Advanced Guide to Email Personalization with Dynamic Contents [Video Guide]


In 2016, US marketers push personalization most on email according to eMarketer. It’s now 2017 (already) but you’re still not late to the party! No question, email has the highest ROI among marketing channels. But as people change the way they consume contents, the way marketers can make them open and click in the emails is also changing. Proper email personalization gives 3X higher click-through rate and 6X more closed deals according to VentureBeat. And it’s not only true for e-commerce but for SaaS too!

Email personalization is not only about using merge tags to substitute your custom fields with your contacts’ related value (such as names, industries, company names, etc.): here are 2 short guides where you can use dynamic contents for higher personalization in your emails!

1. Add Dynamic blocks of Body Copy per Buyer Personas

If you already have buyer personas you will be able to imagine what they are interested in so your messages should be different for each of them. You need an email personalization solution to satisfy their different needs.

This a segmentation approach is based on your ideal customer profiles’ typical interests and pain points.

Here is a short guide how to send dynamic contents based on your buyer personas.

Step 1: Create a Custom Field for Buyer Personas

Just create a new custom field that will let you sort your contacts into different types of ideal customer profiles. The purpose of this custom field is to contain data related to every specific contact you have in your database.

It is very easy to create one in any email marketing software:

  1. just create a new Custom Field
  2. add a name,
  3. it’s a text type field,
  4. don’t give it a default value.

Check how easy it is below:

How to create custom fields

Step 2: Sort your contacts manually or automatically

You need to sort your contacts according to your buyer personas. Let’s take an example: you will have A, B and C buyer personas in your contact database.

You know that:

  • A is interested in benefit 1 and 6 of your product
  • B is interested in benefit 2 and 4 of your product
  • and C is interested in benefit 3 and 5 of your product.

You just have to sort your contacts by adding each contact a value to its “buyer persona type” custom field: A, B and C (in our example).

a, You can do it manually just by filling each contacts’ relevant field with the correspondent value.

Here’s how to do it manually:

How to add custom values to contacts manually

b, But it’s better to do it automatically as soon as someone downloads a hook from one of your landing pages. Just give the form he fills out a hidden field with a default value of A, B or C (depending which persona might be interested in that specific ebook).

Check how it is done with Unbounce:

How to add hidden field in Unbounce to the form

This is why you need to write your hooks for specific buyer personas: you will be able to sort your contacts according to their interests!

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Step 3: Setup 3 separate segments for your 3 buyer personas

(To be clear: you can have any number of buyer personas and you can name them as you wish, it’s just an example.)

So next step is to segment your contact database along buyer personas. In our example we have A, B and C buyer personas, so we now create A, B and C segments.

It is very easy from now on, let’s do it for Buyer Persona A:

  1. Just create a new segment
  2. Name it “Buyer Persona A”
  3. Choose “Contact field value” firstly
  4. Choose “buyer persona type”
  5. set this: buyer persona type IS “A”

And you’re done, you have a segment that includes only contacts that are Buyer Persona A. You can do similarly the B and the C too by following the same process, just giving “B” and “C” values in the end.

This is the process you need to follow:

How to set up segment for your buyer personas

Now you should have 3 segments:

  • Buyer Persona A
  • Buyer Persona B
  • Buyer Persona C

Step 4: Email personalization with dynamic contents: Add your dynamic blocks to your emails!

Now if you would like to send emails to your contacts, you can write content for Buyer Persona A, B and C separately – this is the buyer persona based email personalization with dynamic contents. The copy of your email will start with a benefit which is more important for your prospect.

  1. Create an email
  2. Just put into your email 3 separate text blocks with the 3 different body copies
  3. Click in the A block and check the Dynamic block box
  4. Choose the right segment from the drop down menu which will see this specific block in the email
  5. Do the same for the rest blocks too.

Here is a short video tutorial on how to do that:

How to set up dynamic contents in emails to send personalized body copies to buyer personas

2. Add Dynamic CTAs or Banners to your emails per stages of the leads

Your offers in your emails should be relevant. But relevancy not only means interest-based segmentation, it also means that a prospect is in a specific stage. Introducing the stage based email personalization with dynamic contents!

Why would you offer a free trial to cold leads instead of something free, valuable, educational content? Why would you offer to upgrade to your lower package if someone already did that so he is your client?

Let’s take this example funnel below:

  1. Leads
  2. Warm leads
  3. Trial Users
  4. Paying clients (Package 1)
  5. Paying clients (Package 2)

In this situation I would like to offer:

  1. a free ebook to the lead
  2. a trial to the warm lead
  3. package 1 or 2 to trial users
  4. package 2 to package 1 clients
  5. a gift to package 2 clients (or additionally upsells)

Does it sound good to send the same email but with relevant offers for everybody at the right stage? Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Use lead scoring to divide your warm and cold leads according to their engagement rate automatically

With lead scoring, you will be able to measure the engagement rate of your leads. The most engaged leads are usually more educated, understand the pain you solve and most importantly, are usually more likely want to check your solution.

So offer them your trial. No more nurturing or education is needed just to make the offer.

So give them a banner or a CTA in the email you send to start your trial.

While you should offer more educational contents, e.g. an ebook to the cold leads to make them warm.

