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3 Techniques for Mastering the Art of Content Personalization

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When constructing a first-class buyer expertise, each little element counts. Look no additional than the experiences that Spotify, Amazon and Netflix supply. They set the new requirements of shopper comfort and personalization. Now it’s on all manufacturers to reside as much as them.

Consumers, too, perceive the stakes at hand. Thankfully, they’ve seen the first-hand worth of personalization and are overwhelmingly willing to share their knowledge if it advantages their expertise. 

This the place Iterable can assist! Data-driven, cross-channel messaging is the most direct, versatile and related (in different phrases, customized) approach to assist the buyer expertise.

In immediately’s put up, we’ll cowl the way you allow content material personalization utilizing Iterable’s three totally different approaches:

  1. User profile knowledge
  2. Data feeds
  3. Catalog

(Note: we’re going to speak about first-party knowledge activation, so when you’re unfamiliar with our knowledge administration method, make sure that to examine that first)

The Basics

Before we soar into content material personalization utilizing the strategies talked about above, we have now to acknowledge {that a} customized expertise contains far more than content material alone.

Luckily, Iterable checks the containers of every of these personalization elements:

  • Picking the proper audiences: Your customers’ profile particulars—listing memberships, contact properties, occasions, and their related metadata are excellent filters for reducing extremely particular segments. Plus, occasions going down in your web site or app dynamically qualify your prospects out and in of totally different viewers teams in real-time.
  • Building the excellent template: Help your content material shine with a standout template. We supply totally different template constructing choices so your aesthetic design targets are all the time in attain. Dial-in the appear and feel you’re after by customizing your hyperlinks, copy, content material, photographs and extra. 
  • Incorporating buyer knowledge: Iterable’s Handlebars templating language transforms your knowledge into customized content material. Handlebars reference your customers’ attributes and occasion histories at ship time. The outcome? Curated message content material for all recipients. Read extra about Handlebars right here.
Iterable Handlebars inside a template

Handlebars flip curly braces into customized particulars.

  • Delivering when the second strikes: You have full management over how and when your campaigns are despatched—be it one-time, recurring or triggered in real-time. When the second strikes, you’re able to observe up with an automatic, custom-made message.

These are the constructing blocks of subtle personalization. Remember, your content material has a a lot greater likelihood of resonating as soon as it’s correctly aligned to your buyer’s expertise.

Solving the Content Personalization Riddle

Now that we all know how knowledge shapes a messaging expertise, we’ll look at the methods Iterable delivers customized content material.

Now, remember that there’s no proper or greatest approach to personalize your advertising and marketing—the cause we provide three approaches is that we wish entrepreneurs to reach their very own impactful methods. Let’s soar in!

1. User Profile Data

What it’s: By now that the depths of person attribute and occasion knowledge unlock all kinds of highly effective advertising and marketing capabilities. The most easy (but efficient) of these lies in personalizing content material with this identical knowledge.

Typical Content Personalization Use Cases:

  • General personalization: Incorporating names and profile particulars, highlighting latest purchases
  • Lifecycle stage-specific initiatives: Upselling subscription ranges, recalling deserted cart objects

How it really works: Templates question person profile knowledge the second your message sends. Since buyer attributes are distinctive, the fields referenced in your message template return every individual’s particular data: names, areas, said preferences, transactions, and so forth.

Any standalone or mixture of these sorts of categorical parts may be dynamically strung collectively utilizing Handlebars all through the physique of your templates as half of a extremely customized message.

In the following instance with Netflix*, Iterable pulls in profile-specific attributes and occasions right into a message template. Your prospects’ content material and messaging are immediately influenced by their pursuits, behaviors and interactions.

*Note: Netflix just isn’t an Iterable buyer.


Meet our Netflix person, Ryan (as mirrored by his hypothetical Iterable profile under).

Naturally, Netflix is concerned with studying what its prospects watch—this data helps the streaming service suggest future content material. As you’ll be able to see in his profile, Ryan recognized that he enjoys the genres “adventure” and “action.”

Iterable user profile standard view

Adventure and Action genres are nested knowledge factors in the object referred to as Content Interests.

To study which specific packages Ryan watches, Netflix would create a customized occasion class that collects the particulars of the totally different packages he watches.

As it pertains to this instance, any of the following could possibly be relevant: the film’s title, the style, when it was watched, and far more. Very simple to do inside Iterable!

New Iterable custom event

This Iterable Custom Event paperwork watched packages.

As detailed in the customized occasion data under, you’ll see Ryan watched “Avengers: Infinity War” on May 24. This issues for what comes subsequent—the customized email!

Event histories possess engagement details

Essential program particulars reside inside this Custom Event.

Netflix thrives on person suggestions and a content material ranking system. In the instance under, let’s faux Netflix needs Ryan’s “Avengers” ranking whereas it’s nonetheless contemporary.

To do this, the workforce would set off a ranking request message—wherever from hours to days after Ryan’s watch occasion. Using the film’s important data inside the occasion historical past, Handlebars maps these key particulars immediately into the message.

Content personalization placeholders using Handlebars

With knowledge correctly saved and arranged, personalization is virtually plug-and-play.

And what you get from this train is painlessly customized content material tying on to Ryan’s latest expertise.

