Dynamic vs static content – What’s best for your business goals
In the words of Bill Gates, “Content is King!” It plays a major role in how users react and commit to a marketer’s designed call-to-action and brand awareness efforts. Content marketing is focused on developing and presenting a message that is intended for a certain audience. Content marketing comes in many forms, but the focal point of a eCommerce brand’s content lies in the product itself.
For this post we’ll focus on content for email marketing. The ability to display the right product at the right moment for a given user can dramatically increase the opportunity of conversion. Let’s take a look at dynamic and static content, and how they are utilized to increase engagement and conversions.
Dynamic vs static content
Depending on your marketing goal, your content or product recommendations can be either static or dynamic. Static is defined as staying the same or lacking action/change. This means that whatever the marketer decides to utilize as the product, the user will receive. Dynamic on the other hand, is the opposite. The marketer may put together the framework but the actual product is capable of changing according to user inputs.
Cortex is built to effectively serve both, but the frequent question is “When should you use them?” or “Which one is the best?” To figure this out we want to look at effective examples of both and how they were used.
Dynamic gets personal
In Cortex, product recommendations are based on the data that has been collected and analyzed from each individual user’s purchase history and browsing behavior, the behavior of similar customers, the popularity of items in the catalog, and more. This allows Cortex to predict the preferences of each individual and target them with the best recommendations.
Dynamic products are commonly utilized in automated stages such as Cart, Browse, or Search Abandon. These emails are user triggered and relate directly to what the user placed in their cart, browsed on the website, or searched while on the website. Dynamic product recommendations are personalized and can increase conversions due to the high level of accuracy towards a users interest.
Below is a ReSci Cart Abandon sample template. With the use of the appropriate merge tags the product image, name, and url link associated will populate the email filling the content blocks. Because this is a cart abandon template, the hero image refers to the cart abandoned item using our recommendation scheme “Cart + Similar Items” while the remaining dynamic content pieces will display similar items to the users interests.
For example, DSTLD’s cart abandon email below has two different use cases for product recommendations. The design and layout is very simple but the key creative pieces are the dynamic products found throughout the email.
The hero image is the main focus as it displays the last item left in this user’s shopping cart. However, below are additional product items featured in the section titled “You may also like”. These items are dynamically recommended for this user based on customer data.
When we think of browsing, we imagine someone taking time to take everything in for the moment your brand is able to hold their attention. Unlike DSTLD’s cart abandon where the focus is primarily on the item placed in cart, Poo-Pourri’s browse abandon email widens the view.
Using dynamic content, they are able to populate the email with multiple items that the user recently browsed. Understanding user behavior is key in making decisive marketing decisions worth testing.
Rec schemes lead the way
Recommendation schemes play an important role in determining what product will be displayed for any given user. There are multiple recommendation schemes that can be utilized and many use cases in which a brand can use them effectively. For example, the rec scheme titled “Best Sellers” will display the best selling items sold on the brand site according to the number of orders containing those items. This could be featured as a monthly Promo/Smart Blast tailored to the best selling items.
Available recommendation schemes:
Similar to Viewed / Purchased Products: Will display a user’s top recommended products similar to items they have recently viewed.
Recently Viewed Products: Will display a user’s top recommended products from their recently viewed items.
Predicts User Preferences: Machine learning predictions based on user behavior and past purchases.
Best Sellers: Will display the best sellers on your site according to the number of orders containing those items.
Similar Products Based on Category: Will display a user’s top recommended products in a product category they have displayed affinity for.
Custom Scheme: Will display trending products for groups of similar users (most personalized recs by user).
Stage specific rec schemes:
Only (Type): Will display only products that fit a specific Cortex stage type. Limited to Cart Abandon, Price Drop, Item Back In Stock, and New Arrivals.
(Type) + Similar: Will display a product that fits the Cortex stage type and the top recommended products similar to that item. Limited to Cart Abandon, Price Drop, Item Back In Stock, and New Arrivals.
Static is great too!
Static product content, as mentioned before, lacks the ability to change. For this reason, these emails are best suited to be direct with a designed purpose and message around an item. It can be utilized for many types of emails including new product launches or introducing a new sale item. The focus is specific to converting on the single item, where creative can be uniquely designed for this purpose.
In the example below, Causebox announces their Black Friday sale item. It outlines specific details including the coupon code with a direct CTA to “Get the Box”. This email also poses a sense of urgency to incite a purchase now behavior by mentioning “Limited to first 500.”
Just because a static product lacks the ability to change to a users interest does not mean it can not be interactive. In the below example, Rachio presents the few products they manage as a static product recommendation.
However, the GIF brings the email to life. In fact, even a minor active element like this can drive more email engagement.
Or try both!
Both dynamic and static product content can prove to be useful in your brand’s overall email marketing strategy. Though the two are different, they do not have to be mutually exclusive. The use of both within an email can prove to be beneficial as well. For example, the Aloha brand features the following dynamic product section in the bottom portion of their emails as shown below. Utilizing the product recommendation schemes, brands can use this as an added value opportunity separate from the original emails purpose.
Similar to the format used by Aloha, it is also very common to utilize static options as well. Birdies is known for selling versatile women’s shoes made for comfort. In this template, the brand uses its two product types (Flats and Slides) along with “Best Sellers” as static category selections providing users a clear path to products. It is designed to support users by guiding them to a purchase. The entire email focus is Birdies’ “30 day fit guarantee” along with contact information prior to mentioning the available products.
What type of content takes the crown?
For both, the goal is to attract and engage users to the point of conversion. Dynamic products force the marketer to give up control, while static products provide a greater chance of missing the mark.
Though functionally different, each aid in illustrating a constructive message whether it’s designed for a specific item or what a user prefers. Using both can enhance the user experience and lead to more conversions. It becomes clear that a cohesive effort can definitely support goals of increasing user engagement and conversion.
Understanding your brand and its users is important when using either, as consumers know what they do and do not want. Using any and all information available to you as a marketer only helps to clearly determine their interests. Therefore, presenting the right product and content to the right users will always provide a more engaging customer experience. Fortunately, you can trust Cortex as the AI provides the accurate product recommendations, all based on various customer data points.
Brought to you by Jeremy Brooks, Client Success Manager at ReSci
Jeremy is a resourceful Client Success Manager that supports our clients with email marketing analysis and customer experience behavior.
Feel confused or lost? Want more strategies? Contact the helpdesk, or reach out to your Client Success Manager and they’ll be happy to help!
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