Gossip Magazines and Dynamic Content

On Sunday afternoons, I like to get caught up on all my gossip magazines (yup, I read gossip mags AND date online…fulfilling that millennial stereotype). I was surprised when I found a direct connection to a topic we discuss and implement quite frequently at DMXENGAGE. In the editor letter, People’s editorial director, Jess Cagle explained that since they were unable to decide on a cover for the September 7 issue, they would use two: one for subscribers and one for newsstands. Loyal subscribers received a cover featuring the three American friends who saved a train in France from a gunman while the newsstand edition featured another Duggar disaster. This is what we call in the email marketing world dynamic content.

What is Dynamic Content?

Hubspot defines dynamic content as “the aspects of a website, ad, or email body that change based on the interests or past behavior of the viewer.” In this case, we are talking about a magazine cover. Based on the self-submitted behavior of subscribing to a magazine subscription, People deduced that their subscribers would read their magazine regardless of what or who is on the cover, which is why they selected the American Heroes to grace the subscriber cover. In contrast, they placed Josh Duggar and his latest scandal on the cover of the newsstand version in an attempt to inspire gossip mag lovers to toss the issue into their shopping cart. People knows that they are communicating with two different audiences and tailored their cover content to speak to each of them differently and hopefully, increase sales.

How YOU can start using dynamic content

You don’t need to be an international publishing giant to start implementing dynamic content of your own! The majority (if not all) of marketing automation platforms allow for dynamic content. You can set your dynamic content criteria based on user-behaviors like subscription, number of downloads, number of page visits, number of email opens, etc. You can also use demographic data (like geography, industry or age) to tailor your content or call-to-actions. If you have information about specific interests, personas or pain points, you can customize your messaging to focus on the topics that your contact has identified as interesting to them.

The key with dynamic content (and marketing automation in general) is good, clean, accurate data. And when implemented correctly, can lead to 18x more revenue than broadcast emails (via Jupiter Research). And 18 times more revenue sounds real nice. Now, go tell your CEO that People Magazine inspired a piece of your marketing automation strategy. And tell them you got the idea from me.

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