blog logo
[ultimatesocial count="true" networks="linkedin,facebook,twitter" url="" skin="minimal"]

Real-Time Email Personalization: Making Content More Relevant Than Ever

Desiree Botica • April 3, 2018

For years, personalization and dynamic content have been top-of-mind for digital marketers, and today, most brands have adopted some form of email personalization. However, as customers’ needs and desires change, email personalization and segmentation strategies should as well.

So, what is the next step in email personalization? What are customers engaging with? Real-time content updates.


“Real-time content”…what does that really mean?

Real-time email content means that images, messaging, and data within an email can change while sitting in a subscriber’s inbox. Cool, right?

This allows brands to optimize content and ensure email personalization and content are as up-to-date as possible for the recipient. It also ensures customers receive the most relevant information possible – the entire point of email personalization.


How Does It Work?

Real-time content functionality is being built into email clients from industry giants such as Google and Salesforce Marketing Cloud. As you read this, they are testing and launching tools to update content within emails.

Google is looking to introduce their new AMP project to Gmail, while Salesforce Marketing Cloud has already given retailers the ability to change content based on user-activity and campaign performance through their Live Images Content Block. Should a specific image or offer fail to drive meaningful engagement, business users can tweak the content in real time.

To access these tools, work directly with your ESP’s rep and inquire about these new real-time email personalization and dynamic content features.


What Exactly Should Be Personalized?

Over the past two years, retail-specific marketing email engagement in North America has been losing its effectiveness. According to Epsilon, in Q3 2017, North American click-to-open rates averaged a paltry 5.7%.

Dynamic email personalization is a great way to boost relevance and fight against most shoppers’ blasé attitudes towards standard email marketing. Real-time content updates ensure that email content is never outdated. For example, if you have a flash sale coming up, you can hit your segments with the offer messaging, and when the flash sale ends, automatically swap the content out for personalized evergreen assets.


Here are some of my favorite examples of real-time email personalization in action. (AVON & Dairy Queen Blizzard examples courtesy of Liveclicker).


email personalization
Avon includes a real-time deal timer. Upon expiry, the content changes to promote products selected for the specific customer


email personalization
DQ uses real-time weather information to determine which piece of content a customer sees. This changes depending on temperature: cold (above) and warm (below)

email personalization

Desiree Botica

About the author

Desiree Botica

Subscribe to our blog

Let's discuss the next step in your commerce journey.

XSchedule a meeting