatly on your company’s infrastructure, and how it handles email replies.
The Subject Line is the most common of the three places to use single line dynamic content. In many cases, the ability to use dynamic content is overlooked in email in favor of simple first name merges, but this technique, due to its overuse, no longer works very well in subject lines. We’ve all become suspicious of those emails that address of by our first name. Single line dynamic content, on the other hand, allows you to completely rewrite the subject line for each mailing. This means you can use dynamic content to control the content and the subject line as well, completely personalizing every piece of email. You can also use it with offline event information. Adjusting the subject line based on any number of variables. An example would be a webinar announcement based on recipient specific information.
There are a few things to watch out for with SLDC. Whitelisting issues If you’ve convinced your recipients to whitelist a specific email address, you’ll lose that advantage if you change it dynamically. Domain switching on email addresses Email clients are always looking for things that don’t add up. When they see something suspicious, they shuttle that email to the junk folder. There is a danger if the domain on your from address doesn’t match the actual send IP that your message might end up in the junk folder. You need to make sure that all your domains have been verified with SPF and DKIM. Mismatched send and reply While technically, there is no reason these two address have to match, but a mismatch can send out a red flag. Use of this technique should be carefully monitored for issues. No fallback When setting up your dynamic content qualifiers, you need to make sure you’ve covered all your bases. This means making sure that you have a fallback address or subject that appears when none of the conditions in the dynamic content expressions are met.
Not all ESPs offer Single Line Dynamic Content. You’ll need to check with your provider to see if it is available Of course, if you are a Goolara Symphonie customer, you already have this capability. If you have further questions about the use of single-line dynamic content, please feel free to contact us at any time. It really is a complex subject and we have only scratched the surface here.
To find out more about our email marketing software, visit our website at goolara.com, or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call our toll-free number: 1-888-362-4575. Thank you for joining me!
At Goolara, we work hard to make sure our email marketing solution, Symphonie, has all the features that a professional marketer needs to create actionable emails. Features such as dynamic content and transactional emails are included in every version of Symphonie. Symphonie is available in both on-premise and cloud-based versions. Visit our website at http://goolara.com to learn more and thank you for visiting this presentation.
Using Single Line Dynamic Content
Single Line Dynamic
What it is not:
● Not the same as Mail Merge
● Mail merge does not offer logic choices.
● Not an automatic process
● You must set up your own parameters
● Not a “Magic Bullet.”
● It is only a tool; not a cure.
What is it good for?
● Localizing information
● Local reps and stores
● Redirecting responses
● Control reply channels
● Personalizing email
● Makes sure Subject Line and Content match
Three places you can use it:
● From Address
● Reply Address
● Subject Line
● “Friendly From” is the first thing people see
● Can change “From” name without changing address
● Use local representative names
● Use membership locations
● Rarely changed and less important
● When responses are handled separately based on
● An alternative to “DoNotReply” address.
● Better alternative to mail merge
● Ensures content match
● Inserting offline event information
● Whitelisting issues
● Domain switching
● Mismatched send and reply
● No fallback
Does Your ESP Offer Single-Line
The Goolara Blog article on SLDC.
The Goolara website main page.
Goolara, LLC is the maker of Symphonie—powerful email marketing software with the
advanced features a professional marketer needs, but without the hassle of other
systems. For a demonstration, call 1-888-362-4575 toll free, or visit
http://goolara.com/RequestDemo.aspx and request a demo.