Getting started with lead scoring is easy but you need to play test it on the long run and fine tune to be more effective at it.

In Automizy you will have a default setting for email open and link click actions but you might need to fine tune it:

How to set up your lead scoring

Step 2: Use contact tags to label the stage of your contacts automatically

Tagging your contacts is one of the most important things you should do – adding labels, little meta-information to your leads and users always make it easier for you to segment.

Step 2.1: Find out your contact tagging strategy and create contact tags

“Contact tagging strategy” is not that complex, difficult goal, it’s just not more than understanding when you should tag a contact. For example, when she/he signs up for your trial, downloads an ebook and so on.

If you defined these stages that are needed to be labeled for every contact, the time has come to simply create those contact tags.

In this example, I create and use the following Contact Tags to divide people according to the stage of the funnel:

  • lead
  • trial_user
  • package1_client
  • package2_client

Here you can watch how to create contact tags easily in Automizy:

How to create contact tags in Automizy

Step 2.2: Add contact tags to your contacts

There are 4 ways to do that:

  1. You can add them manually to each contact.
    Manually adding contact tags is usually not a good solution but there might be situations when it is needed (for example you discussed something with the prospect and therefore you decide to put on him a contact tag – like you would do it in a CRM system.)How to add tags manually to contacts
  2. You use bulk change for tagging your contacts.
    You can add tags to the list of contacts that are on a specific segment. You can also import your contacts again as a CSV and add to them a new contact tag in the process while not modifying other existing values (like custom fields).How to tag your contacts manually using mass tagging
  3. You can add tags automatically in automation.
    If someone downloads an ebook, it is good if you give a “lead” tag plus the name of the ebook he downloaded. This way you will be able to see everybody who downloaded an ebook or you can sort your leads according to the freebies they downloaded.

    How to tag contacts in your automated workflows
  4. You can add tags automatically with public or REST API.
    It is also a good solution if you create events for your contacts. For example, if someone registers to your trial, you automatically pass that information and give a tag to that contact in Automizy (“trial_user” in our actual example). But there can be lots of similar events where you can set up events for your contacts’ actions (such as payments, giving credit card, using a specific feature in your software, etc.).(Here you can read our REST API documentation about updating a given contact.)
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Step 3: Set up segments for each stage in the funnel

Now that you added the right contact tag to the right contact in the contact database, you need to create segments that reflect the actual stage of each contact in your marketing.

Step 3.1: Set up segments for warm leads

Follow this process:

  1. Create a new segment,
  2. Set up first criteria: contacts has “lead” tag
  3. Set up second criteria: lead score is greater than a specific value (e.g. 50)
  4. Set up third criteria: contacts doesn’t have “trial_user” tag

Now you will see those contacts, who are your warm leads on 1 segment but not your users or customers.

How to set up segment for warm leads

Step 3.2: Set up segments for cold leads

Follow this process:

  1. Create a new segment,
  2. Set up first criteria: contacts has “lead” tag
  3. Set up second criteria: lead score is lower than a specific value (e.g. 51)
  4. Set up third criteria: contacts doesn’t have “trial_user” tag

The procedure is almost the same in this case but you are looking for only the low engaged leads. I set the lead score value in the example to 51 as the logical expression was “lower than”, so this way 50 is still included in the low-engaged users’ segment.

How to set up segments for cold leads

Step 3.3: Set up segments for each stage in the funnel

If you want to set up a segment for your trial users, you just need to follow the steps below:

  1. Create a new segment,
  2. Set up first criteria: contacts have “trial” tag
  3. The second criteria: contacts don’t have “package1_client” tag
  4. And set the third criteria: contacts don’t have “package2_client” tag

So now you will have a segment that has only your trial users in it.

How to set up segment for your trial users

Setting up your paying customers segment is easy from now on:

  1. Create a new segment,
  2. Set up first criteria: contacts have “package1_client” tag

And for the clients who pay for the higher package:

  1. Create a new segment,
  2. Set up first criteria: contacts have “package2_client” tag

How to set up segment for your paying clients

Step 4: Email personalization with dynamic CTAs and banners – add your dynamic blocks!

Now if you send emails to your contact list, you will be able to add a CTA or banner that is seen by people who are at the right stage in your marketing funnel. You have only one job left: to add the relevant blocks to your emails and mark them as dynamic contents.

  1. Create or edit an email
  2. Add email or CTA block contents to your email
  3. Insert and customize the correspondent banners and CTAs for each block
  4. Click in every block, turn on “dynamic block” option
  5. Choose the right segment from the drop down menu which will see this specific block in the email
  6. Do the same for the every dynamic block.

Here is a short video tutorial on how to do that:

How to set up dynamic CTAs and banners that target the right people who are at the right stage

As a result, if you send this email, this is what your contacts will get:

  • cold leads will receive a CTA to read a specific content
  • warm leads will see a CTA to start your trial
  • trial users will see a banner with 10% discount to make them upgrade to a paid plan
  • package 1 clients will get an offer to upgrade to package 2
  • package 2 clients will be asked to write a recommendation

On the picture below you can see what a warm lead and what a trial user would see in this specific email:

Email Personalization wit Dynamic content for stage personalization

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