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What Is Dynamic Email Content?

Thoughts by Gracija Atanasovska • Writer Bento

Dynamic email content is a type of email message where the content changes based on the receiving user’s data (this can include age, marital status, occupation, geographic location, and other variables, as well as preferences and online behavior.) It’s an email with highly personalized elements, which can be reflected in the images and other visuals, text, and CTA (call to action) buttons. These elements work together to target different types of customers and subscribers effectively.

Why is Dynamic Email Content Important?

Consumers these days receive an overwhelming amount of emails, from brands and products they like to ones they’ve barely ever engaged with before. This clutter can make it difficult for businesses to grab the attention of the user they’re targeting over the noise of all the other competitors.

By taking advantage of dynamic email content, you can reach out to your subscribers more effectively as they are more likely to open and read personalized emails. According to one statistic, email personalization contributes to an “open rate of 29.95% and a click-through rate of 5.03%”. This is something seriously worth considering when implementing your next campaign.

Let’s briefly go over some of the benefits of including dynamic email content in your email marketing strategy:

  • It improves customer experience! - Sending personalized emails shows your subscribers and customers that you know them and care about their choices and interests. It helps make the campaign relative to them.

  • It improves marketing efficiency! - Save time by creating dynamic email templates that can be easily customized. When an effective template exists, your team can effortlessly craft an effective email without sacrificing precious time that could be devoted to other elements of the campaign.

  • It increases email engagement! - Personalizing the content you send to your subscribers increases their chances of engaging with it and taking action.

How Dynamic Email Content Works

It all comes down to smart utilization of variables and data. Variables are the dynamic parts of the email body, which are based on the data you have gathered on your users, such as [name] and [age].

Usually, you’ll be able to find the “variable” field in the mailing list options - for example, a variable can be the location of your customer, or any other data you’ve gathered that’s specific to them or their demographic.

Tip: To avoid overwhelming your customers, refrain from asking too many personal questions when creating a subscription form. Narrow in on what’s necessary for you to know, as too many questions can turn a customer off from subscribing to a mailing list.

What are the Types of Variables in Dynamic Email Content?

Here are three basic types of variables in dynamic content that you can use in your campaigns:

  • Customer data variables - These include the subscriber/customer’s email address, their name, their customer/subscriber ID, as well as age/date of birth, geographic location, and date of order. You can find all this stuff out by implementing subscription forms and surveys.

  • Technical data variables - There are two types of these variables: one is the web version of the email you’ve sent (which shows up when the email cannot be correctly displayed or when the images cannot be loaded), and the other is an unsubscribe link that’s usually in the email footer.

  • Sender data variables - As the name says, this refers to data coming from the sender of the emails, like the name of the company, its real address, and email address, along with the phone number. These can usually be found in the footer of the email.

Note: When you’re adding variables and creating dynamic content, you should also have in mind the users who still haven’t shared much of their data with you. For example, say you usually add the “location” variable in the email; if your subscriber still hasn’t shared that info with you, they’ll see an empty field instead of a city or country. You can prevent this from happening by setting up the variable to automatically change into “your place”, “your city”, or “your country” when there is no available specific location info. This can be applied to other types of variables as well.

It is important to tailor your dynamic email content for variables, but it’s also essential to have a default for when that information is unavailable.

Where Can You Implement Dynamic Email Content?

Every part of the email can be made dynamic!

  • The email subject line & body (text)

  • Visuals (images, gifs, videos)

  • CTAs (calls to action)

The Email Subject Line and the Email Body

A subject line that’s been personalized can yield up to 50% higher open rates. Personalized subject lines usually include the personal name of the subscriber, but you can also include their location, birthday, or anniversary. This is all applicable to the email body (or email text) as well.

The email text is easy to personalize - you can tailor it to different subscriber variables.

For example:

You are a company selling electronics and technology devices, and you have all kinds of products, from TVs, cameras, smartphones, video game consoles, earphones, DVDs, and so on. By analyzing your customers’ preferences, you can target emails for video games and consoles to the video game users and other new gadgets like earphones and new smartphones to gadget buffs.


Visuals can be images, animated gifs, and videos that are part of the email body. The visuals you use should correspond with the interests and background of each of your subscribers using your data.

For example:

You’re selling sports equipment and clothes. Say a percentage of your customers live in a predominately rainy area, while the rest live somwhere sunny. You want your customers to emotionally connect with the visuals you send them, which is why the image of people running outdoors in the rain should be included in the emails you send to people who live in rainy places, and vice versa - images of sunny landscapes and people doing sports in sunny weather should go to people living in such areas.

CTAs (Calls to Action)

CTAs play a massive role in email campaigns, and using them as dynamic content can be a great way to incentivize your subscribers to take further action.

Personalized CTAs are specifically tailored to suit your subscribers’ preferences. So, before making these CTAs, think about the purpose behind them. What do you want your subscribers to do? Buy something, leave a review, continue their subscription, learn about something, send a referral link to a friend, or something else? Whatever you want them to do, have a clear goal in mind.

