Do you know what’s better than email marketing for eCommerce? Personalized email marketing… and I’m not just talking about inserting someone’s first name.
In this episode, I dive into how you can create a truly unique experience for each of your email recipients by tapping into one of Klaviyo’s most powerful features, dynamic content.
What You’ll Learn
- Which email flows offer the best opportunity for personalization
- How to decide what type of content to add dynamically
- The two types of data you can use to create dynamic content
Read the Full Episode Transcript
If you’ve been hanging with me for any length of time, then you know I’m obsessed with the Klaviyo email marketing platform. One of the biggest reasons for that is because of a functionality called dynamic content. This allows you to show or hide content in an email for specific users based on conditions that you set.
This feature lets you create a truly personalized experience for your email marketing subscribers beyond just inserting their first name.
Now, for the purposes of today’s episode we’re going to be focused on the strategic side of using this feature in your emails. The when and where. We won’t be covering much of the how because truth be told, it can get a little technical in terms of implementation. Klaviyo has some decent documentation on this, or you can snag my Klaviyo Badassery Tech Tour where I cover this in more depth and show you how to actually implement it. I’ll put a link in the show notes if you want to get your hands on that.
When it comes to dynamic content, you’re almost only limited by your imagination, but I’m going to share the 4 places I use this the most and the content that I use it for. Of course, everyone’s business is different, so these examples might not work perfectly… but it should provide a good amount of inspiration to get those wheels turning.
What Klaviyo Data Can Be Used for Dynamic Content?
So the first thing to understand, is that dynamic content in Klaviyo can be based on 2 main sets of data… event data and profile data.
Events are things like viewing a product and placing an order. When Klaviyo is integrated with your eCommerce store and one of these events takes place, your eCommerce platform will pass information back to Klaviyo about that event. That data can then be used as conditions for dynamic content.
The data that gets pulled over is pre-determined by the integration and includes things like the product name, the product collections, the price, the variant, etc.
Profile data is the data you have about your subscribers that you store in profile properties. These could be things like their birthday, whether or not they’re a rewards member, their favorite product category, or even the results of your list-building quiz.
By default there isn’t a lot of data about an individual subscriber, it’s really up to you to collect that information and store it inside of Klaviyo. We won’t go into all the details of collecting data on your customers, that could be an episode all it’s own and I cover it in-depth in the Klaviyo Badassery Tech Tour.
Profile data can be used to show or hide dynamic content in any email, whether it’s a flow or a campaign, while event data can only be used in a flow that is triggered by that particular event.
For instance, you can’t use recent purchase data to show or hide dynamic content in a campaign email, but you could do it in a post-purchase flow that is triggered by the placed order event.
If however, you translated that event data to a profile property, you could then use that for dynamic content in a campaign email. For instance, maybe once someone purchases from a particular collection on your store, you could add a profile property to record that which you can then use to show or hide different content.
What Content Blocks Can Be Dynamic in a Klaviyo Email?
And then one last note before we get into the specifics… you can put dynamic conditions on any block within a Klaviyo email. It can be text, an image, a separator, a button, or even a spacer. It doesn’t matter. Every single block is eligible to be dynamic. And in the new builder, you can make an entire section dynamic, which holds a collection of individual blocks. That will definitely make your job easier.
Adding Dynamic Content Based on Event Data
Okay, so here are some ideas on how to implement dynamic content into your Klaviyo emails. And we’re going to start with some event-based data ideas. The two places where I used this the most are in post-purchase emails + abandonment emails.
And as I mentioned, when it comes to event data you have both product and collection level data. Which one you use for your dynamic content is going to depend on your unique situation, but generally, the wider your assortment, the more general you’ll want to go focusing on collections, and the more narrow your assortment the more specific you can get with products. This will make more sense as I run through the examples.
Adding Dynamic Content into Abandonment Emails
We’ll start with the abandonment emails. And this can work for both browse abandonment and checkout abandonment. The data that comes over is a little different, you have a lot more information with the checkout abandonment, but the overall concept is the same.
So in most cases, when it comes to abandonment emails, we’re trying to overcome some sort of objection that the customer is having. And those objections are either going to be product-specific or general objections about shopping with you. The general objections are easy, you don’t need dynamic content for that… but overcoming product-specific objections is where the magic happens.
