With over 8 billion humans on the planet, people are bound to have similarities — whether it’s where they live, their age, the kind of music they listen to, or their favorite stores. However, each individual also has distinct characteristics that make them unique.

As an email marketer, it’s critical to recognize the uniqueness among your subscribers and cater to them. One of the best ways to do so is through dynamic email content. But what is dynamic email content? Essentially, it enables marketers to use email marketing automation tools to tailor specific parts of their messages to different audience segments. 

The evolution of email campaign customization

If you’re over the age of 25, you might remember some of the earliest marketing emails. They were heavily text-based, with limited customization and visual graphics. Brands had few ways to personalize mass content except through segmentation. However, segmentation can be enormously time-consuming since it requires creating new content for each subscriber group. 

Southwest airline weekly specials email, no location targeting
A 2007 marketing email from Southwest Airlines. Notice the lack of geographical segmentation and personalization. Image Source: Southwest Airlines

Fast forward to 2024, and it’s easy to see how far email marketing has come. Most brands have moved away from text-heavy content. Instead, they incorporate attractive images, videos, and personalized email dynamic content that reflect the recipient’s characteristics.

Southwest Airlines email with location targeting
A recent Southwest email used dynamic email content to target the recipient’s location. Image Source: Southwest Airlines

As technology and companies’ approaches continue to evolve, brands will focus on personalization and lean toward more immersive content. For instance, some retailers offer options to virtually try on clothing, allowing you to see how something looks on you without needing to visit a store or commit to a purchase.

Benefits of dynamic email content

Why would you want to use dynamic email content? There are several significant advantages.

Improve the customer experience

Clients prefer brands that understand their needs and interests. They don’t want to dig through lots of information to find what they’re looking for since it takes away from their busy day. Personalization isn’t just something that’s nice for consumers — they require it. In fact, more than 70% say they expect brands to deliver a personalized experience.

Incorporating dynamic content makes your emails directly relevant to your customers and gives them the personalization they seek.

Save time and resources

In previous decades, a marketing team might spend hours or days preparing marketing emails for different audience segments. That’s no longer necessary with dynamic email content. Instead, marketers can create a single framework for their message and then interchange one or two elements for greater personalization. That cuts down their work tremendously and frees up time so they can focus on other important tasks.

Increase campaign engagement and conversion rates

Since dynamic content targets individual customers, you’ll likely see a jump in email marketing campaign engagement. People are more likely to act on messages that directly relate to their needs — when they are delivered a personalized experience, 76% of consumers are more likely to consider making a purchase.

More clicks and replies equals higher conversions — and a boost to your bottom line.

Types of dynamic email content

Most brands establish a template and written content for their messages, then interchange a few elements to create dynamic email content.

Personalized text and messaging

You can tag various aspects of your email’s text to incorporate dynamic content. 

A few examples include:

  • Location: If you’re sending an email to your entire subscriber base across the U.S, you could alter any location-based text to the recipient’s city or state
  • Name: Incorporate the subscriber’s name into your message.
  • Demographics and interests: Use consumer demographics and interests, such as age, income, etc., to cater content toward your audience’s uniqueness.

Custom visual elements

When viewing text alone, only 10% of viewers remembered the content 72 hours later. However, with a visual and text combined, 65% can remember the content.

Personalizing visuals, such as pictures of your products or how-to video guides for the recipient’s recent purchase, can captivate audiences and lead to higher engagement. For instance, an e-commerce clothing retailer might include dynamic clothing recommendations based on the subscriber’s age and gender.

Dynamic calls to action (CTAs)

The call to action you use with subscribers can vary depending on where they are in the customer journey. For instance, a new subscriber might be interested in learning about your business and what you offer. Someone who is a frequent customer may benefit from personalized recommendations or a loyalty discount.

Subscriber preferences and customizations

Some brands create preference centers where subscribers can share information that helps marketers learn more about their needs and interests. When customers tell you who they are, it’s easier to tailor content to increase engagement.

Behavior triggers based on user activity

Some brands incorporate dynamic content based on their subscriber’s interactions. For instance, if a client recently browsed for new jogging shoes, the brand might send a follow-up email with pictures of the shows they viewed.

