Avari Blog

How Does Open-Time Email Personalization Work?

[fa icon="calendar"] Oct 1, 2014 / by Sandy Hathaway

RetentionGrid is now AVARI. Read more about how we’ve grown in Our Story: From RetentionGrid to AVARI.

Email marketing has undergone some serious changes in recent years.

First was the batch and blast method, followed by basic segmentation, dynamic content assembly, and predictive marketing. But even with the most advanced forms of marketing, there were always chances taken and risks involved. Enter open-time email personalization.

Have you ever sent an email, then wished you could change the wording after you hit send? With open-time email personalization, that kind of worry is in the past. Why? Because open-time email formats your content not when you write it, not when you send it, but when your customer opens it.

As an example, your store sells dresses, and one style in particular is very popular. So once you have it back in stock, you send out an email to your customers, letting them know they can order that dress again. If you’re lucky, your customers will click through to buy the dress, and before you know it, you’re sold out again. That’s what you want, right?

Wrong. Because some of your customers might be on vacation, or taking a weekend break from technology, and when they finally open that email and click through to see a sold-out dress, the faith in your brand is not going to be very strong.

And what about the weather? If you have customers all over the world, you want to target them based on their location. You could easily send an email with sunglasses, bathing suits, and sandals to those who are experiencing summer, and another with ski goggles, heavy coats, and fur-lined boots to those in wintery regions.

But what if a customer of yours from Iceland is on vacation in Australia? How relevant will those product recommendations be?

At RetentionGrid, we believe marketing is about the individual consumer and how important he or she is made to feel.

With open-time email personalization, you can have live and relevant content delivered directly into your customer’s inbox, which not only gives you an advantage over your competitors, but builds up your customers’ trust for being a business that’s in the know.

This includes selling campaigns that show the most recent products that fit a customer’s taste, and branding campaigns that encourage them to get involved in the social media conversation.

But that’s not the only benefit. You’re probably familiar with A/B testing, which requires dividing your mailing list into various parts and sending different variations of an email to those groups. A few weeks later you’ll likely get some solid data about which email is doing best, but what about those people in the “losing” groups—will you have lost them?

Open-time email personalization helps you out there, too. Your variations will be sent out at random, and once enough data exists to determine a winner, all of the emails sent out will be updated to the winning format, so that all your customers see only the best email.

Curious about other ways open-time technology can make your email marketing more awesome?

Lead them to the brick and mortar shop. Not every shop exists both online and in the real world, but if you’re among those who do have a physical location, geo-targeting can include the address of the closest store, along with opening times, contact information, and a map, that will lead your customers directly to it.

Send out updated information on deals. For special sales that last a day, or maybe just a few hours, send out emails offering time-sensitive discounts and deals that update accordingly. This ensures they take advantage of flash sales and limited-time offers.

Highlight the weather. Is your customer in New York City and thunderstorms are about to hit? Send a selling email with products to keep them dry, or a branding email encouraging them to show off their inclement weather essentials.

Share product recommendations that matter. In addition to inserting products based on a customer’s buying habits, machine learning analyzes what customers with similar buying habits are also purchasing. Update emails to include the most up-to-date, relevant products that they’d be likely to want too.

The above-mentioned tips are all ways to use this technology, both alone and in combination, to send emails that matter. It’s all about responding and evolving quickly and effectively to ensure your customers see the best version of your email.

RetentionGrid campaigns can do all of these things for you and your customers, so give us a shout and we'll help you get started.

Topics: Personalization Technology

Sandy Hathaway

Written by Sandy Hathaway

Sandy is a Co-Founder and the CMO at AVARI, where she is responsible for overseeing the company’s business strategy, influencer relations, demand generation, product marketing, branding, and buzz. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, slow food, movies, games, and discovering the ever-changing face of Berlin.