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Content Feeds in Email- 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...

 

biscuit-ban1

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