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How dynamic email content gives you magical targeting powers

· 11 min read · Email marketing · March 10, 2021

The beauty of being human is that we’re all different! And that means there’s no ‘one size fits all’ content, when it comes to crafting your emails.

Your subscribers have different interests, buying habits and needs that you can’t always address with one mass newsletter.

That’s why we have handy targeting options like email segmentation, groups and personalization. These tools allow you to send an email to one target audience.

Dynamic content takes it one step further!

Dynamic email content enables you to add a section of targeted content within your email that is only visible to a specific audience.

This lets you send super relevant messages to specific target audiences—all from within the same email.

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

A dynamic email is an email that displays different personalized sections of a newsletter to different audiences.

This targeted content is dynamic because it only appears to the groups of people that you select. Everyone else that receives the email sees the same subject line, the same content, the same images… But they won’t see that special personalized message.

It disappears! Pretty cool, right?

Let’s say you want to send out a newsletter to your whole email list, 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 in your email marketing campaign.

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 content in emails will add a little je-ne-sais-quoi👌 to your newsletter. It’s different, it’s tailored to your subscribers, and it spells good news for your conversion rates.

Why you’re going to love it:
  1. You can share exclusive content: Gone are the days of bombarding everyone with the same information! Now, you can handpick who will see certain parts of your message, delivering more personalized content for everyone. For example, you can share email coupons for loyal customers, or share additional content for paying subscribers who have a subscription to your newsletter.

  2. You’ll improve click-through rates: When people are seeing content that is relevant to their demographic and interests, they’ll be much more likely to read and click through the newsletter. Email personalization at its finest!

  3. You can boost sales: By taking note of your subscribers’ previous shopping behaviors, you can create more targeted cross-sales campaigns to inspire action—such as with an abandoned cart email.

  4. You save time: Rather than creating individual groups and multiple emails for your different marketing messages (which is rather time-consuming), you can compile everything into one single email.

Savvy marketers know that the more personalized your messaging, the higher your chances of people reading your email. Dynamic content gives you another way to personalize!

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

The campaign was targeted to all of our subscribers, but a small group of them were already 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 personalized email to the smaller group.

Instead of wasting time creating another newsletter, we simply added a block and added the target. Easy peasy.

Here's how to set up dynamic content blocks in MailerLite.

3 more examples of dynamic content done right

The email marketers at UNIQLO took dynamic content to the next level by grouping their subscribers by location. They could then offer specific product recommendations, depending on the weather forecast. A great personalized marketing strategy!

UNIQLO dynamic email content example

Meanwhile, the content in Spotify’s newsletter will vary depending on the subscriber’s listening preferences, adding relevancy to everyone who opens it. (‘90s hits, anyone?)

Spotify dynamic email content example

Netflix also uses dynamic email content to remind subscribers to pick up where they left off on their latest series.

Netflix dynamic email content example
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 #1:

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 #2:

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 #3:

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

Create your first dynamic campaign in minutes!

Our free plan includes access to the features you need like automation, landing pages and dynamic content blocks 🎉


We’ve incorporated dynamic content blocks into our drag-and-drop editor and rich-text 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.

To get started, create a new campaign in your MailerLite builder (you can either start from scratch or use an email template).

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. Here, you can set up and enable your dynamic email content.

How to set up dynamic content with 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

This is the default option. If nothing is changed, the block will be visible for all newsletter recipients.

All recipients field in the MailerLite editor

Option #2: Specify recipients

This 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.

Specify recipients field in MailerLite editor

Option #3: Customize recipients

This 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, contains, does not contain.

Here are the fields you can choose from:

Customize recipient fields in MailerLite editor

And here are the operators:

Customize operator fields in MailerLite editor

Option #4: Exclude recipients

This rule enables you to select groups which you would like to hide the content block from. Simply check the boxes to select which group(s) will not see your dynamic email block.

Exclude recipients field in MailerLite editor

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, a custom group or an excluded group, the newsletter preview changes to show what's visible to them.

Preview dynamic content with MailerLite

Whether you're promoting an e-commerce discount, a members-only deal or a questionnaire for people in certain locations, dynamic email messages are your new go-to marketing tool.

Dynamic content in email marketing can give people a more personalized experience—and amp up your email engagement rates in the process!

Incorporate it into your digital marketing strategy, and watch your conversion rates go up in real-time.

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

Editor's note: This article was originally published in September 2019. It has now been updated to include new dynamic content features and examples.

Jonas Fischer
I'm Jonas, Content Manager at MailerLite. I’m not the 4th Jonas Brother, but I do write content (which is similar to being a teen heartthrob). After writing for a bunch of companies over the years, I discovered my professional passion—helping add some humanity to B2B marketing. Email is the perfect place to start!
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