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How to create the most interesting email in the world…

Last month, Adestra’s Account Director, Parry Malm, presented at Internet World on the subject of “how to create the most interesting email in the world”.

This meant the most interesting email specifically to your recipient, not to the whole world. The days of always sending the same email to all of your data are disappearing, with a focus on targeting and segmentation rather than load & blast.

In his presentation, which you can view in Prezi at the bottom of this blog, Parry covers 4 key points that will help you to engage your recipients and take your email marketing to the next level.

1) Using your data to personalise your email content

Do you collect additional information on your subscribers? Can you use it to personalise your emails, making them more interesting to the recipient? Here our client Centaur Media did just that for the promotion of the National Home Improvement Show (NHIS). The registration process for NHIS collected a wealth of specific information, such as what areas of home improvement they were interested in. Using the functionality of Adestra’s MessageFocus, dynamically personalised emails were then sent to engage the visitors before the show. The email template created by Adestra could render up to 196,608 different possible combinations all driven by the pre-registered visitors self-selected demographic information. This highly relevant and targeted campaign received a 43% open rate and an astonishing 34% of openers then clicked through to their website.

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2) Free up time to concentrate on your strategy

Emails can take some time to put together. This was a problem for Adestra client, who are part of the Informa Group. They spent an hour a day, copying and pasting the content from their website into the email template, and looked to Adestra for a solution to reduce the amount of time spent creating the daily email, whilst improving the results. Using MessageFocus functionality, they were able to pull the most up-to-date articles into their emails every day using XML feeds. This meant that the time spent creating each email was reduced from an hour a day to 20 minutes.

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3) Tapping into existing insight

You could be sending content that isn’t quite relevant to your audience. Looking at your email results, your subscribers could already be telling you what they actually want to hear about, by clicking on certain topics or opening emails with certain topics in the subject line. Using this data will help you to engage your audience and increase their interest in your emails. Adestra client, Future plc did this with their new “App chart” email for T3 mag. They looked at their past emails, and found that SmartPhone apps encouraged a much higher engagement than other articles. The answer: a specific App Chart email sent to their data, giving a weekly update of the best apps on the market. Plus this email is completely automated, pulling content from their website. The recipient can also personalise the content further, by choosing what mobile devices they would like to receive information on.

Case study coming soon…

4) Test, test, and test again

Assuming your content is engaging and interesting to your data is a mistake, and one of the the only ways you can know for sure is by testing different content. Testing doesn’t have to be complex as simple subject line testing can make a huge difference to your results. Take Adestra client OUP ELT as an example. They wanted to maximise the reach of an email informing their global audience of a training webinar they were running. Just by testing different subject lines with MessageFocus split testing features, they were able to improve their open rates by 6%.

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If you’d like to find out more about any of the topics Parry covered in his presentation, get in touch by calling us on +44 (0) 1865 242425 or emailing


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