Imagine sending emails that are automatically composed with content that best matches each recipient. It’s easy: let’s take a look at two customization features you can use to improve performance and conversions.
If you follow our blog, you surely know this isn’t the first time we’ve talked about customizing emails. It’s a broad topic on which we invest a great deal of our technological development and training resources.
Let’s sort a few things out, distinguishing four parts of the email that can be customized:
We marked this last item with a check because it’s what we’ll be focusing on today, exploring two fundamental customization features. Let’s begin.
Email customization tools
We’re going to look at two tools that let you automate the process of customizing emails and campaigns, raising their degree of relevance, to the full benefit of the fundamental metrics of email marketing: click-through rates and conversion rates.
The two features we’ll look at are both available in the MailUp platform, and can be activated on request. The first is within the reach of all companies, the second requires skills with HTML and Liquid markup language.
Imagine being able to customize emails by applying display rules for lines and entire parts of the message, which will be filled automatically with the most suitable content for each recipient.
It’s possible, and it’s also very simple: the perfect tool is Conditional display, which lets companies set a filter in one (or more) blocks of the email during the message creation phase.
In practice, Conditional display lets you deliver emails to recipients which contain images and texts in line with their characteristics, preferences, and needs. But let’s dive a little deeper.
How does it work?
Let’s start with a practical example: imagine we want to create an email for the new collection of jeans available on our e-commerce site. We’ll need to show our male users the men’s collection, while women will be shown the women’s collection, as in the example below:
There are only a few simple steps:
1. Create the display conditions
First you need to create the rules to apply to the lines of content. Use Filters to do this (in the section Recipients > Filters) which can regard personal data, type of business, geographic, by device. To use Conditional display we only need to use the Personal data filters.
We create two gender-based filters:
- WOMEN customers
- MEN customers
2. Apply the display rules
- Open the email or create one from scratch with the drag & drop editor
- Choose the content form to apply the condition to and click on it
- On the menu on the left, choose Forms and Select condition
- Select the filter you want to apply
- Repeat the procedure and apply the Women filter to the other line as well.
3. Display the preview
Once the message has been created and the conditions have been applied, all that you have left to do is display the preview. Apply the corresponding filter in the message preview to display the final effect.
What happens when a recipient does not fall under a filter condition? Simple, the feature is not activated and no content is displayed.
Email customization engine
And what if instead you want to send communications to your recipients with constantly updated and customized content, without having to manually retrieve them from the site or blog?
In this case the fundamental feature is the Customization engine, which uses Liquid markup language to create emails with real-time content retrieved from a site or from a page outside MailUp (such as a site, blog, or an online store) that are customizable for each recipient.
As the Customization engine is an advanced feature, it requires skills using HTML and Liquid markup language. You can find more information on how to create Liquid syntax here.
How does it work?
1. Create the external service
The service must be created on your site. It must be a public URL that accepts a unique ID as a parameter (e.g. email, customer ID, etc.).
2. Set up the service on MailUp
From the menu on the left, select Configurations > Advanced options > Customization > New Endpoint. Then you must set the following information:
- Endpoint name: identifying name of the service that will respond with the data
- Endpoint URL: URL of the service that is called by MailUp to obtain the data
- Authorization: to be activated to enable the endpoint itself if access is required
- Custom HTTP headers: lets you add additional information using your server as a source
- New parameter: this section is used to set the values that are passed to the endpoint (e.g. Customer ID, City, Date cart abandoned, etc.)
3. Create the message
At this point everything is ready to create the message, via HTML or with the drag & drop editor. The email must contain one or more HTML forms in which to insert the Liquid code. Here is an example of a template with HTML forms:
4. Send the campaign
Once the message has been created, you have to associate the endpoint created during step 2 on your MailUp platform. On the message Summary page, select Advanced Options > Enable advanced customization and enter the endpoint name under Endpoint.
When MailUp sends the campaign, it will query the preset endpoint URLs for each recipient and the tags built with Liquid will be replaced with the values obtained from this query.
The Customization engine lends itself very well to multiple use cases. Here are some examples:
- Recommended products
A real estate company can send a weekly email to its customers containing all the new announcements for houses in the area where they currently reside.
- Abandoned cart
An e-commerce site can set up a follow-up email to be sent to customers one day after their order was abandoned, containing all or some of the items left in the cart. Here are two examples of workflows:
›› Abandoned cart workflow: send emails to propose the products in the cart again
›› Dynamic workflows based on clicks (recommended products): users who click on specific products will receive an email offering similar products
- Real-time segmentation
A company operating in the large-scale retail trade can use the customization engine to send coupons localized by geographic area.
Combining features with consulting: Liquid support
As mentioned before, Conditional display and the Customization engine are two features of the MailUp platform that only need to be activated, and can be managed independently by each company.
But there is another possibility here. In fact, MailUp offers a consulting service called Liquid support, which is divided into two solutions:
This lets companies entrust MailUp with the management of all activities aimed at creating a responsive communication, including Liquid markup, to allow maximum content customization.
A coaching service that includes:
- Technical email analysis, to identify those parts of the message that can be translated into Liquid language
- The drafting and delivery of a document which, for each element of the identified email, provides guidelines for managing content using Liquid language.
To sum up
Customization is perhaps the key topic of email marketing for companies that want to take their strategies to an advanced level.
This is because the ability to increase the degree of emails’ relevance strongly affects the most important email marketing metrics: clicks and conversions, on which the return on investment directly depends.
If you haven’t done so yet, we suggest taking the first steps in this direction:
- If you already have a MailUp platform, request more information on activating Conditional display and the Customization engine
- If you don’t have a MailUp platform yet, request a free 30-day trial of the MailUp platform today.