Let’s recap the customized parts of this message:

  • The email addresses him by the identify submitted in his person profile {{firstName}}
  • It notes the movie identify from the watch occasion’s element {{movieName}}
  • Showing the film’s cowl picture from the watch occasion {{imageURL}} provides visible aptitude
  • It’s delivered mechanically whereas the expertise is contemporary
User profile-base personalized email

This ranking request email is on-brand, on level and on time.

Data Feeds

What it’s: Data feeds are direct connections between your third-party programs or internet companies and Iterable. Data feeds retrieve content material from an exterior supply that then will get integrated into your template—content material residing outdoors of your messaging ecosystem is now at your disposal.

All related knowledge feed content material is requested at ship time, making knowledge feeds a fantastic possibility for factoring time-sensitive content material into your messaging.

Typical content material personalization use circumstances:

  • Active presents: Sharing present coupon codes, updating customers about new stock
  • User-level suggestions: Proprietary or third-party advice engine content material

How it really works: Just like profile-based personalization, Iterable checks the queries inside your template and returns your knowledge feed’s particular content material.

Depending on how your templates are custom-made, single and even a number of knowledge feeds can generate totally different user-specific content material inside your message. Once the knowledge feeds are arrange, they continue to be in place and readily pull in new customized content material because it’s up to date—this can be a nice asset when constructing recurring messages or newsletters.

Example: Using Netflix’s information about Ryan’s profile and watch historical past, let’s present how you can improve that rankings request email with knowledge feed suggestions.

Let’s begin with the template. First, they’ll construct of their desired appear and feel of their advice “experience” into the email physique—on this instance, by displaying three film choices of the identical “action” style as Avengers.

Data feed content personalization template

Similar template, enhanced expertise utilizing knowledge feeds.

On the backend, Netflix’s genre-based knowledge feed will pull in Ryan’s related “action” style film content material. In this case, it’s data from “Hancock,” “Godzilla” and “The Time Machine.”

Data feed genre-based recommendations

Our hypothetical Netflix advice knowledge feed serves up some nice action-based content material.

Now, along with a personalised ask to fee his Avenger’s viewing expertise, Netflix sweetens the email take care of a couple of further motion pictures of potential curiosity.

Data feed recommendations inside sample email

Since Ryan likes motion motion pictures, he’s now seeing three related choices in Netflix’s potential email suggestions.

You’ve in all probability seen the symbiotic relationship between knowledge and expertise. Using person profile knowledge to tell knowledge feeds provides one more contact upon the content material personalization endeavor.


What it’s: Iterable Catalog is a advice builder. Catalog brings non-user associated and third-party knowledge (merchandise, areas, menus, inventories, and so forth.) collectively inside the Iterable platform the place it’s simple to type, group and construct associative knowledge into Collections of particular merchandise, areas and presents.

Catalog builds dynamic content material groupings with the identical depth and precision as our segmentation instrument. Each Collection’s built-in logic checks the identified attributes and preferences of your prospects after which generates the criteria-based content material that greatest enhances their traits.

Typical content material personalization use circumstances:

  • Multi-attribute associated content material: Top choices matching earlier buy class and worth vary, related listings to final product search (class, dimension, model, and so forth.)
  • Location-based initiatives: Top areas close to space codes, associated areas close to space codes

How it really works: Catalog performance begins by first importing product stock into Iterable. After that, you’ll be able to type and band your merchandise’ and companies’ knowledge into totally different lists of groupings.

Use the Collection Builder to construct Collections of customized content material groupings. Once inserted into your message template, Collections reference two shops of knowledge earlier than rendering customer-specific content material: your Collection-specific product metadata and every person’s particular profile knowledge.

Catalog creates individualized content material blocks after product metadata (product sorts, retailer areas, costs, and so forth.) matches in opposition to the person knowledge (behaviors, preferences, geolocation, and so forth.).

Example: With Catalog, Netflix might take its content material personalization expertise even additional. 

Catalog generates suggestions from a number of standards—in contrast to the singular knowledge factors of knowledge feeds. 

Now, as a substitute of Handlebars pointing to a particular knowledge feed, they now level to Netflix’s “topRatedAction” Collection.

Catalog multi-attribute content personalization

Notice how including “top rated” motion pictures provides one other aspect of intrigue to those suggestions.

Let’s faux that Netflix wished to not solely suggest motion motion pictures, but in addition specify standard ones. These motion pictures should boast an total star ranking of 4.5 or greater.

After Catalog queries the motion style library, the “topRatedAction” Collection options: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” “Ant-Man and The Wasp” and “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”


The Iterable Catalog Collection Builder curates chosen content material from Netflix’s content material question.

In the completed product under, we’ve taken the authentic ranking request email and tailor-made it particularly to Ryan’s pursuits. In this situation, Netflix has efficiently munged Ryan’s knowledge, its product knowledge and the rankings of hundreds of thousands of different customers into an orderly and customized email!

Netflix example Catalog content personalization

Things to do: Open email, fee Avengers, BINGE.

C.R.E.A.M. (Content Rules Everything About Marketing)

Content personalization means various things to totally different entrepreneurs. We get that! We all work inside our distinctive units of assets, knowledge units and enterprise wants. Our prospects worth customized content material, and it’s essential that we as entrepreneurs proceed pushing the limits of chance.

To see the Iterable personalization engine in motion, enroll for a custom-made demo immediately.

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