Article first published September 2011, updated April 2019
After you hit the send button on a campaign to thousands of
subscribers, you may start to experience paranoia.
Are all the links correct? Is the subject line typo-free? Then
maybe you notice a phone number in the copy is wrong.
Quickly Correcting and Personalizing your Emails by Using Dynamic
Any experienced email sender has gotten something blatantly
wrong in their HTML email content at one time or another. So it
isn’t surprising that some of the clever folks amongst us have
thought up a “Plan B”, should it be necessary to rush through a
change on a live campaign: dynamic email content.
Such a backup plan was suggested by customer Ben Carver, who
adds a transparent image that can be “swapped out” at a
moment’s notice. As a result, he can throw a banner image or
similar message into email newsletters, should something go
Adding a “Plan B” to your email code with dynamic content
Taking advantage of the fact that many email clients repeatedly
download images whenever an email message is opened in the inbox,
the basic idea behind Plan B is that an image can be hosted on your
server, then swapped out for one with a different message and
different dimensions, if required.
For example, you may have a 1px x 1px image on your server
initially, which can then be replaced with a 600px x 150px
From a code perspective, it looks like this:
<img src="http://yourdomain.com/images/plan-b.gif" cm_dontimportimage />
There are two important things to note here: no image dimensions
have been defined and the cm_dontimportimage attribute has been
tell our app to not host the image on our servers. If
a transparent image, for example, it should be invisible in most
An alternative to adding an image is to use the same technique
with an existing banner image in an email, similar to adding
images to an email campaign.
Using “Plan B” as your preheader
Having a 1px x 1px image can also serve a dual purpose. For
example, you may want to add a
preheader (otherwise known as a Johnson box) to your email
The Plan B image is ideal for this, as ALT text within the
<img> tag will show up in inbox previews, as long as this tag
immediately follows <body> in the HTML email code.
Going beyond the blunder
While this is a neat idea that many may consider using for
adding last-minute corrections, there are ways it can be used
For example, imagine you want to inform subscribers of a
newly-released product soon after an email campaign has gone out.
Or, for the benefit of those who use their inbox as a “to-do”
list, you may want to add a new banner reminding recipients that
some action needs to be taken a few days before a sale ends or
event registration closes. In these cases, it’s possible to
change your message in both subtle and more obvious ways to get
your subscribers to engage.
What is dynamic content and how can you use it?
Dynamic content is content that uses extreme personalized
information to increase recipient interactions.
Dynamic content is important to use in emails because the
transaction rates are 6x higher than emails that don’t use
You can use dynamic content to target recipients by using:
Here are some email marketing examples that use dynamic content
marketing to advance their marketing strategies:
Making interactive emails with dynamic content
You can make your emails interactive by using dynamic content
HTML codes that change your email templates based on the
information your recipients provided.
For example, Sephora uses its recipients’ names to prompt a
conversation. Sephora is addressing one recipient by her name and
offering her a discount that is exclusive to only her. Although the
recipient is interacting with the call-to-action button, the
implementation of dynamic content (use of her name) makes this
email a direct conversation vs. a spam email.
By addressing her by name and including a call-to-action button,
Sephora is sending her a message and prompting a response outside
of the email, which makes this email format interactive.
You can accomplish this same feature in your emails by
personalizing your emails with personalized tags.
Personalization tags are used when recipients insert data upon
initially signing up to receive emails or associated information
with their inbox. To do this, the first name HTML code would use
[firstname] to show the recipient’s name once the email showed up
in their inbox.
If the recipient doesn’t associate their name with their inbox
or hasn’t inputted their information into their email preference
center, you can use a fallback code to optimize your email. That
HTML code would be [firstname, fallback= ____]
In the below example, they use “fashionista” as their backup
Here’s an example of what the code and outcome look like:
Using first name HTML codes is just one way to make emails
interactive. You can also use the date of birth, location, and
email tags to make your emails interactive.
Check out some other tags that can be used to make your emails
a conversation starter.
Dynamic content is helpful for fixing emails and connecting with
recipients, and there are so many ways to use it to enhance your
email marketing strategies.
Have you started implementing dynamic content marketing
in your emails? Check out
how we used dynamic content to increase our email click-through
Using A “Plan B” to Add On-The-Fly Corrections to Your Email
Campaigns appeared first on Campaign Monitor.
Source: FS – Email Marketing Blogs!
Using A “Plan B” to Add On-The-Fly Corrections to Your Email Campaigns