“Workflow efficiency” is one of marketing’s hottest topics these days, as growing pressure mounts on the marketing department to deliver more results without a corresponding increase in resources. Email marketing is one of the ripest areas for process optimization, with ample opportunity to improve productivity and results without relying on new headcount or getting stuck at organizational bottlenecks.
A Litmus survey in 2019 produced some surprising statistics about the email marketing workflows that teams use to get email campaigns out the door:
- • 53% of brands take 2 weeks or more to produce an email.
- • 46% of smaller email teams have 1-5 emails in the works at all times, while another 23% are juggling up to 10 emails, and larger email groups can have up to 25 emails in the works.
- • Teams generally spend more time on graphics and design, coding and development and reviews and approvals than on other workflow elements such as testing or managing data.
- • 39% of teams review their automated messages every few months, while 37% review them once a year and 24% review only every two to three years.
With the right tools and strategy, email teams can drastically reduce the amount of time and effort needed to get their campaigns out the door.
Real-time content helps you conquer FOSB
That would be “Fear of the Send Button.” You know, that queasy feeling you get when you’re about to hit “Send” on a campaign—especially a complex one involving many interchangeable parts—and thinking about all the things that could go wrong.
Dynamic content, especially content that updates on its own automatically based on “moment of open,” allows you to send the most up-to-date and accurate emails.
Your customers are happier with relevant personalized emails, and your team spends less time getting campaigns out the door and more time on planning, analyzing and innovating.
5 workflow problems and how dynamic content can solve them
Automated messaging can take some of the time and headaches out of campaign creation and deployment. But dynamic content helps close the loop to create an even better customer experience with email, as you can see below:
1. Update triggered campaign content
Sometimes days or even weeks pass before a subscriber will open your message. In the meantime; inventory can sell out, offers can expire, or other conditions might change.
You could send a follow-up email (that you have to create, code, test and get approved) with updated information.
Or, you can simply use a dynamic content element to swap in the updated message – even after it’s already been sent! That’s a huge reduction in time and resources needed to keep your customers up-to-date.
2. Create dozens or hundreds of localized versions of a single message template
An event like a store opening or closing is most meaningful to the people who live in the store’s market area. So instead of creating a fresh message for every event, use a single message template and incorporate a real-time element like location.
The images below show how clothing retailer Torrid uses adaptive images to create excitement leading up to and on the day before a store opening. Check out the before and after below. Added bonuses: a live map, an add-to-calendar function that sends a personalized reminder and an invitation to RSVP on Facebook give customers more possibilities to participate.
3. Keep message templates fresh without constant updating
Updating your message templates fresh takes time and energy. Maybe that’s why only 39% of marketers review their automated templates every few months instead of waiting a year or longer, according to Litmus. But templates age out quickly these days; it doesn’t take long to look or sound out-of-date.
Live content feeds can pull fresh content from your website, social media accounts and other content sources into designated modules in your message templates. You could adjust them to always show your current featured products, your brand’s latest Instagram posts, or the hottest trending articles on your site right now. That means you can spend less time going back and managing/updating your triggered campaigns and templates!
4. Update inventory content in real time
People who don’t open your email right away might be disappointed if they click to the website, only to find the item is sold out or the price changed.
Nobody can afford unhappy customers these days. So, use dynamic content linked to your inventory to replace the original message with a note about the current status and a replacement offer.
Hot Topic implemented this tactic in their email strategy and saw customer complaints drop virtually to zero. Learn more about how they did it here.
5. Adjusting message content according to customer status or segments
Loyalty programs are fertile ground for this. Your VIPs need to feel wanted and special. You can make that happen by showing members in each tier of your program where they’re at, what benefits they can claim now and what’s possible at higher levels.
You can guess where we’re going with this. You could create multiple versions of a loyalty email, or you could use a single template that automatically inserts the appropriate content to subscribers according to their tier levels.
That’s what Torrid did when it was updating its popular Torrid Rewards program.
Using multiple automatically personalized elements on like dynamic images and adaptive individualization based on account status, Torrid sends each VIP member a monthly statement summarizing their activity, reminding them to spend their Rewards cash and letting them know when their tier credits expire. Urgency + transparency = winners all around.
Dynamic messaging based on real-time content gives your subscribers the relevant personalized messaging that drives action while helping you redefine and streamline your messaging workflow.
You can produce more beautiful, more relevant content in less time and with less reliance on IT and developer resources. If you’re looking for a real win-win, check out our RealTime Personalization solution!