Before we get started, consider brushing up on these subjects:
The user (i.e. a hypothetical Constant Contact user) wants to send emails to their audience where no two recipients receive the same exact email. It is easier said than done, but let’s see how we can make it easier.
There are a few different ways we might accomplish this, so let’s consider a few different scenarios.
Scenario 1: Special promotions, A/B testing promo pricing, or location-based content
Solution: Dynamic Content Blocks
Dynamic Content blocks allow the user to create one email that serves multiple audiences. The blocks can be anything you want: A promotion for a product or service, an announcement of an event in a specific city, etc. Depending on what you set the criteria for the block, only select contacts will be able to view it based on how their contact profile is set up.
It can also serve as an A/B testing tool where you can compare the engagement of different blocks. For example, you’re selling two dresses and trying to see what captures attention better. The dress promotions connects back to your store with two distinct links in their own dynamic blocks and you can then compare the click activity between the two links.
Of course, if we’re trying to accomplish the goal of no two recipients receiving the same email it would require either A) a small amount of contacts to reduce workload, or a lot of dynamic content blocks. That is probably not feasible for most, but we still recommend using dynamic content blocks when you want to cater to specific audiences in one email.
Bonus: We also offer an A/B Test subject line feature. More info here!
Scenario 2: Each contact could have their own unique email, special coupon code, or many possible combinations
Solution: Inserting custom contact fields
Custom contact fields are a great way to cater to many different people through relatively automated means. The first and easiest way to collect the appropriate information is by including it in a sign-up form. What kind of custom fields you include depends on the needs of your organization. For example, you’re a landscaping business who needs to know the square footage of a contact’s yard or you're an ice cream shop that records a patron’s favorite flavor.
If your business is running a promotion and wants to give every contact a unique code, this can be generated a few different ways. Programs such as Microsoft Excel offer processes that will generate random codes. If you search on the Internet for “random code generators” you’ll find third-party sites that offer this service as well. We haven’t tested them personally, so we cannot vouch for them. After the codes are generated you would just need to copy and paste the codes in a new column in a spreadsheet of your contacts. When you re-upload the spreadsheet into Constant Contact, you will assign the coupon codes to a custom field and every contact will be updated with their unique code. When creating an email, select the insert custom field option and choose the field related to your promotion.
There are a lot of different combinations that could be used with this feature. If you think of any, let us know in the comments and we would be happy to make a list!
Scenario 3: Need to separate out entire newsletters to several sub-groups.
Segments are great for automating how you organize your audience. For example, maybe after sending a newsletter for a while you see that some contacts engage with it more regularly than others. It’s possible that the least engaged contacts are still interested, but are receiving it too frequently. You can use Segments to identify which contacts are engaging less frequently and sort them into a new list; for example: Once a month versus weekly. Then, you could track their engagement and see if the least engaged contacts are opening the once-a-month newsletter more regularly.
You can also use tags and contact details to sort your contacts. Like above, the easiest way to get this information is through a sign-up form on your site, a sign-up list in your store, or with an integration between Constant Contact and your ecommerce platform. What special interests do your contacts have? Do you cater to contacts in many different regions? If this is reflected in their tags or contact details you can select it while generating a new list from segments.
We hope this exploration of how to utilize different tools in Constant Contact will help with your online marketing efforts! If you think of any other ways in which you can automate your workflow, but diversify your output to your audience please let us know!