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Content Feeds- The Hot Topic of 2017

There are two hot topics going down in the KD office; one – the disaster that is Lent, and two, the brilliance that is content feed connection.

Firstly, let’s tackle Lent…

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The nemesis ‘Lent’ has made quick work of the Kickdynamic office this year… all remaining Hobnobs have been swept away never to return, the chocolate stash replaced with apples and oranges, and a strict ban on afternoon ‘biscuit runs’ is in immediate effect – Coffee seems to be the only hope!

However, it’s not all doom and gloom – Lent also gives us the opportunity to set a challenge for all Email and CRM marketers – so, our challenge to you is:

challenge‘SEND A TRULY PERSONALISED EMAIL CAMPAIGN IN THE NEXT 30 DAYS’ (emphasis on the word ‘TRULY’).

This challenge quite nicely brings me to my next order of business – The HOT TOPIC of 2017 – yes, Content Feeds. Now I know you’re probably thinking “hmmmm, how is a feed a hot topic?”- and I don’t blame you. This is new for many, but once this concept is introduced and understood, Content Feeds are quickly becoming the most optimum way of achieving fully automated email and sending truly personalised content.

Content Feeds are rich in valuable product data that is updated frequently (typically daily or hourly in some cases). To name a few data categories: Product Category, Brand, Price, Stock Level, Colour, Gender, Sale Price, User Ratings. The phrase ‘The World at your Fingertips’ doesn’t necessarily do content feeds justice – combine this with CRM data and we are edging close to the Holy Grail for all E-Marketers.

At this point, for those still eating chocolate and have sugar in the tank to keep reading 😃, will be thinking, “ok, sounds interesting, we have a content feed, we have CRM data-  but you can’t get this into email without days of build time or plenty of custom interjection”…. WRONG – getting this into email is simple, quick, and requires no customisation what so ever – hence being the Hot Topic of 2017. Many are now connecting up data feeds, fully automating email content, and creating content rules to show products based on user data live at the time of open.

How this works in the Kickdynamic platform:

  1. Set up a Template with ‘Content Blocks’ connected directly to the live feed (this only has to be done once!).
  2. Apply visibility rules to change the design when required (i.e. show the ‘Was Price’ when item is on Sale).
  3. Set up a Campaign linked to the Template you’ve just designed.
  4. Apply Rules: Add in a ‘Merge’ rule that will filter the content feed at Open Time based on the merged in user preference (i.e. Previous Browse was ‘Beats Headphones’ – The Tag will merge this in and show products from the feed containing ‘Beats Headphone’ at open time).
  5. Copy the auto generated Tag into your Email HTML and you’re done… simple.

Unlike screen cropping, favoured by those like Movable Ink and Liveclicker, feed connection (which requires NO custom intervention) finally gives brands the quick and easy ability to put CRM data to work.

For those looking to build Feed Connection into their strategy our advice is to follow 3 simple steps –

  1. Automate to free resource – (I like to call this stage the Breath of Fresh Air) in most cases, time and resource is a huge challenge due to the BAU build and send process. Rather than applying a lean methodology to streamline the existing process, with what we have, this introduction of new technology will remove the old BAU process of email build. In the past we have seen this bring build time down from 10 days to just 1. Thus opening time to focus on personalisation and creating truly great email.
  2. Truly Personalise – all those great ideas that have been collecting cobwebs- dust them off! Email and CRM teams will now have the time and technology to easily personalise. Kick off your mission for Truly Great Email by taking personalisation ideas, such as Open Time Brand Preference and roll out. Test this – we expect to see +5% uplift in revenue in many cases.
  3. Lifecycle: Work Automated Personalisation into all email – Staying relevant all the time is effortless when true personalisation is so easy, why not share this love in all emails.

Feed Optimisation companies such as Golden Feeds, Passion Digital and Lengow are great companies that are helping many brands get their feeds in order, not only for email, but for all areas of e-Commerce. We highly recommend reaching out if you haven’t done so already.

Wishing you all a splendid March! 😃

Christian

Holidays are coming!

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The Christmas season is undoubtedly one of the most profitable times of the year for many retailers globally and with this in mind, email marketing campaign planning for the festive season often begins months in advance. Part of this planning is ensuring that email marketing is relevant, highly targeted and contextual to ensure your Christmas marketing plans are striking all the right chords with your subscribers.

The Christmas countdown is one of the few periods during the year where consumers are opting IN to spending money, therefore are more likely to engage and act upon marketing and special promotions. This is where the quality of email marketing becomes critical to a rewarding Christmas for any self-respecting retailer.

We’ve written a detailed Christmas whitepaper with lots of ideas and suggestions to help you deliver personalized, live content which is engaging to each one of your subscribers. To help you build and send more, better email at this busy time, many of these suggestions also focus on reducing the build time by automating parts of your email content where possible.

Here’s a sneak peak of our top three quick wins:

Time-targeted images –

During the lead up to Christmas, delivery and stock information becomes ever important to the recipient and using time-targeted images ensures your content is always relevant and up to date. The rule builder within the Kickdynamic platform allows you to swap images based on a range of conditions such as time/date, device and weather. Once set, these rules are pulled into one Tag which is generated and easily added to your HTML. By implementing this quick win, you are eliminating the display of out of date content meaning that no matter when the email is opened, the customer will always have a positive experience. Offer expired?Too late for delivery in time for Christmas? Run out of stock? These messages can all be communicated and updated accordingly.

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Day parting –

Automatically display specific products and/or offers depending on the time the email is opened. These time targeted images can also be based on web sell-through or ‘trending’ data to always display content to openers at the time of day they are most likely to buy specific products. This is a great way to increase engagement as you serve images relevant to the context in which the email is opened. For example, in the morning show beauty gift sets, at lunchtime show food related/cooking products and in the evening show DVDs, entertainment or nightwear products.

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Instagram Inspiration –

Use your pre-approved inspirational social media content in your emails throughout December. As this is a medium which is frequently updated, it will always update within the email as new posts are posted. This is a great way at add some festive cheer and extra visuals to your emails. Using Kickdynamic, your live Instagram tag only has to be set up once and it will always show the latest content.

 

So why not take a look at our Christmas whitepaper covering more quick wins and some strategic suggestions to help make this Christmas season the merriest one yet for you and your customers…