To many, the use of dynamic content can be a very complicated and daunting task. “It’s tricky,” “it’s time consuming,” “it’s not worth the effort” are all reasons I’ve heard to avoid its use. Although it can be a difficult technique to master, the scalability and potential it can offer is massive. In the paragraphs below, I will outline a technique I have paired with my use of dynamic content. Since conception and deployment, it has served as a gateway to innovation and has changed the way we have delivered content to our readers.
Challenge: Looks Like it’s Pretty Hairy.
Scalability is the name of the game. We had a newsletter concept that required us to create a unique content block for every possible solution. The previous run had over 80 solutions, with a contact’s top 10 showing through field merges on the email. This meant that we also had to prepare for every combination of order as well. The method of creating individual content blocks for each unique opportunity was not going to work here. In order to scale, we had to come up with a better way.
Goals: No Horsing Around on the Airplane
The number 1 goal was scalability. We had to come up with a way that allowed us to add a large number of unique blocks in less time than before. Having our email interactions increase in any way would be the cherry on top. The main goal was finding a way to save time.
Benchmark: The Big Board!
The main metric that we were worried about was time spent on preparing the email assets for deployment, specifically for assets with a heavy emphasis on personalization. The building of so many unique content blocks ate up a huge amount of time.
Solution: This is the War Room
We came up with the concept of using field merges to dynamically display all the information we wanted. Instead of building out each individual block, we would create a template for the area, and apply the appropriate field merges to fill them. Here are the steps we took to put this into action:
- Plan and create your dynamic content area. This is where you should determine what it should look like, what information you want to display, and what information you need to display it.
- Create your field merges from the Custom Data Object
- Determine what fields you want to bring over to your asset. For this case, I will only be using the 5 below.
3. If using an image, find a place to host it. I used the “Images” area of the Component Library in my example
- Once this is done, get a copy of the image URL
- Place the base URL for the images in the HTML of the email. In my example we will be using “http://images/EloquaImages/clients/mycompany/” as the base URL. A field merge will be used to complete the link.
- Place the designated field merge at the end of the base link.
d. You can also use this method for hyperlinks as well. In this example, I placed the field merge to represent the whole URL
4. Put your field merges in your dynamic content block
*The image link is broken, but it will render correctly when contact information is applied.
5. Test, Test, Test!
- Test and make sure everything is displaying as you wish it would. It’s rare that everything works out for me on the first try.
6. Be proud of the end result!
Helpful Eloqua Classes: Marketing is our Profession.
- Fundamentals of Email
- Effective Marketing with Custom Objects
- Personalizing Campaigns
Impact: Mein Director! I Can Scale!
This was a success! Though there were some initial pains in the beginning, once we figured it out, it was smooth sailing from there. Making changes in a spreadsheet to be uploaded to the Custom Data Object saved much more time than making edits to an email directly. Because of the scalability of this method, we are now able to offer this style of content delivery to other marketing initiatives as well. This method was a gateway to innovation. Since developing this method, we have continued to come up with new ideas that have increased the personalization and relevancy of our content, which in turn, has increased the interaction with our targeted contacts.