How to Make Your Emails More Dynamic Now, let’s cross over to a couple of steps you can take to make your email content more dynamic.

1. Gathering Data

This is the first step towards dynamic email content - gathering customer data. After all, you need to know who your customers are and what they want, so you can tailor your content accordingly.

There are many ways you can do this. For instance, you can use your email marketing platform’s free analytics tools, Google Analytics, or another analytics tool. If you use Google Analytics, you will have to enable some options, such as the reporting and remarketing features, as well as the interests and demographics reports. You can find the guides on how to do this on Google Analytics’ help site.

You can also gather data from social media, also called social media insights, like Facebook and Instagram’s Insights tabs that show your followers’ demographics.

Customer surveys are another way you can gather audience data. You can customize these surveys to fit your marketing purposes and get both qualitative and quantitative data. It’s best to mix different questions that tackle purchasing habits and interests, demographics, and product references. All of these together will form a more complete picture of the nuances and differences in your audience’s interests, as well as the things they have in common.

When you collect this data, you can also create email lists that will help you organize your customer profiles by similarity.

2. Gathering Engagement and Behavioral Data

You should also gather your customers’ engagement and behavioral data, which serves to tell you how they interact with your company brand.

You can collect this data set through several channels.

The first one is through your website. You have to collect data on the particular pages your users visit, as well as the product categories they’re usually interested in, and which products they put in their shopping carts.

A good way to track this is by installing tracking pixels and heat mapping tools on your site which usually come in the form of a visual overview of the way your site visitors behave. It tells you which buttons they usually click, and the pages and specific sections they read and visit most often. They can be used to track user behavior on the website, as well as web traffic and site conversions. The answers and data you get will be of great help when you create your email campaigns so you target specific users for specific products, and increase the conversion rates.

Another way to gather this data set is to use data from past transactions, which will reliably tell you the products each of your customers have purchased. The majority of CRM tools can help you track not only the most bought products, but also the purchasing habits of individual customers, as well as their budget, and lots more.

This data set will give more edge to your personalized email lists and help you personalize your dynamic email content further.

3. Track Specific Metrics

A key thing when you’re doing email personalization and creating dynamic email content is to track KPI metrics. KPI stands for “key performance indicators”, which are metrics that tell you important data about how well your dynamic content performs with audiences. Naturally, this should come at the end of your campaign, aka once it’s launched.

There are different KPIs depending on what you need them for and what field of work you’re in, but in terms of email marketing, the most important ones are the following:

  • The email open rate tells you the percentage of your email recipients that actually open your emails. It’s a great way to find out the effectiveness of your personalized targeting campaign and your subject lines.
  • The click-through rate tells you the percentage of people who’ve received your emails and clicked on at least one link included in them. This KPI gives you valuable information about your email content; if the click-through rate is low, you should work on your CTAs, your offers, and your targeting campaigns.
  • The conversion rate tells you the percentage of conversions. A conversion can be defined according to your own criteria and it can be a product or service purchase, a subscription, filling out a form or downloading something from your site or email, and other actionable moves. High conversion rates that are consistent are a result of a successful email campaign, which means that your targeting process, your client communication, management of the website user experience, and othe rmetrics are on point.

There are also other KPIs that you can track, such as the unsubscribe rate, the email growth rate, and the mobile open rate.

Now that we’ve explained dynamic email content and how it works, let’s see some specific examples.

Dynamic Email Content Examples

One of the best examples of dynamic email content usage can be found by examining the campaigns led by major streaming service, Netflix. They are masters at sending personalized emails which are based on your user data (liked movies, movies you’ve watched or want to watch). They send different kinds of dynamic emails, and one example is where they remind you of films and shows you’ve already watched and loved - and incentivize you to watch them again.

“Rewind. Replay. Rewatch.” This is how the email starts, after which it says “Replay your favorite moments or watch these from the beginning.”

Under these lines, you’ll be able to see dynamic content images, which are the images from your particular watch list, and below the brief caption explaining them, there are CTAs that say “Play” and “+ My List”.


Another example is Ticketmaster, an entertainment company that sells tickets for music venues. Ticketmaster sends emails to promote events that are near you and that you might like. There is usually a poster image from the upcoming tour of the singer/band, and below it is a short, informative text. After that, you can find the tour date and time and a CTA that says “Tickets”.

Ticketmaster example These are just two examples, but dynamic email content can come in various shapes and sizes. You can use it to make your customers and subscribers:

  • Browse images or a catalog

  • Fill out a form, a questionnaire, a survey, or take a quiz

  • Reply to an invite

  • RSVP to a particular event

  • Leave a review

  • Respond to comments

And so on.


As you can see, dynamic content is indispensable in the modern-day email marketing strategy. It’s the best way to send engaging, targeted emails, have your customers and subscribers interact with your product, and increase your company’s email open rates. Don’t be afraid to use personalization in your favor! You can do wonders with your email campaign with the right variables and user data.