Holiday Marketing Hacks: Get More From Transactionals With Dynamic Content

Paul Mirek, Content Marketing Editor

Paul Mirek, Content Marketing Editor

In the midst of a busy holiday shopping season, it sometimes feels like it takes nothing short of a miracle just to get a customer to open your emails. No matter what time of year it is, though, there’s one group of emails that never has trouble getting customers’ attention.

Transactional emails such as order and shipping messages not only produce high open rates, but they’re also sent to all contacts – even those who have not signed up for or who have unsubscribed from your marketing messages. This combination makes transactional emails prime real estate for acquisition campaigns and other types of promotional messaging, yet many commerce marketers overlook these emails’ potential to drive list growth and revenue.

With the high volume of transactional messages that will be landing in your customers’ inboxes this season, that’s a mistake you can’t afford to make – especially since the Message Editor makes it so easy to target different segments of your list with appropriate messaging using dynamic content.

Remember the 80/20 Rule

With dynamic content blocks, you can design a call-to-action to drive newsletter sign-ups and make sure that it only appears for customers who haven’t already opted in. You can add dynamic content to your message in multiple ways, including our drag-and-drop Message Editor and raw dynamic code. This guide will walk you through adding a simple sign-up button to your message using the drag-and-drop editor to convert non-subscribers.

This feature is ripe with possibility – but there are some considerations to keep in mind. In accordance with CAN-SPAM regulation, transactional content must be the primary focus of the email. Most experts recommend an 80/20 ratio of transactional to promotional content. What that often translates to is a banner or row of recommended products in the footer or sidebar. With Bronto, you can easily experiment with different formats to see what works best with your audience, including setting up an A/B test.

Set Some Ground Rules

To get started, drop the container that you want to make dynamic into the body of your message. You can now add your content for contacts who haven’t opted in. You may choose to have your creative team design a compelling banner, or you can choose to add a simple, responsive “Sign Up for Newsletter” button as we’ve done here. You can even choose to make this a one-click sign-up by using the Direct Add URL.

Message with sign-up button

Mouse over the container with the element that you want to make dynamic and select the Dynamic button (told you we make it easy).

Make container dynamic

Selecting the Dynamic option will open up the Rules configuration. Here you can set the conditions under which customers will see this particular piece of content based on the following items:

  • Field: Use a contact field.
  • RFM Metric: Use an RFM metric.
  • On List: Use list membership.
  • On Segment: Use segment membership.
  • On SMS Keyword: Use an SMS keyword subscription.

Select the rule type you want to use from the drop-down menu. In this case, we recommend using a segment of “Non-Marketing Contacts” with a contact status of transactional or unsubscribed.

Non-Marketing Contacts segment

Note that by default, Segments will only identify Active contacts. To include contacts with Inactive status types (Bounce, Transactional, Unconfirmed and Unsubscribed), you will need to switch the Segment to identify All Contacts who match the criteria.

Choose the On Segment option and click the + button to see all available segments (you will need to have set this segment up previously to see it in the list).

Step 1:

Setting up dynamic content rules

Step 2:

Setting up dynamic content rules

Although unnecessary in this instance, you can add additional conditions to your rule to further refine your segments. Click Done when finished. You will now see an Active Dynamic Rule drop-down display when you hover over the piece of content. The content that appears for Rule 1 is what your Non-Marketing Contacts will see. If you need to make changes, make sure Rule 1 is selected in the drop-down and drag in your elements and content as you normally would.

Add Alternative Content Versions

You can select the Active Dynamic Rule drop-down and choose All Others to select what shows up to customers who are already on your list. You can choose to replace it with a row of product recommendations, add another type of design element or simply leave it blank as in the example below. Don’t worry about that empty space; all empty containers will be collapsed when the email is rendered.

Make sure you save your changes for your updates to take effect.

Once you’re finished editing the email, follow these steps to request approval for your transactional message from our deliverability team. We will assess the message to ensure that it meets the standards for transactional emails in the markets you are sending to.

Using dynamic content is a quick, easy way to make your transactional emails work harder this holiday season. In fact, it’s so useful that you’ll probably want to take advantage of this tool all year round. The good news is you don’t have to repeat these same steps each time. Instead, save your Dynamic Content element as a Content Tag and you’ll be able to easily insert it into any new message.