For example… I worked with a handbag brand that has 5 or 6 main evergreen styles and then just releases new colors each season. Because each of her bags is specially designed with different features for different use cases, we used dynamic content at the product level to show product-specific reviews and ways to use or wear each style. But because this content is dynamic, the customer will only see the content that is relevant to the products they were considering at the moment.
So let’s say they look at product A and we send them a browse abandonment email. That email will be all about product A for them. Overcoming their objections and inspiring them to purchase product A.
If they come back later and start looking at product B, the next time they receive that browse abandonment email, it’s going to be all about product B.
Now yes, this takes a good amount of work to set up in the beginning because you have to create content for each product, but once it’s set up you’re good to go unless you add new items or want to change out your content.
How to Implement Dynamic Content with a Wide Product Assortment
But what if you have a really wide assortment of products? Creating unique content for every product you sell doesn’t seem like a great use of your time. So instead, you can focus on providing info at the collection level.
For instance, I’m working with a skincare spa owner right now who sells products on her website. So for her, we’re creating content based on the category of product, face wash, serum, moisturizer, etc.
But she also has a few specific beauty tools that are a bit more technical in nature, so we’re doing a bit of a hybrid approach where the majority of the content is at the collection level, while there will be a handful of items that get their own content as well.
In an abandonment email we might focus on the importance of a particular step in the skincare routine, based on the categories the customer was looking at, and then if they also happen to have one of those specific beauty tools, then we’d will also include product-specific reviews and answers to frequently asked questions about that product.
When you’re thinking about what dynamic content you might want to include in your abandonment emails, just remember that the main goal of these emails is to overcome the customer’s potential objections. Starting at a high level, what would the customer need to hear at this stage to make their buying decision? And then break it down over your product assortment. Get as granular as you can without being totally ridiculous.
Using Dynamic Content in Post-Purchase Emails
Now let’s talk about the post-purchase email. The goal of this email is different, but the way I would approach how granular you should get with your dynamic content is the same in terms of product-specific or collection.
Let’s start with the basics and then my example should illustrate what I mean.
When you’re thinking about what to put in your post-purchase email, I like to ask – “What does the customer need to know and understand to have a good experience with your product so they come back and leave you a positive review?”
So, if we go back to that handbag example I used earlier, what type of content would we have there? Well, first there is some general information like how to care for the bag. How to store it, how to clean it, etc. That’s all pretty general and as long as the customer bought an actual bag or wallet, they can get the same content. So in that case the dynamic content would be at the collection level.
On the other hand, because each bag is a little bit different, we can also include dynamic content at the product level. In this case, we re-used the same how-to-wear content that we did in the abandonment emails. As you’ve heard me say a million times before, don’t be afraid to repeat yourself.
Another example here is a previous client I worked with that sells DIY nail polish kits. You get all the ingredients you need to mix your own nail polish and you purchase different color kits based on the colors you want to create. For example, pinks and reds would be one kit, while oranges and yellow would be another.
In the abandonment emails, we created content at the collection level. Anyone who was looking at these kits saw the same objection handling content. For the post-purchase email though, each color kit got its own dynamic content so we could send the customer to a video playlist showing them how to mix certain colors for each kit.
And again, you can always do a mix of collection-level and product-level dynamic content. Going back to the skincare example, here we may want to give some general information about the order in which to apply their skincare products, but if they buy that beauty tool that is a bit more technical in nature, then we’re going to want to give them some very specific education and direction on how to use it properly.
Or what if you sell car detailing items like microfiber towels and chemicals to clean the car. this is another example of how you can use a mix of collection level and product level dynamic content. For the microfiber towels, you can include car instructions for anyone who purchased a microfiber towel. But when it comes to the chemicals, you might need to give specific directions based on the individual product that they purchased.
There are a lot of ways you can slice and dice this, it’s really just gonna depend on what you sell and what your customer needs from you.
And maybe you have to go one level between collection and product to the sub-collection. Remember in the inventory management episode, number 145 if you haven’t listened to it yet. Where I talked about a yarn store and all the different fibers that yarns come in. The same logic can be applied here as well. Maybe you want to educate your customer on how to care for their sweater after they knit it up. But how you care for a coarse wool yarn is going to be a bit different than a more delicate cashmere yarn. I don’t know much about knitting, but you probably need different needles too, so that’s something you can educate them on in your post-purchase email as well.
