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Dynamic Content: “Data Before Design” in Action

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Built from email advertising, Trendline Interactive is an company and consultancy that conjures up significant engagement via cross-channel communications.

Read on for his or her visitor contribution to the Iterable weblog to be taught why knowledge wants to come back earlier than the design of dynamic content material.

You’ve in all probability heard of the saying “Form follows function.” In email advertising, the saying could be “Design follows data.”

In different phrases, the info you propose to make use of in a marketing campaign, whether or not a stand-alone email marketing campaign or as a part of a nurture sequence or journey email, ought to dictate the set-up and design of that email, as an alternative of the opposite method round.

How Data and Design Work Together

Let’s say you’ve heard so much about dynamic content material, and so that you go to your email improvement staff and say, “Can you design me a template for dynamic content now? We can figure out the back end later.”

The brief reply: No. Design can’t run forward of the back-end improvement of dynamic content material as a result of the info sources or knowledge recordsdata won’t be dependable.

Email design must accommodate “graceful degradation”—a design time period which means an email is designed for the viewing shoppers that help its options and has fallbacks built-in so the email will be considered on older, much less succesful email shoppers. (See the tip of this put up for an instance.)

When you let an email design get out forward of your knowledge, you find yourself with clean fields (just like the dreaded “Hello {{firstname}}” failure). If you haven’t deliberate for these incidents, your emails seem like catastrophe zones to your prospects, and that may sabotage your marketing campaign success.

What You Need to Move Up to Dynamic Content

Dynamic content material is an email part that adjustments routinely for every subscriber in response to the info you’ve got on that subscriber, comparable to preferences, opens and clicks, purchases, looking and different habits.

Dynamic content material will help you create emails which are as near one-to-one communications together with your subscribers as you may get at scale. They additionally ship open and click on charges that vary from 10% to 15% higher than static emails and might even outperform triggered emails, like buy confirmations or abandoned-cart follow-ups.

But dynamic content material additionally requires a wholesome quantity of subscriber or buyer knowledge, which determines which content material the recipient will see and what content material will show as an alternative whenever you lack the required knowledge.

That’s why designing for dynamic content material requires forethought and technique, in addition to an understanding of how HTML works in email. Your artistic staff should account for the dynamic modules that shall be hidden or changed with alternate content material if the message goes to subscribers with out matching knowledge.

Verifying your knowledge high quality is a key a part of the design course of. It’s as essential as selecting pictures, writing copy or making a name to motion.

If you don’t first confirm which of your knowledge fields are unreliable and that are undoubtedly unusable, you possibly can’t design the correct containers or eradicate content material fields completely from the design. Strategizing the person expertise is extraordinarily essential when you’ve got much less management over the ultimate output (that’s, the output isn’t static).

Simply put, whenever you get your knowledge in order first earlier than designing your email, you keep away from having to right errors, comparable to sending emails with clean or misconfigured fields.

“Data Before Design” in Action

This email is a month-to-month engagement assertion that goes out to prospects utilizing a web based yard administration program. The first picture reveals the unique template, which has 15 or extra dynamic content material modules in the entire type. It’s designed to be extremely versatile and permits for the stacking of extra content material.

The second picture reveals the identical email however with out the wealthy array of knowledge fields that make the primary picture so partaking. Subscribers are much less prone to preserve this email in their inboxes for future reference and potential purchases.

Image #1: Dynamic email with full complete knowledge

Dynamic email with full comprehensive data

Source: Trendline Interactive

The following knowledge factors are wanted to create the total email above (in addition to app deep hyperlinks):

Hero module:

  • Month / Season
  • Personalized garden plan title

Product #1 utilization monitoring:

  • Product title
  • Date used
  • Product picture
  • Deep-link to plan

Product #2 utilization monitoring:

  • Product title
  • Date used
  • Product picture
  • Deep-link to plan

Precipitation module:

  • ZIP code
  • 3 picture states have been used (to not scale of the quantity wanted)
  • Local knowledge
  • Deep-link to plan

Featured tip: 

Lawn care advice:

  • Lawn title
  • Lawn plan
  • Product title
  • Product picture
  • Deep-link to plan

Image #2: Dynamic email with minimal knowledge

The beneath picture is a superb instance of swish degradation. It’s visually interesting, with no clean fields. But, with out the wealth of knowledge accessible in the primary email, it turns into little greater than one other static email. Only the ZIP-code-based knowledge pulled from prospects’  program accounts offers subscribers any helpful info.

Dynamic email with minimal data

Source: Trendline Interactive

Wrapping Up

Dynamic content material helps manufacturers create the sorts of emails that preserve prospects coming again to interact and purchase. It’s one of many developments that preserve email related and vibrant years after folks claimed the channel was useless.

But keep in mind, that constructing an interesting email is rather more than simply efficient topic strains and crowd pleasing designs, you need to get your knowledge home in order so you possibly can ship extremely related content material.

If your knowledge might use some assist, Trendline Interactive’s technique and design specialists can audit your knowledge and put it to work to create emails your prospects will love.

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