Jonas from MailerLite

Jonas6 min readTips & resourcesSeptember 24, 2019

How dynamic email content gives you magical targeting powers

How dynamic email content gives you magical targeting powers

Email marketing is the most effective channel in your marketing arsenal because it lets you send super relevant messages to specific target audiences.

Your subscribers have different interests, buying habits and needs that you can’t always address with one mass newsletter. That’s why email provides handy targeting options like segmenting your audience, tagging subscribers by interests and personalizing your messaging.

Until now, these targeting tools allowed you to send an email to one target audience. Dynamic email content takes targeting a step further by enabling you to add a section of targeted content within your email that is only visible to a specific audience. 

When you send email messages that zero in on your readers’ interests, engagement and conversions go through the roof.

Email marketing is evolving into a dynamic marketing channel, and we want you to benefit from the latest and greatest features email has to offer. 

In this article, we’ll explain why you should use dynamic email content and include step-by-step instructions on how to get started.

What is dynamic content in emails?

Dynamic email content allows you to personalize sections of your newsletter to a specific audience. This targeted content is dynamic because it only appears to the groups of people that you select. Everyone else that receives the same email won’t see the message. 

It disappears! Pretty cool, right?

Let’s say you want to send out a newsletter to all your subscribers, but you also have a special promotion that only takes place in New York.  

Instead of creating a new group for New Yorkers and re-creating the same email, dynamic email marketing allows you to insert the promotion into the general newsletter. New Yorkers will be the only subscribers to see the message.

Make different sections of your email visible to only a select group. It’s like a magic newsletter!

You can target using your segments or by creating a group. Dynamic content also lets you target content by custom fields (also known as merge tags or personalization tags) such as {$name} and {$email}.

Dynamic email content raises the level of personalization by giving your readers pieces of content within the newsletter that speak directly to them. You build only one email, but certain sections target the people who will benefit most from that information.

Dynamic email content example

We recently used dynamic content blocks in our free premium trial campaign. The goal of the newsletter was to promote our favorite premium features. 

We wanted to send it to all of our subscribers, but a small group of them were in the middle of a free premium trial. These subscribers only had access for 2 weeks, so we wanted to let them know time was running out. We added dynamic content that was visible to the people in the free trial.

Here's the newsletter below. You can see what our newsletter looks like for the general audience, and then it'll show you the dynamic text we added for the targeted group.

dynamic email content mailerlite example

By using dynamic content, we highlighted our favorite premium features to all of our customers, while sending a targeted message to the smaller group. Instead of wasting time creating another newsletter, we simply added a block and added the target. Easy peasy.

How to get the most out of your dynamic content

Before you jump into creating a dynamic content block in your newsletter, make sure you take your time setting it up and think through your strategy for the campaign. Here are the steps we go through:

Step one: Choose the group you want to target with highly-relevant content. Does the group already exist in your subscriber management tool or do you want to customize the recipients using custom rules?

Step two: Create content that is unique to that target audience. Make it as specific as possible to have the most significant impact. Does the content speak directly to your recipients’ needs or interests? Your email should always have blocks that are visible for all recipients. Don't forget to include such blocks.

Step three: Personalize your call-to-action to keep the engagement going. Dynamic content is meant to raise the level of relevance so much that your reader will respond. You can seal the deal with a targeted CTA and see your email campaign performance skyrocket.

How to create dynamic email content in MailerLite

We’ve incorporated dynamic content blocks into our drag-and-drop editor to make it dead simple to insert into your newsletters. Let’s take a look.

You will be able to target almost any content block to a specific group of recipients. It is fairly easy to select the block, create the content and customize your target audience.

Inside the drag-and-drop editor, there is a new eye icon that appears when you hover over the block. When you click on the eye icon, a sidebar opens that gives you the targeting options.

how to set up dynamic content on mailerlite

You have three targeting options on the sidebar – all recipients, a specific group or recipients who match your custom criteria.

Option #1: All recipients is the default option. If nothing is changed, the block will be visible for all newsletter recipients.

how to set up dynamic content on mailerlite 2

Option #2: Specify recipients allows you to target subscribers who belong to specific groups within your subscriber management. Choose one group or target a few groups with the same content block. You can also select a rule to show the block to recipients who belong to all selected groups or only one. 

how to set up dynamic content on mailerlite 3

Option #3: Custom rule enables you to customize your target audience by using custom fields. All account custom fields are listed. Choose from four operators: equals, doesn’t equal, is set, is not set.

how to set up dynamic content on mailerlite 4

How to preview for both targeted and non-targeted recipients

After you've selected your targeting options, dynamic content preview mode allows you to check the content each audience will see in your newsletter. 

The default preview (non-targeted) shows the email without the targeted content. When you select a target group, the newsletter preview changes to show what's visible to them.

preview dynamic content on mailerlite

Dynamic email content video tutorial

Still not sure how it works? Our "dynamic" colleague, Marcin, will take you through every step in this video tutorial.


Ok, now it’s your turn!

We want to hear your dynamic email content story! Give it a try and let us know.