Another example of sub-collections could be jewelry. Maybe you sell sterling silver and gold-filled. Maybe the way you care for those are going to be different so you can show dynamic content based on what metal the customer bought. Or if they bought a necklace you can send them to a tutorial on necklace stacking.
We could go on and on here, but hopefully, these few examples are sparking some ideas for how you can apply this to your business.
Creating Dynamic Content Based on Subscriber Profiles
Okay, so that’s the event-based dynamic content. What about the profile based? Profile data-based dynamic content can be used in any email that you send in Klaviyo. And it can even be used in the event-triggered flows we just talked about.
the most common use case for this is if you have a rewards program in your eCommerce store. For instance, if you have your rewards platform integrated with Klaviyo, you can push over the customer’s current available points and their referral link as profile properties in Klaviyo. Usually, I’ll use the absence of a referral link to identify people who are not yet a part of your rewards program. If they’re not a part of the program, I’ll create a block that promotes the program and encourages them to join. If they are already a member, then I’ll remind them of their current point value and their unique referral link.
Dynamic content is a great way to show specific info for local customers only as well. Maybe you have an in-store event coming up that you want to remind your people of while you’re featuring some brand new items you just released. Instead of creating two separate emails, one for your local people and one for your online-only people, you can create a dynamic block that only shows to your local people.
You could even use dynamic content in your welcome flow if you’re collecting information about the customer at signup.
Back to the skincare example, I’m working through this with a client right now. We’re using a quiz as a lead generation tool and one of the questions is their age range. in addition to the product recommendations the quiz results in, we provide more information on the best skincare routine for them based on their age. The best skincare routine in your 40s is a bit more involved than when you’re in your 20s. So we’ve created a bunch of content around this that gets shown dynamically in the welcome email.
You could even go so far as to point them to different resources based on the main skin concerns that they have. A person with oily acne-prone skin needs different information than a person with dry sensitive skin.
And how you utilize dynamic content can be even simpler than that. Let’s go back to the jewelry example. Maybe you ask them what they wear the most, necklaces or earrings. Then you can create two product blocks of your best sellers, one for necklaces and one for earrings, and dynamically show them the product block based on the category they chose on your signup form.
The main thing to remember here, and I may have already said this a bajillion times but I’m not 100% recovered as I record this and still have some brain fog, but profile data-based dynamic content is only as good as the data you collect about your customers and store on their profile, so if this is something you want to start utilizing, you have to get the data about them first.
Collecting Customer Data to Enrich Subscriber Profiles
And there are a number of ways that you can collect this data and get it onto their profile, all of which I go over in the Klaviyo Badassery Tech Tour… but one that is often overlooked or isn’t as obvious as the others is through your flows. One of the flow actions you can use in Klaviyo is to create and update a profile property. You can do this either as a step in your regular flows or you can have that be the only step in the flow at all. This is a great way to update profile properties based on historical actions your customer has taken. Usually, I will create a segment to identify the group I want to add a specific profile property to, I’ll create a flow triggered by that segment and then back-populate the flow so it will update the profiles of everyone in that segment.
An easy example of this is if I want to identify any of my local shoppers. So if you use Shopify POS you can create a segment of people whose source is POS or who are within a specific radius of your store zip code, and then add a profile property called local with a value of yes. then you can create dynamic content based on that profile property to only show local store information to people who are actually local to you.
Ultimately, dynamic content is one of Klaviyo’s most powerful features, and while it does have a bit of a learning curve, once you get the hang of it you really are only limited by your imagination. There are so many cool things you can do to create a truly unique experience for your customers which will 100% set you apart from your competition.
Again, if you want to learn more about how to actually implement this, snag my Klaviyo Badassery Tech Tour, it’s super affordable and this is just one of the more in-depth features that I cover in that video course. I’ll put a link in the show notes for you.
And if this is the first time you’ve really started to think about dynamic content and how you can apply it to your biz, don’t feel like you have to do it all right away. It takes time to think through and get set up. Start with some easy quick wins and continue to build it out little by little. You will continually improve it, you’ll get feedback, you’ll come up with new ideas, your business will change, and your products will change. It’s likely to be an ongoing work in progress and that’s okay.
I hope this has inspired you and excited you in terms of what’s possible with email on the Klaviyo platform.