Read more: What is Behavior-Based Marketing Automation?

Implementing dynamic email content

It’s possible to make the change from bland, standard emails to tailored, dynamic email content in a few steps.

1. Build a comprehensive email list

You can’t send marketing emails if you don’t have any subscribers. If your brand is new to using email, focus on getting customers to join your list. Promote your list through all your marketing channels, including:

  • Physical storefront
  • Website
  • Social media
  • Traditional marketing channels

Once you reach 50-100 subscribers, you can start segmenting your audience and creating dynamic content.

2. Collect and use subscriber information

Every time you interact with a customer, you learn something new about them. Find ways to accumulate client data and store it for your future marketing emails. You might establish a preference center where subscribers can share information about their demographics and interests. You can also track browsing behavior and interactions on your website and social media accounts. 

3. Segmenting your audience for tailored content

Most brands use a customer relationship management (CRM) tool to store customer data. Investing in a CRM can be incredibly worthwhile to your email marketing efforts as your business expands. You can use it to segment your audience into various groups and decide where dynamic content would be most beneficial. 

For instance, say you run a restaurant with several locations across your state. You could segment your marketing emails based on your subscribers’ locations and share deals and offers for the restaurants closest to them. This also helps ensure content is relevant and accurate.

Tip: Businesses operating out of more than one location benefit from optimizing their website and marketing content for their local area. Learn more about localized search engine optimization on our blog. 

4. Design and create dynamic content

There’s no need to go overboard when crafting dynamic email content. Most brands change one or two aspects of their messages while keeping their general essence intact. For instance, you might use the same email template and CTA for one email but interchange product recommendation images based on the subscriber’s past brand interactions. 

Using dynamic content email marketing software makes the process easier. You can pinpoint the aspects of your email you want to be dynamic and switch out the element based on the subscriber’s attributes.

Avoid common mistakes

When you’re new to creating dynamic emails, look out for these mistakes.

Inaccurate data collection

There’s an old saying about data — “garbage in, garbage out” — or GIGO. Essentially, if the information you rely on is wrong, your results will be, too. In marketing, using inaccurate data for marketing emails is costly and wastes time. To avoid this mistake, assemble correct information about your clients. Regularly ask your subscribers to update the information they share and scrub your data of inconsistencies

Making your dynamic emails overly complex

Your marketing emails probably aren’t in the running for a Pulitzer prize, so don’t treat them like they are. Keep them straightforward, and avoid overpersonalizing messages. If you get too far in the weeds, you’ll miss out on one of the key benefits of dynamic content — time savings. Keep things concise, and focus on changing just one or two aspects of each dynamic message to keep customers interested.

Failing to track metrics

Before starting an email campaign, define your goals and establish a few performance benchmarks.

  • Goals: Define what you’re hoping to achieve
  • Metrics: Evaluate the effectiveness of your campaign

Some key email marketing metrics to monitor can include:

  • Open rate
  • Engagement rate
  • Conversions
  • Unsubscribe rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Deliverability rate
  • Return on investment (ROI)

If you fall short of your goals, determine why and make mindful changes that will help you get closer. Without metrics and benchmarks, it’s impossible to tell whether your emails generate results.

Straying from your brand’s vision

With the numerous personalization opportunities that dynamic content offers, some brands fall into the trap of trying to be everything to everyone. But that’s not an effective email marketing strategy. Your marketing content won’t resonate with every customer, and that’s okay. Instead, focus on distinguishing your brand from competitors and aligning with customers who genuinely believe in what you offer.

Not testing dynamic content before initiating a campaign

Before sending mass emails to your subscribers, perform a thorough test. Check how your dynamic content displays within your segmented groups. If your dynamic content doesn’t align properly with your audience, it can confuse subscribers. 

For instance, if you’re using location-based content and accidentally send out an email intended for California subscribers to your New York audience, both groups will wonder why they got the email they did. You’ll probably receive some negative feedback and may even lose subscribers.

Email automation and dynamic content

You can save even more time with dynamic content — and boost audience engagement — when you incorporate automation.

