With the amount of emails being sent everyday it can be hard to make an impact and stand out from the crowd. Around 144.8 billion emails are sent every day worldwide. If you then consider that there are 3.3 billion active email addresses an average person will receive around 44 emails every day! Email remains a vital marketing tool for many companies and getting noticed is key.
So how can we make sure emails are engaging? One of the many answers is by using dynamic content…
Dynamic content covers a broad range of tools for various purposes. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Embedding a countdown timer directly into an email provides contacts with real time deadlines to act. They have been used by retailers in particular to include time-sensitive sale details within campaigns.
Many providers of this feature allow you to customise the timer with your own colours, font and style to stay in line with your brand. For example, the emails below show the different styles adopted by River Island and Delta.
Using countdown timers encourages contacts to act therefore helping you increase click-through and conversion rates. They draw attention and can provide a focal point within the email to keep customers engaged with the content.
Make your emails more dynamic and reduce distractions
There is no longer need to paste an image of a video into a campaign with a link that directs the contact to the video on a website. Instead, you can embed the video content directly into any email campaign allowing contacts to watch it without leaving the email environment.
The video can also be set to auto play when the email is opened, grabbing attention from the very start, like the examples below from Sky and World Vision.
This means contacts spend longer in the email, rather than having to visit the website. Increasing engagement within the email itself reduces the risk of audiences becoming distracted – once they have left the email they may not revisit to see any more of the carefully edited, handpicked content!
Videos can also help you include richer content in emails – too much text causes time-poor audiences to switch off. This is particularly helpful for charities, for example, who need to send compelling messages to encourage continuing support. Using videos creates a seamless message, rather than a disjointed visit to a website.
Deliver relevant and timely content
Being able to really target emails based on changing circumstances such as time, weather conditions or location can help to deliver relevant and timely content that engages customers. It is possible to create one email with a library of different images that will appear based on various factors.
So if it’s cold where the contact opens the email, they will see snowy scenes and winter clothes, but if that same email is opened in a warm sunny location the contact will see sandy beaches and ice creams! Both Blizzard and Nordstrom have used this in their email campaigns.
The great thing about this is that if you get it right the contact does not even notice that there is anything out of the ordinary going on! Instead they will receive useful and appropriate content so each email is compelling, leading to better engagement.
Another really useful bit of content is tracking within emails. Many retailers use email to let customers know the status of their order and delivery estimate. However, what many retailers do at the moment is provide the customer with a tracking number in the email and a link to their website. Now it is possible to eliminate the need to copy and paste the tracking code and have a live tracking status within the email itself. This functionality is only available currently with certain couriers, but it is likely that others will follow suit!
If the customer does not need to leave the email to check on their delivery, they may be more receptive to other content in the email. It could provide another opportunity to cross/up sell within the campaign by making product suggestions based on previous purchases, which in turn could boost ROI.
An animation is worth 1000 images
Although the Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) may not be new – it has been around since 1987 – they are making a bit of a comeback in email! For example, Photobox used a GIF to animate the clock and River Island used a GIF to create a scrolling banner in the email examples below.
I thought they deserved a quick mention because of their versatility. To use GIFs in emails is as simple as adding in an image and there is no need for third party technology – unlike many of the above examples. These moving images can be used to brighten up any email and they make a change from the usual static emails that clutter up our inbox!
It seems that email marketers can be much more creative with the content of their emails nowadays. They will need to continue to be inventive in order to ensure their emails stand out from the barrage of messages that land in our inboxes every day! Hopefully, we will be seeing much more of this kind of content in the future.