Integrating dynamic content with automation tools

Many brands send out similar emails throughout the year. While they may incorporate new images or tweak the text slightly, there isn’t much differentiation. 

For instance, take a clothing retailer that uses email to share new products. The retailer could create a simple template and CTA, then switch out images and subject lines based on the season. They could recycle the template throughout the year, saving time and keeping their brand in front of customers. 

Creating automated behavioral trigger emails

Automation makes dynamic content even simpler. You could set up an automation flow to send dynamic emails triggered by a subscriber’s actions (or inactions).

  • Subscribing: When someone joins your email list, set up an automated welcome email that dynamically incorporates their name.
  • Browsing: Later automated emails might include images of recent items they browsed on your website or an upselling recommendation.
  • Inactivity: If a customer hasn’t made a purchase or browsed your site in a while, send them personal recommendations of new items to foster re-engagement.

Using AI to craft subject lines

It can be exhausting to come up with unique and attention-grabbing subject lines, especially if you send multiple emails weekly. Instead of spending valuable time writing five to ten words that catch your subscriber’s interest, use artificial intelligence (AI) to inspire a few new ideas. 

Software and tools for dynamic email marketing

You don’t have to be a computer programming wizard to design professional marketing emails. Instead, use these no-code tools to maximize your next campaign.

Template builders

The right email marketing dynamic content software can make the difference between an amateur and a professional marketing message. Amateurs usually stick with text-based emails — you won’t see much graphics or personalization. On the other hand, a professional relies on email software containing template builders to break up text walls and incorporate dynamic content.

Constant Contact’s extensive template options are perfect for any organization seeking to integrate dynamic content into their messaging. You can pick and choose from hundreds of templates and customize them to include dynamic elements like product recommendations and text.

Utilizing AMP for interactive emails

Google introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to improve the loading speed of webpages with heavy graphics and interactive elements. It was later incorporated into email, allowing marketers to include:

  • Surveys
  • Appointment scheduling
  • RSVPs

AMP enables recipients to take action without ever leaving the email itself.

You can use AMP to improve the customer experience and reduce friction. For instance, if you want a client to schedule an appointment with you, you might include your up-to-date calendar via AMP within the email so they can pick a convenient time.

E-commerce integrations for personalization

Take dynamic email content one step further with e-commerce integration. You can allow subscribers to shop directly within the email, eliminating the need to visit your store’s website or fill out lengthy forms. Or, you can use dynamic content to upsell or cross-sell customers on recent purchases.

Dynamic email content in action: real-world examples

How do major brands incorporate dynamic email content into their messaging? Here’s a look at a few dynamic email content examples.


Amazon’s dynamic email messaging strategy focuses on product recommendations. It uses the subscriber’s prior purchase and browsing history to provide dynamic email content.

Rick Steves Athens pocket guide
This email from Amazon recommends a book based on the subscriber’s interests. Image Source: Amazon


Tripadvisor uses dynamic content based on the subscriber’s recent browsing history.

Tripadvisor targeted email
This Tripadvisor email includes a CTA to encourage the subscriber to keep looking for information about a travel destination. Image Source: Tripadvisor

Implementing dynamic content responsibly

While dynamic content can help you personalize your emails, it’s essential to abide by marketing regulations that apply to your business. Most countries require you to obtain a subscriber’s written consent before sending them marketing communications. Other laws, like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), restrict the type of data you collect and how you store it.

Before initiating an email campaign, consider consulting with an attorney who can explain your marketing responsibilities. A lawyer can inform you of the steps to minimize liability and avoid overstepping applicable laws. 

Use dynamic email content to take your marketing campaigns to the next level

There are seemingly endless ways to incorporate dynamic content into your emails — and the benefits are well worth the effort. You’ll likely see higher subscriber engagement and more conversions with dynamic messages, and you can save time through automation tools and templates. 

To get started, define a few goals for your campaigns and create a message framework. Then, start segmenting your subscribers and integrate a few dynamic personalization elements. You’ll see results in no time! Learn more about marketing segmentation and data collection in “How to Collect Data for Email Marketing Segmentation.”

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